Midland The town of Midland is located 16kms from Perth and was named after the
Midland Railway Company.
Brief History of Midland
During the 1880's - 1890's Western Australia was experiencing a boom in railway construction, thanks mainly to
the discovery of gold and minerals through out the State. As a result the government encouraged the building of
private lines. In 1884 a London syndicate led by Mr John Waddington put in a proposal to the government for a
railway line to be built between York and Geraldton (via Northam and Toodyay ), in return for grants of land along the route. The proposal was accepted but with a few
changes. The line was to begin in Guildford and go via Victoria Plains and Dongara and Mr Waddington's
company was to receive 12,000 acres for each mile of railway built. As vacant land in Guildford was
limited the Government eventually granted the syndicate a piece of land near York and Upper Swan Road (present
day site of the town) to build its headquarters and workshops. The location was also to be the junction of the
Government line which ran to York. With all parties happy with the changes the Western Australian Government
signed the contract in 1886.Construction began immediately but was forced to halt due to financial
In 1890 the syndicate, having solved its early financial woes, recommenced
construction under the new name of the Midland Railway Company. It didn't take long for a tent village to be
erected on the site of the Company's Workshops. The site soon became nicknamed "The Midland Junction". Workers
came from near and far to work on the new venture but there was inadequate housing for such large numbers. The
government responded by declaring the area a townsite and releasing land for residential development. In 1895
a Municipality was declared but the government made the mistake of naming the Municipality "Helena Valley".
The railway station retained the name Midland Junction which resulted in confusion. As a result in 1901 the
town was renamed, Midland Junction (later shortened to Midland in 1961). In 1895 the line between Midland
junction and Geraldton was opened for general traffic . This coincided with the Government's announcement that
their main government railway workshops were to shift from Fremantle to Midland Junction. Construction began in 1901 and by 1905 Midland had the most
advanced and complete workshops of its kind in Australia. By 1909 there were over 1,200 people working at the
Workshops. Click here for more information about the Midland Railway Workshops.
Things Are Looking Up In MidlandMidland developed quickly in the 1890's due to the establishment of the
Midland Railway Workshops. As workers flooded into the settlement (merely a tent city) seeking employment at
the workshops a desperate need for infrastructure was soon realised. Schools, churches, hotels and Government
buildings were soon erected as the area began to boom. Unfortunately, like so many towns in Western
Australia, the boom would last until 1914, when the world found itself at war.
In recent years Midland has focused on creating a great collection of public art. Using local
artists, including Kath Wheatley, Robert Juniper and Steve Tepper, the town has come to life with its unique
collection of sculptures which seem to blend in so easily with the surrounds. Click here for more on Public Art of Midland .
Interesting Facts About MidlandThe post code for Midland is 6056.
During World War II, the Midland Railway Workshops, were converted into a munitions factory.
Hardly noticed at the Centrepoint Shopping Centre is locomotive R174 the only surviving loco of
three used in the rescue of trapped miner, Modesto Varischetti in 1907.
Important Links To Midland
City of Swan
Midland Redevelopment Authority