Midland is a suburb in the Perth, Western Australia metropolitan area, as well as the regional centre for the City of Swan local government area that covers theSwan Valley and parts of the Darling Scarp to the east. It is situated at the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Great Northern Highway. Its eastern boundary is defined by the Roe Highway. Midland is almost always regarded as a suburb of Perth, being only 16 km (9.9 mi) away from the city centre.
Midland was the site of the Midland Railway Workshops - the main workshops for the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) for over 80 years. It was also a terminus for the Midland Railway Company. At the end of the Second World War it was the junction of the Midland Railway, the Upper Darling Range Railway, and the main Eastern Railway.
The Transperth suburban railway system currently has a terminus at Midland station.
Until 1966 the earlier railway station at Midland was the connecting location for trains to Bellevue and then onto Chidlow. Prior to 1954 it included the passenger service from the Mundaring Loop - or the original Eastern Railway (Western Australia), which went through Mundaring, Glen Forrest and Darlington. Until 1949 the passenger service to Kalamunda on the Upper Darling Range Railway was still operating via the 'Zig Zag' at Gooseberry Hill to Midland.
Midland Junction developed around the Town Hall (1906) and Post Office (1913) sites and spread slowly east and north for over 70 years. The centrality of the main services, and the unusual presence of the Midland Railway Company sheds and yard directly adjacent to the Town Hall and Post Office, combined with the Government Railway Workshops, gave a focused sense of location to the commercial centre, and the local residences. The commercialisation of Great Eastern Highway roadfront residential properties to Bellevue was not complete before the 1990s.
In the 1970s the development of Midland Gate Shopping Centre completely changed the focus of the community, with businesses traditionally within walking distance of the Post Office and Railway Station closing down or shifting over the following decades. The re-development of the Midland Gate Shopping Centre has reasserted the car oriented nature of the regional centre, and the old centre of Midland is currently undergoing revitalisation and redevelopment with mixed use commercial and residential property providing the main focus.
Midland's townsite is based around both Great Eastern Highway, which carries east bound traffic, and Victoria Street, which carries westbound traffic. It is possible to transfer from one to the other via the Padbury Terrace intersection to access Great Eastern Highway from Victoria Street, or use Helena Street to complete the reverse. Cale Street which forms the perimeter of the Midland Gate Shopping Centre also provides this access.
The townsite is lively and becoming increasingly busy attracting commuters from a wide surrounding area. Commercial and retail trade has been expanded further east on Great Eastern Highway. Continuing development in commercial and residential property within the original townsite means that despite the age of the townsite, it has taken on a modern character which blends seamlessly with the original and it is the main port of call for eastern travellers who do not bypass the historical area via Roe Highway.