Australind train out of service due to wheel damage
The Australind railcar service has been taken out of service due to wheel damage.
This issue is new and unrelated to previous repairs.
Earlier this week a routine inspection of the railcar set identified damage to all four wheels on one side of one of the railcars.
The damage pattern suggests the train may have hit something during its journey, however, an extensive inspection of the track did not find any obstructions.
Until the wheels are repaired, the service cannot operate.
Unfortunately the wheel lathe machine at Nowergup, required to repair the wheels, is currently out-of-service.
Repairs to this machine have been delayed because the original manufacturer is in Germany, their Australian agent is in Melbourne and COVID-19 related travel restrictions have forced repairs to be done by remote diagnostics.
Repair delays are also exacerbated by the difficulty finding parts for such a specialised machine, and the overall impact of COVID-19 on supply chains.
The repairs to the Australind railcars are expected to be complete in two to three weeks, dependent on successful repair of the lathe.
Until such time, passengers who wish to travel between Bunbury and Perth will be transported by fully-accessible Transwa road coaches. Fares for these passengers will be discounted by 75 per cent for the duration of the outage.
Three of the Australind’s railcars received extensive repair and maintenance work during the recent outage, with three railcars fitted with replacement axle boxes, and two of the three receiving post-collision repairs.
Removing the Australind from service allowed Transwa to undertake some minor additional works along with the major repairs. These included exterior painting on the cow catcher and front panels, new decals, and other general mechanical issues aimed at improving the train’s reliability as it nears the end of its working life.
In recent years the 33-year-old train, which was designed to have a 30-year working life, has been increasingly beset by mechanical problems, which have been aggravated by the fact that many of its parts are so old they are now obsolete.
As part of the wider procurement of C-Series railcars, the existing Australind will be replaced with six new railcars, which are expected to be delivered in 2023.
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