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More rail cars for Perth transport system

The Government’s investment in the new train carriages has risen to $243million, with an additional $22million set aside for operating costs.   

Mr Buswell said the Government had approved the purchase of an additional five three-car B-series train sets, taking to 66 the number of new railcars Western Australian commuters could expect to see arriving in a three-year period starting late next year.
“The latest order is on top of the six railcars confirmed in August to coincide with the construction of a new station at Aubin Grove - south of Cockburn Central - and the 45 carriages announced in the 2011-12 State Budget,” he said.

“The Government has acknowledged the extraordinary patronage growth experienced across the Transperth train system and responded accordingly.

“This extension to our existing order brings the Government’s commitment to a total of 22 three-car trains, or 66 carriages.

“Delivery of the first of these trains is expected in the second half of 2013, with the rest being rolled out progressively by the end of 2016.

“This massive investment represents a 28 per cent increase in the size of Transperth’s railcar fleet, from 234 to 300 cars.”

The Minister said for operational reasons, the new railcars would be deployed only on the north-south line but benefits would be shared across the whole network.

“All the remaining A-series trains currently operating on the Mandurah and Joondalup lines will be reallocated to the Fremantle, Midland and Armadale lines,” he said.

“The intent is that, within a few years, almost every peak-hour service on the city’s network will be either a six-car or four-car set to get the maximum passenger capacity when it is most needed.

“To further boost capacity, all the new railcars will feature a modified seating configuration, with more longitudinal (bench) seating.”

The Government is catering for the fast growth of WA, with the number of trips taken on train services increasing by about 15 per cent during the past three years.

“This could be the last B-series trains we get as I have asked the PTA to investigate international train types and carriage configurations to determine the next generation of train,” Mr Buswell said.

“One of the features likely to be focused on is the number of doors in each railcar, to facilitate faster passenger boarding/alighting, cutting station ‘dwell’ times and allowing greater service frequencies.

“The next generation of railcars will be ordered in mid-2014, with anticipated first arrivals in 2017.

“This Government is keenly aware of Perth’s rapid expansion and the crucial role public transport has in the city functioning efficiently.

“The long-term plan is to grow Perth’s transport fleet, and the State must continue to invest in its public transport system, to ensure more people use it more often - which is in our best interests.

“We have already done this with buses, providing a 10-year, continuous-supply bus replacement contract; a subsequent commitment to significantly increase the size of the fleet; and a 28 per cent, five-year increase in service kilometres (operational funding). 

“I have tasked the PTA to continue developing a strategic plan that increases our train system’s capacity and the long-term requirements of the network.

“Drawing inspiration from Directions 2031 and Beyond, this will consider patronage trends as well as population growth and dispersion.

“Recurrent costs - operations and maintenance - and the upfront cost of infrastructure and rolling stock would also be considered.”

      Fact File

  • First of a total 22 three-car trains expected to arrive in second half of next year
  • Transperth fleet to increase by 28%, from 234 to 300 railcars under this State Government
  • State Government invests $243million in new railcars
  • Follows significant increase in the size of WA’s bus fleet
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