Plan to get Perth-to-Goldfields trains back on track. - Public Transport Authority of Western Australia
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Plan to get Perth-to-Goldfields trains back on track.


The manufacturer of the Prospector train, United Group Rail (UGR), has committed to an extensive program of works designed to improve the reliability of the passenger service.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Prospector operator Transwa had demanded the plan so the sophisticated train's reliability could be brought up to an acceptable level.

"This follows several failures in December and again in January," Ms MacTiernan said.

"Last week I met with UGR's senior management, PTA chief executive Reece Waldock and Transwa general manager Kim Stone.

"I am satisfied that UGR is treating this issue sufficiently seriously and that the company is committing the required resources to clear the technical problems."

The new repair program has started and reflects a solid undertaking by the company and by Transwa.

"UGR has identified a range of matters and has categorised them as either critical reliability issues - most of which are electrical - or additional works," Ms MacTiernan said.

"It is assigning three full-time teams - one to each of these categories and the third as a back-up crew, which will also address day-to-day matters.

"Transwa will give the teams continuous access to each of the train-sets for several days at a time, even if that means using road coaches if one of the in-service sets breaks down."

The Minister said that previously Transwa had interrupted repair programs and brought a set back into service if one of the other sets broke down.

"There may be some initial pain but we expect this will diminish as the effect of a sustained repair program kicks in and the trains become more reliable," she said.

Ms MacTiernan said to ensure the program stayed on track, technical staff from Transwa and UGR would meet weekly to review progress.

"The Prospector's reliability issues have been well documented and some have not been fully resolved since it was introduced into service in June 2004," she said.

"In a $58million train, this is simply unacceptable, and we have an obligation to Transwa's loyal customer base to make sure it is fixed, once and for all."

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