Six-car train sets arrive in time for New Year's Eve
Perth's first-ever six-car train will be operating to cater for expected record demand for public transport on New Year's Eve.
Following completion of a new docking bay at Perth station and platform extensions at all northern suburbs stations, new six-car trains are now able to travel between Whitfords and Perth.
They will be introduced on a regular basis on the Whitfords shuttle service after the summer holidays, when required to service commuter demand. They will also be used for special events, such as New Year's Eve and the Skyshow.
When the Southern Suburbs Railway opens in 2006, the longer trains will travel more than 100km from Clarkson in the north to Mandurah in the south.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the six-car trains were configured from 93 new, state-of-the-art railcars - worth $300million - being acquired as part of the Gallop Government's $1.518billion New MetroRail Project.
Ms MacTiernan said the six-car sets were necessary to keep pace with increased public transport patronage.
"The arrival of the six-car train marks another significant milestone in Labor's plan to double the size of our passenger rail network," she said.
"More and more people are recognising the environmental and economic benefits of Perth's world-class public transport system.
"Growth on the northern suburbs line - which we recently extended to Clarkson - has been particularly high.
"The new six-car trains will ensure our expanding passenger rail network can keep pace with increased demand and deliver commuters to their destination in relative comfort."
In the New Year, it is estimated that four six-car services will run between Whitfords and Perth - one of the network's busiest routes - each weekday, two during each of the peak periods.
Each six-car train can accommodate up to 1120 seated and standing passengers - the existing four-car trains carry a maximum of 764 (with longitudinal seating) or 652 (transverse seating).
The Minister said the Government had been working to have the six-car trains ready to coincide with free public transport on New Year's Eve.
"From 3pm tomorrow until 3am on New Year's Day, we have teamed up with ING Direct to provide free public transport across the metropolitan area," Ms MacTiernan said.
"The new six-car sets and additional services will ensure we have the capacity to cope with increased demand."
The Minister said the Gallop Government's New MetroRail Project continued to gather momentum.
She said completion of the station platform extensions, along with the new Clarkson Train Station earlier this year, heralded the first expansion of Perth's urban rail system since the northern line opened to Joondalup in 1992.
"Only Labor is committed to investing in public transport and delivering a world-class system for the people of Perth," Ms MacTiernan said.
"Good economic management and the ability to deliver balanced budgets means we can invest in vital infrastructure projects such as New MetroRail.
"It is good for the liveability of our city, it is good for the environment and it is good for people's hip pockets."