Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti visited Bunbury Station today to unveil the designs of the brand new $54 million Australind railcar sets.
A key part of the McGowan Government’s $1.25 billion railcar program, the two new Australind trains, each consisting of a three-car set, will have a modernised interior, with USB connection points, Wi-Fi, an improved kiosk, upright storage for 16 bicycles, and three toilets.
The railcar sets, being built by Western Australian workers in Bellevue, is expected to be delivered in 2022-23.
The existing Australind train was originally planned to have an operational life of up to 30 years, however, the previous Liberal National Government failed to plan for or invest in the future of the service. For example, corrosion that built up over time has been a leading cause of cancelled services.
While extensive maintenance has been undertaken to keep the rolling stock operating, ageing and obsolescence resulting from this neglect has led to a number of delays and cancelled services.
Following passenger feedback, the McGowan Government is implementing the Australind Action Plan to reduce the impact on passengers who rely on the Australind.
As part of this, the McGowan Government is introducing a trial non-stop road coach service departing from Bunbury Station at 6am every weekday and returning to Bunbury in the evening, enabling passengers who need to commute the opportunity to travel on a fast-tracked, non-stop luxury road coach service.
The road coach will drop passengers at Mandurah Station, where they can continue their journey free of charge on the metropolitan rail system by presenting their Transwa ticket.
The McGowan Government has also introduced a credit program for Australind rail passengers – if their train journey is delayed by more than an hour due to maintenance issues or failure of rolling stock, they will be given a credit to take their next journey free of charge.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“The two new Australind trains, each consisting of a three-car set, will be built in Western Australia by Western Australians.
“The sleek new design will make the journey between Perth and Bunbury more comfortable for residents and tourists alike, encouraging more people to visit our South-West region.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We know many South-West residents rely on the Australind train service to get to and from Perth, which is why it’s so important these services run to time.
“As we transition from the old Australind to the new Australind railcars, we are committed to ensuring that the current train continues to provide a reliable service.
“We have also introduced a raft of measures to provide more certainty for passengers as we await the delivery of the new train.
“This includes the introduction of a new non-stop weekday road coach service which will run every morning and evening between Bunbury and Mandurah.
“We’ve also introduced a new credit system where if the train is delayed for more than an hour, passengers will receive a credit for their next trip.”
As stated by Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
“As an Australind passenger, I know how frustrating it is if there are difficulties with the train service.
“That’s why I’m pleased to have worked with the Transport Minister and Transwa to introduce a range of measures to ensure we can enjoy and access the Australind for years to come, including a new non-stop coach service to Mandurah, a credit system when trains are delayed and of course our new Australind railcars.”
As stated by Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke:
“The Australind is vital to our region, travelling from our southern to northern boundaries and servicing stops at major communities along the way.
“The Australind service supports extended employment and tourism opportunities, while also enabling access to education options that would normally be out of reach for our young people.
“The new Australind is a vital step forward in modernising our transport options for the future.”
As stated by Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray:
“The Australind is an iconic part of the South-West but has passed its operational life of 30 years, which is why the McGowan Government is getting on with the job of replacing it with Western Australian made railcars.
“With the new train expected to be in operation in 2022-23, it will be a key part of our $1.25 billion railcar program.”