AvonLink to revert to one return service after unsuccessful trial of expanded timetable

AvonLink to revert to one return service after unsuccessful trial of expanded timetable

THE AvonLink train service will revert to one return service on weekdays after an unsuccessful trial of an expanded timetable.

Poor patronage and a shortage of funding beyond June prompted the State Government to end the trial of expanded services five months early.

The trial began in December 2014 and nearly trebled the number of Midland-Toodyay-Northam trips on offer.

The boost in services only resulted in a small increase in total passenger numbers while the average amount of passengers per service dropped.

An average weekday AvonLink train was at 21 per cent occupancy before the trial but that figure has since dropped to 15 per cent; an average of 16 passengers per service on a train with a capacity of 116.

From July 1, 2017, there will be return services running once a day from Monday to Friday, which is the level the AvonLink ran at before the trial.

The last service of the expanded trial will run on Saturday, July 1.

MerredinLink services will revert to the pre-trial timetable offering return services between Perth and Merredin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

There will be no AvonLink weekend or special event train services.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said she was glad they could continue to fund AvonLink, with an extra $800,000 needed to retain the original service.

She said they would be engaging with relevant stakeholders in tourism, ageing and local shires to discuss opportunities to optimise the train service.

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