New trains ease the squeeze

Transport Minister Troy Buswell with the first of the three-car configuration trains at Midland Railway Workshops. The new trains will operate on the Clarkson and Mandurah lines.
Transport Minister Troy Buswell with the first of the three-car configuration trains at Midland Railway Workshops. The new trains will operate on the Clarkson and Mandurah lines.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell was at the Midland Railway Workshops on Monday to take delivery of the first of 22 three-car sets on order for Transperth, designed to boost the capacity of the network.

Mr Buswell said each B-Series 80 train could carry 600 passengers, compared to about 400 people in a two-car configuration.

The new carriages initially would be used on the Clarkson and Mandurah lines, where demand is greatest. Two-car carriages, currently in operation on the Clarkson and Mandurah lines, would be reallocated to the Midland, Fremantle and Armadale lines, he said.

The three-car trains, built by EDI Rail-Bombardier in Queensland, are being commissioned at the Midland workshops. Their bogies are being changed from standard gauge ” fitted for their trip across Australia ” to WA’s narrow gauge. They will undergo safety testing before travelling to Transperth’s railcar depot at Nowergup, to be fitted with seats and signage.

Mr Buswell said the arrival of the new three-car trains marked the start of a pivotal three-year period for the Perth transport system, with the remaining 21 new three-car trains coming online at Transperth every few months.

‘Over the next three years, these trains will flow onto the network, boosting capacity and gradually reducing over-crowding for passengers,’ Mr Buswell said.

Total cost of the new railcars is $243 million.