Bike put on track by vandals sends shards of metal into Australind train fuel lines

Jacinta CantatoreSouth Western Times

A “careless act” of vandalism has taken the beleaguered Australind rail service out of action for several days while the train undergoes repairs at a specialised depot in Perth.

The cancellations come less than a week after the State Government announced upgrades to the service worth $54 million. These upgrades will include two new trains to replace the current service by 2022-2023.

On Tuesday, TransWA announced cancellations on the rail services between Perth and Bunbury, replacing these services with road coaches.

A TransWA spokesman said vandals had deliberately placed a bicycle on the tracks, which caused significant damage to the train’s wheels and undercarriage, as well as the two carriages it had been pulling.

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Shards of metal from the bicycle also damaged the train’s fuel lines.

The spokesman said the affected rail cars were being repaired at a specialised depot north of Perth.

“We’re hoping to have this back in service by Friday,” the spokesman said.

Just a week after announcing upgrades to the Australind service with Premier Mark McGowan, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti slammed the vandals’ actions as “careless” and “dangerous”.

It’s massively disappointing to hear the Australind has been put out of service by someone’s careless act, particularly following the official openings of the upgraded stations at Cookernup and North Dandalup just last week.

Rita Saffioti

“Interference with train tracks is extremely dangerous and perpetrators are putting lives at risk — as well as their own.

“It’s for this reason the McGowan Government last year introduced the Government Railways Amendment Bill to Parliament which will significantly increase penalties for trespassing on the rail network.”

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