I think I can, I think I can...

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
The Australind broke down again earlier this month.
Camera IconThe Australind broke down again earlier this month.

The Australind train is the little engine that can’t.

Passengers on the 31-year-old Bunbury to Perth service experienced yet another mechanical fault earlier this month.

The fault meant the 50 odd passengers arrived into Perth at 10pm, nearly two hours later than the scheduled time.

A Transperth train was coupled up to the Australind to push it through to Armadale where mechanical staff were able to fix the fault, saving passengers a ride on the routine replacement buses.

In the past year the train has spent 77 days out of operation – more than a fifth of its time.

A $30 million rail package was touted as a big ticket item in Premier Mark McGowan and Bunbury MLA Don Punch’s election campaign.

The package included replacing the train but in August Transport Minister Rita Saffioti revealed the target delivery date for six replacement Australind railcars was not until 2022-23.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the train had been plagued by corrosion issues this year which had not been addressed over many years.

“The full extent of the damage was only identified earlier this year and required immediate action,” he said.

“There is no doubt the reliability of the train is affected by its age but the impact of the corrosion issue has highlighted how important it is we get a new train for Bunbury.

“I have already had discussions with the Minister for Transport about the urgency of this issue and the need to explore all avenues to improve the reliability and convenience of the Australind.”

South West MLC Colin Holt said disruptions to the service were too frequent and regular and passengers were becoming disgruntled and disheartened.

He said the McGowan Government were prioritising the Mandurah and Joondalup lines in their Metronet project.

“Even though they know the troubles of the Australind train they still prioritise it behind their favoured Metronet projects,” he said.”

Mr Punch said he would continue meeting with Minister Saffioti to improve the service while the new train was constructed.

“I am confident there will be new measures developed to improve the passenger experience for people using the current Australind while we await the construction of a new train,” he said.

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