Route of new Mandurah rail link to change
The new W.A. Labour Government has unveiled a bold new vision to build a direct rail link between Mandurah and Perth.
Dr Gallop said the Cabinet approved a redirection of the rail line, bringing trains up the centre of the Kwinana Freeway, over the Narrows Bridge and underground through the CBD, linking up with the northern rail line at a central city station.
The $1.2 billion project will connect Mandurah - Australia's fastest growing city - and the southern suburbs to Perth.
The previous Liberal Government plan was via Kenwick and the existing Armadale line then down the Freeway at Jandakot through an already constructed tunnel.
"This decision is about people," Dr Gallop said.
"It is about improving the quality of life for families living south of Perth who for so long have been denied a quality public transport system.
"When you set about building something that will change the city forever you have to do it right. The simple fact is the previous government's plan was a second best option.
"It was a very roundabout way of getting people from Mandurah and Rockingham to Perth. It would have been like building the railway line to Perth from Joondalup via Midland.
A masterplan will be developed over the next six months, during which time the precise route through the CBD and the location of the city stations would be determined.
DA1575 enters Goninan for overhaul
AWR owned locomotive DA1575 has entered Goninan's Bassendean facility for a full overhaul, confirming Goninan will complete the DA contract. It was rumoured that AWR may cancel the contract (initially let by Westrail) due to numerous failures with other overhauled DA's and that EDI would overhaul the last two units (1575/77) of the seven strong DA class. It is also rumoured that AWR have reduced the number of components that are replaced during overhaul since acquiring Westrail Freight.
Two new AWR 'XT' grain wagons (808/9) can be seen behind the DA (pictured left).
Leisure Rail W.A announces motive power purchase
Leisure Rail W.A. has announced the motive power to be used on its luxury boutique rail restaurant & touring services. The first two units purchased are Tasrail ZC 2142 and ZC 2143, which have been acquired for LRWA by Chicago Freight Car Leasing(Australia) Pty Ltd. CFCL will provide $5.3m for the project, repayable over 7 years. Both locomotives will be classified 'LR' class and numbered 01/02, they will also be named. The possible purchase of third ZC class locomotive was being considered by the Company.
A1514 receives power unit after delay
ARHS 'flagship' tour train locomotive a rusting hulk
The rusting hulk of one time Australian Railway Historical Society (WA Div.) 'flagship' tour train locomotive W947 (pictured left) makes a sorry sight languishing at the back of the Rail Transport Museum, away from public viewing. This locomotive was purchased by the ARHS in late 1984 from the Great Southern Steam Association in Albany, arriving at the museum in March 1985. Work was immediately undertaken stripping the locomotive and preparing the loco for boiler repairs and a hydrostatic test. The boiler failed its tests around 1995 and work sadly has not progressed since and the locomotive has been 'dumped' to its present position. It must be noted that W947 was delivered totally complete and that ARHS had a choice between 947 and 924 and. W924 was towed from Albany with 947 and has steamed for many years on the Old Ghan line after being returned to steam by a very small group of volunteers. W947 was considered the 'best' of the two and after much work and money, it's future appears uncertain, even as a museum exhibit.
Leisure Rail WA launches $2.5m share issue
The $7.8m plan for a boutique-style tourist and restaurant train service for WA's southwest has stepped up a notch after Leisure Rail W.A issued a prospectus to raise $2.5m with capacity for an additional $1 million in oversubscriptions. Leisure Rail has five board members including Richard Chandler as Chairperson (former Qantas Executive) and Bill Dawson (former HVTR Operations Manager).
The consortium heading LRWA wants to provide a rail service to link 2300 tourist operations and businesses along 1000km of exixting rail lines that have not seen regular passenger trains for 41 years.
The company has forcast patronage of 59,100 in the first year rising to 95,075 by the third year.
The prospectus lodged with ASIC earlier this month has a one-year life but LRWA are confident funds would be raised within two months.
Leisure Rail WA have secured a $5.3m lease repayable over seven years from CFCL Australia. This will provide for the purchase and refurbishment of 2 locomotives and 13 coaches as well as fund construction of an operating depot and administration facilities.
Leisure Rail WA plans to focus on two main activities. The first will be The Moondyner, a restaurant on rails providing lunch and evening services from Fremantle and Perth into the Swan and Avon Valleys and on through Walyunga National Park.
The second service, known as Discovery Rail Tours, will provide regular international touring standard, daytime rail services to the Avon Valley, Toodyay and York as well as the South West and the centres of Donnybrook, Ballingup and Bridgetown. A weekly daylight service to Albany will also run departing every Tuesday. A number of other trains to special events as well as extended Safari tours are alsp planned by LRWA.
To obtain a prospectus, contact Leisure Rail WA on (08) 9451 5630 or visit the new Leisure Rail WA website
FreightCorp preferred tenderer for Alcoa contract
FreightCorp has taken another major step in the advancement of its national growth strategy recently when Alcoa selected FreightCorp to be its preferred tenderer for the provision of haulage services in Western Australia.
The agreement was signed in Perth on 1 June 2001. The first step in the relationship will see FreightCorp working together with Alcoa and Westnet to achieve fair and reasonable terms and conditions for access to the Western Australian rail network.
Further successful development of the agreement will lead to a contract for the haulage of more than 14 million tonnes of bauxite and raw materials to Alcoa's alumina refineries in the southwest region of Western Australia.
Mr Lucio Di Bartolomeo, Managing Director of FreightCorp, has welcomed the announcement as another example of the organisation's pre-eminent position in the Australian bulk haulage market.
"This process is a demonstration of how competition for above rail business is working to provide customers with increased value," he said.
"Our vision and strategy to expand the organisation nationally is being achieved and we are looking forward to working with Alcoa."
14 June 2001
History making triple header for Hotham Valley
W.A. Railfans were treated to the dramatic spectacle on 27/05/01 of a HVTR train being hauled into the Darling Range by not one, not two, but three magnificent mountain type locomotives. The awesome power generated by these three locos was a unique experience for all those who witnessed the event. These two photos, taken from video footage, show the 7 coach train just prior to the 'big climb'. The train, part of the normal Dwellingup trip had 3 W's attached to celebrate the 50th anniversary since the introduction of the class. W901 was introduced on 27/04/51 with W960, the final W built, being introduced on 27/06/52.
First ex Westrail narrow gauge loco in AWR livery
First of 76 new AWR 'XT' grain wagons emerge