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More trains for Perth's transport system


Up to 8,400 extra places will become available on Perth trains following a multi-million dollar investment by the State Government.

Premier Alan Carpenter said the Government had authorised the Public Transport Authority to enter negotiations to buy 45 new railcars, which would significantly boost capacity on all lines in the metropolitan rail network.

Mr Carpenter said the delivery of the new trains was expected to begin in 2009 in a deal estimated to be worth about $150million.

"This is the latest initiative in the Government's ongoing commitment to expanding Perth's public transport network," he said.

"People already using Perth's train network as an alternative to driving will know that it is a faster mode of transport in peak-hour traffic and more cost-effective, especially during these times of high petrol prices.

"With the introduction of the new high-speed railcars, more people will be able to enjoy these benefits and become part of Perth's growing public transport system."

The Premier said the purchase of the 130kmh railcars, configured as 15 three-car train sets, was being negotiated with EDI Rail-Bombardier Transportation Pty Ltd.

They would be the same design as the 93 (31 three-car sets) B-series railcars already delivered by the company, who had supplied all of Transperth's existing electric railcar fleet.

Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said it was necessary to increase Perth's railcar fleet as more people were using trains.

"During the past few years we have built more track, opened new stations, improved security and added 42 railcars to the system to make train use more attractive," Ms MacTiernan said.

"This investment has paid off, with total train boardings increasing by 5.1 per cent to 32.7million in 2004-05 and rising a further 4.5 per cent to 34.1million in 2005-06.

"As a result we are now reaching capacity limits during peak periods.

"Transperth projections indicate this trend will continue and, boosted by the new Mandurah line, a staggering 50million boardings are predicted by 2009-2010.

"This purchase will release 12 two-car, A-series railcar sets, currently being used on the Perth-Clarkson line, to increase total capacity by 3,900 passengers, or more than 30 per cent, for the Armadale-Perth and Midland-Fremantle services."

Special features of the new railcars will include:

  • digital closed-circuit TV, with all passenger compartments being covered by four cameras that continually record images;
  • access for people with disabilities, plus four bays per compartment for people in wheelchairs or prams;
  • a regenerative braking system that will send the power generated during braking back into the overhead line to be used by other railcars on the network, cutting electricity use by 20 per cent;
  • an improved traction system that will reduce noise and result in less wear on brakes; and
  • a touch-screen controlled train management system that will allow faults to be monitored more closely and repaired quicker.
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