Eric Charlton

Eric Charlton

Former Minister for Transport

    New super-train to replace Perth-to-Kalgoorlie Prospector

    22/06/1998 12:00 AM



    Transport Minister Eric Charlton today announced the go-ahead for a new ‘super train' to replace the Perth-to-Kalgoorlie Prospector.


    The new Prospector, scheduled to commence operations in 2001, will be capable of reaching speeds in excess of 150kph and will revolutionise passenger travel between the two cities.


    "This world-class train is an exciting initiative which will place Western Australia at the forefront of passenger rail and will be capable of cutting up to two hours off the journey between Perth and Kalgoorlie," Mr Charlton said.


    Mr Charlton said the new $30 million Prospector would consist of six power units to replace the five existing power cars and three trailer cars which had been in operation since 1971.


    "The new train will not only dramatically cut travel times, it will also include the latest technology and provide passengers with on-board facilities such as telephones, music channels, videos, and powerpoints for lap top computers," he said.


    "The train will also cater for people with disabilities by providing special lifting equipment and easy access toilets."


    The Minister said the recent State Government decision to upgrade the standard gauge track and signalling systems would allow the new Prospector to operate to its full capability.


    He said the new railcars were expected to meet passenger demand until 2020.


    "The rail journey into the Goldfields is already recognised as one of Australia's great tourist trips and the advent of the new fast train will enhance it even further," he said.


    "The new train will be capable of operating at speeds in the range of 150-200kph, reducing the journey between Perth and Kalgoorlie to 5-6 hours. Currently the trip on an all-stop service takes about seven hours twenty minutes.


    "There is a revolution happening in rail and this world-class train will underpin the State Government's commitment to providing the highest-quality transport options to communities in regional areas," Mr Charlton said.


    "The current Prospector has served the State well for the past 27 years and has carried more than two million passengers to and from the Goldfields, but it is now time to progress and bring on to the run a fast, safe and reliable train to take us into the 21st century.


    "The new Prospector will have leading edge technology and provide the highest-possible level of passenger comfort and on-board facilities.


    "We are about to set new standards in passenger rail in Australia and it will be something we can all be proud of."


    Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333