$32 million from the Western Australian budget will go towards replacing the Australind train with new rolling stock and providing upgrades to three South-West stations in the first stage of the Rail Future Fund revamp for the line.
The existing Australind train started servicing the line in 1987 with an expected life expectancy of 30 years.
“By improving the rail connection between the South-West and Perth, we hope to also enhance tourism opportunities,” state transport minister Rita Saffioti said.
“An upgraded service will make it easier for people who may not wish to hire a car and drive long distances on unfamiliar roads to access Bunbury and the South-West.”
The new railcars will reportedly provide a more comfortable ride and features an on-board buffet, upgraded seating, Wi-Fi and USB charging points.
The new rolling stock will be procured as part of the Metronet railcar acquisition program, which is delivering 102 new railcars for Stage One projects.
Saffioti said making the Australind rolling stock part of this procurement would “create efficiencies from a production and delivery timeframe point of view”.
The $32 million will also go towards upgrading the stations at Yarloop, Cookernup and North Dandalup, making them compliant with modern Disability Discrimination Act standards.
Arc Infrastructure is currently working with the Public Transport Authority on the Yarloop station upgrade.