McGurk: Train line closure avoidable

Local Labor MP Simone McGurk says next week’s shut-down of the Fremantle to Perth train line was avoidable.

Commuters will be stuck on long bus journeys or join the expected gridlock as Transperth sinks the rail line as part of the Northbridge link project. The line will be closed July 12-17 and again from July 31-August 4.

But Ms McGurk says if the Barnett government invested in a sub-station along the port city line the complete closure wouldn’t have been necessary. She says locals could have joined the rail riders from the Mandurah, Joondalup, Midland and Armadale in getting off one station before the city.

“If it was powered by a sub-station on the other side of the city the train could take people from Fremantle to West Perth and buses could then transfer people to the city,” Ms McGurk said.

“It would be a lot quicker and people could still use most of the stations along the Fremantle line.”

Public Transport Authority media wrangler David Hynes concedes the sub-station for the Freo line is at East Perth so there’s no way to power up trains to Freo.

Ms McGurk said the LibNats’ also needed to find funds to upgrade the Fremantle line. On Thursday morning it was closed for 90 minutes after an overhead cable was damaged and last year was shut twice after small electrical fires.

“The rail line is the main mode of transport for many commuters from Fremantle so any disruption to the Fremantle line causes a major headache for people trying to get to work,” Ms McGurk said.


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