“ROGUE bogeys” are being blamed for screeching trains that wake up inner-city Fremantle residents in the dead of night.
But it appears the WA government is powerless to do anything about it.
Following complaints from red-eyed locals the WA public transport authority investigated the noise and put it down to old wagons not steering correctly, forcing wheels to screech against the tracks like fingernails on a blackboard.
“It literally fights its way around/along the track,” PTA manager Richard Wales told South Freo resident Jolly Read in a letter obtained by the Herald.
“It is caused by a lack of appropriate rolling stock maintenance.”
But when the PTA contacted freight company Aurizon asking it to fix its wagons, it was effectively told to jog off—twice.
“…the PTA contacted Aurizon in an attempt to resolve this issue, however the outcome of these discussions to date have not been favourable,” PTA principal policy adviser Michael Buba says.
Extraordinarily, despite having the full weight of the State behind it, the PTA suggested Ms Read try calling the company herself.
The playwright and author told the Herald the noise is waking her up almost every night.
“There were two trains last night after midnight—both very long, loud and screeching—one at around 1.20am and the other at around 5.20am. Woken up both times,” she said Thursday, between yawns.
Ms Read says the problem is worsening with the size and frequency of trains increasing over the past three years.
“There’s two sounds—this awful screeching sound and then this weirdo thundering sound.”
Ms Read says Fremantle Ports and the PTA should consider a curfew if they can’t get Aurizon to play ball.
After getting the brush-off from Aurizon the PTA installed a lubricating system along the stretch of track that follows Marine Terrace, but it admits it is useless against rogue bogeys.
The Herald rang Aurizon’s media department and was greeted by a recorded message saying the company only wanted to hear from journalists via email. So we emailed but haven’t heard back.
Other residents canvassed by the Herald report mixed responses to the noise: some had noticed screeching but few considered it loud enough to wake them up.
by STEVE GRANT