Night train curfew call

INNER-CITY residents are demanding a curfew on freight trains entering or leaving Fremantle port between 11pm and 7am.

A community meeting on the issue is planned for 2pm on April 2 at the park next to South Fremantle dog beach carpark.

A long-running maintenance issue has resulted in residents living near the line being awakened regularly at 4.30am by screeching wheels.

The problem is exacerbated by drivers being required to blare their horns to meet safety rules.

Marine Terrace’s Alison Batcheler says the number of trains rumbling past in the wee small hours has grown.

• Alison Batcheler: one of many calling for a train curfew between 11pm and 7am. Photo supplied | Paul McGovern

• Alison Batcheler: one of many calling for a train curfew between 11pm and 7am. Photo supplied |
Paul McGovern

“As they approach, loud bells sound, horns blast on approach, then the passing of the train is thunderous,” she complains.

“Even if they agree to slow down, maintain tracks and withhold horns, it would only be a temporary solution and rely on compliance from drivers, which is not reliable.

“They are trying to sneak more trains through at night, disregarding any consideration for residents’ sleep.

“The past week they have come through at 4.30am which is unreasonable — planes are not allowed to fly over that early so why are freight trains permitted?”

Fremantle state Labor MP Simone McGurk wants the screeching fixed but doesn’t support a curfew. Opposed to the planned Perth Freight Link she has long advocated more freight to be shipped via rail instead, and the development of an outer harbour.

“I live around 1km from the line and I can hear the noise at night as well,” she tells the Herald.

“I have met with one of the main train operators, Aurizon, to discuss the issue and will continue work on behalf of residents to seek a solution.”

Aurizon spokesperson Elizabeth Keane says there’s a number of reasons for rail-related noise, with track condition just one of them.

“Aurizon’s operations are compliant with all regulatory conditions,” she insists.

“Aurizon continually works towards minimising the impacts of rail noise by working with our industry partners and customers.

“We train our locomotive drivers to be mindful of the impacts of their driving methodology, and have a regular program of rolling stock maintenance to ensure that our wagons and locomotives operate in a safe and efficient manner.”

Marine Terrace resident Paul McGovern says the curfew campaign enjoys widespread local support.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

13 Matic Electro Services 10x3

11 responses to “Night train curfew call

  1. so 1 train with say 30 wagons on it would equal about 28-35 trucks going past the houses . so more traffic more noise damage to the roads more trucks on the road could mean slower traffic could cause more crashes due to car drivers getting frustrated .. yeh great idea lets get rid of the train and cause more noise and more problems

  2. Good article,
    Airports all over the world have curfews to stop impact on local residents
    Considering Freo council is driving R codes up all over they can expect to have a greater impact on local residents with trains.
    As driving heavy rail thru built up suburbs is hardly ideal.
    Not to mention the safety hazards as seen last year with a massive derailment in Qld.
    Not an ideal thing to run through residential areas

  3. Hmmm I see that Aurizon has been singled out. They only run out of North Quay @ midnight on their return journey. The other operator (SCT) changed their pathways when taking over this service, so they should be under more consideration on the issue. There was sprinklers installed at the roundhouse to cut back the noise going around the corner, but if they aren’t maintained by Brookfield’s then the noise will return..
    Better then they dual gauge the passenger lines and they then can run amongst the cattle trains thru the city.

  4. Bloody hell the freight line was there long before a lot of these residents even bought or built their houses and it’s also part of the Australian constitution to have both Narrow and Standard gauge rail access to the port ! So the Twits better get a better argument otherwise there just going to be pissing into the wind !

  5. Buy a house near a train line you get train noise. Solution don’t buy a house near a train line. Very simple, but stupid people don’t seem to comprehend this. We need MORE trains NOT less to keep the deadly Trucks off the roads. Got absolutely NO sympathy for these people. (Ed’s note: This comment has been edited)

  6. Yes trains past your front door on a rail line that has been in the same place for over 70 years that I know of. So what a good idea build your house next to a rail line and then complain about the noise! Brilliant. What about we build a road and destroy wetlands destroy homes in crease road accidents increase NOISE for other people what a great idea NIMBY at its best (Not In My Backyard). Put up with it – you bought there! (Ed’s note: this response has been edited).

  7. It all gets down to noise levels and there is clear evidence it’s far beyond what is safe for people. With the increase in noise and frequency there is no relevance to the good old days. I went to the first Road2Rail meeting where they called for everything including thousands of sheep to be transported through the centre of Fremantle on rail. No thinking gone into it, No consultation or consideration for Fremantle people just as long as it was off their streets and you guessed it ‘onto rail’.

  8. Sounds like a perfect argument for the tunnel under the river and suburbs bringing both truck and passenger vehicles more efficiently under our suburbs with less emissions and noise pollution.
    Cutting out a lot of transit traffic from Fremantle suburbs just trying to go south or north or east and through Fremantle is the only way

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