Freo gets handed a rail line closure

THE Public Transport Authority has come under fire for cancelling trains to Fremantle this weekend as thousands are expected to converge on the port city for the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay.

The closure, from Friday 7.30pm through to Sunday night, is also expected to impact on the Rottnest Channel Swim.

The PTA says the closure has been planned for some time and is necessary so it can complete the demolition of the old Ashton Avenue Bridge in Claremont.

But Fremantle MP Simone McGurk says they could have picked a better time.

Challenging

“I realise it’s challenging for the PTA to find a weekend where there’s nothing scheduled for Freo (there’s so much happening here every weekend) but I urge them to liaise with the city for the best time if they really have to cut off our train connection,” Ms McGurk says.

The authority has previously infuriated the Fremantle council by closing the line over Easter, when the city is usually packed for the Street Arts Festival.

The PTA says there’ll be replacement buses running the train route but passengers should expect the journey to take longer than usual.

The baton arrives at Bathers Bach on a jet ski today (Saturday February 24) carried by Fremantle Sea Rescue volunteer Josh Gammon Carson. It’ll go through Fishing Boat Harbour, the West End and the Cappuccino Strip before heading to South Perth.

“The baton relay will take in all of the best bits of Freo — from our beautiful blue ocean to our vibrant cafe scene and incredible heritage,” says mayor Brad Pettitt.

The baton will arrive on the Gold Coast for the 21st Commonwealth Games on April 4 where its message from the Queen will be read.

by STEVE GRANT

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