AvonLink Rail Operation Reverts To Normal Service Patterns

AvonLink Rail Operation Reverts To Normal Service Patterns

Western Australia Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti

AvonLink Train Service To Be Saved

Victor P Taffa

  • AvonLink train to continue servicing Avon Valley communities
  • Poor patronage means the expanded AvonLink trial will end on June 30
  • McGowan Government to fund an extra $800,000 to maintain once-daily return services from Northam and 3 return services per week to Merredin

AvonLink train service will continue despite the previous Liberal National Government ceasing funding for the service beyond June 30, 2017.

AvonLink will revert to one return service per weekday following an unsuccessful trial of a significantly expanded timetable.

Poor patronage, and a shortage of funding beyond June 2017, has prompted the McGowan Government to end the trial of expanded services 5 months early.

“State Government is very supportive of public transport, in regional WA as well as the greater metropolitan area.” Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said.

“I’m glad we could continue to fund AvonLink and we will be engaging with relevant stakeholders in tourism, ageing and local shires to discuss opportunities to optimise the train service.”

Trial started in December 2014 and virtually trebled the number of Midland-Toodyay-Northam trips on offer.

However, the boost in services only resulted in a small increase in total passenger numbers while the average amount of passengers per service dropped.

An average weekday AvonLink train was at 21 % occupancy before the trial but that figure has since dropped to 15 % an average of 16 passengers per service on a train with a capacity of 116.

From July 1, 2017, there will be return services running once a day from Monday to Friday, which is the level the AvonLink ran at before the trial. The last service of the expanded trial will run on Saturday, July 1.

MerredinLink services will revert to the pre-trial timetable offering return services between Perth and Merredin on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

There will be no AvonLink weekend or special event train services.