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Prospector reliability work under way

THE manufacturer of the $58 million Prospector train, United Group Rail, has started an extensive program of works designed to improve the reliability of the troubled passenger service. Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Prospector operator Transwa had demanded the plan so the sophisticated train’s reliability could be brought up to an acceptable level. “This follows several failures in December and again in January,” Ms MacTiernan said. “The Prospector’s reliability issues have been well documented and some have not been fully resolved since it was introduced into service in June 2004.” The minister met with UGR’s senior management, PTA chief executive Reece Waldock and Transwa general manager Kim Stone, last week. The new repair program has started and three full-time teams have been assigned to the project. Last year, WA Business News reported that delegates to the Diggers & Dealers mining conference in Kalgoorlie were offered a bus service after difficulties attributed to track maintenance meant they could not use the rail service, which they had booked. However, by August it became clear the new trains had been withdrawn from service due to mechanical difficulties on 10 occasions.

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