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Train promise behind schedule

THE State Government is running out of time to make good on its promise to supply extra rail services to Clarkson by late 2003.

The Government needs to buy between 87 and 108 new carriages to meet the needs of the proposed southern rail link and the Clarkson extension.

But even though the State Budget has been handed down and funds allocated to the project, the Government is not likely to make a decision until late October.

The contract was due to be let in late September and even that was cutting it fine to meet the Clarkson deadline. New rail carriages take about three years to build.

Perth Urban Rail Development project manager Peter Martinovich said the contract was still not let because there were “still some issues to be sorted out”.

“We can still probably get the carriages out to meet the 2003 deadline if we let the contract in the next few weeks,” he said.

The Government is considering leasing instead of buying the new rolling stock.

This will probably make a private sector provider responsible for designing, building and maintaining the rolling stock.

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