Belair train line grinds to a halt

Media Release - Monday, 23 January 2017

The State Liberals are demanding answers from Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan after yet another boom gate failure on the Belair train line.

“It isn’t good enough. I have been inundated with complaints from angry passengers and commuters who were left stranded yesterday,” said Member for Davenport Sam Duluk.

“This is not the first time the boom gates have failed, and given the Weatherill Labor Government’s inability to manage critical infrastructure in this State, it is unlikely to be the last.

“It is an incredibly dangerous situation when the boom gates fail.”

The boom gates failed repeatedly during 2015, again last year, including just days after ‘essential maintenance’ closed the line for almost a week.

Residents need a reliable railway system. It has been an ongoing issue and one that the Weatherill Labor Government continues to neglect, ignoring calls by local residents, and a 2009 recommendation by the Natural Resources Committee to invest $20 million to improve road infrastructure in the Mitcham Hills,” said Mr Duluk.

In February 2016 the Transport Minister advised Parliament that $12 million had been provided in the State Budget to upgrade signalling infrastructure and equipment across the metropolitan passenger rail network.

“The Minister made a commitment to the Parliament to provide further detail on this program – which hasn’t happened. I have again written to Mr Mullighan seeking answers on where this money has been invested, what went wrong with the signalling system in Belair yesterday, and what action the Government is taking to improve reliability of the network.”

Mr Duluk also implored the Government to rethink its plan to allow longer freight trains to operate on the line, which would see boom gates down at the Glenalta, Blackwood, and Coromandel stations simultaneously.

“If the Government allows freight trains on the Belair line to be 20 per cent longer than the current configuration, then it will be condemning commuters to daily traffic chaos,” said Mr Duluk.