Train line driving complaints

South Perth MLA John McGrath has called on the Carpenter Government to slow the Perth-to-Mandurah train as it goes through his electorate.

Mr McGrath said this was the only way to reduce the noise level of the new train.

“My constituents who live along the rail line in South Perth, Como and Salter Point continue to contact me with complaints about the screeching noise of the train that they have to put up with day and night,” he said.

“For my constituents living in South Perth, this is even more frustrating given that they don’t even have a station and won’t get one until at least 2011”.

Mr McGrath raised the matter in State Parliament last week, saying the train was the most annoying he had ever heard, despite having experienced an array of public transport networks during interstate and overseas travel.

Mr McGrath put to Parliament that the noise from the train was much worse than the noise made by vehicles using the Kwinana Freeway.

“It is hard to describe the noise,” he said. “It is a screeching noise. When I first heard it, I thought that maybe it was just the new tracks and that, just like a pair of shoes, they would be worn in, but that is not happening. I am not an engineer, so I do not know the reason for the noise. However, I suspect that it is the speed the train travels at.”

Mr McGrath said MPs should drive to his electorate, get out of their cars and listen to the noise for themselves.

Mr McGrath had earlier written to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, on behalf of his constituents.

“The Minister assured me that the train complies with the noise restrictions imposed but these assurances do little to appease my concerns when complaints continue to be generated,” he said.

Mr McGrath said the Noise and Management Plan for the rail line had identified that if the train’s speed was reduced from 130kmh to 100kmh the noise would be reduced to a more acceptable level.

“However, this does not seem to have happened,” he said, “Either the trains are travelling faster than 100kmh or the assessments are inaccurate.”

“The Minister said the train service would comply with the noise and vibration restrictions that had been placed on it under the relevant management plan. But I’m not sure that is happening. I am asking the Minister to please have a look at the noise levels and come up with some answers.”

The State Government is in the process of reviewing the noise standards that are relevant to projects undertaken in WA. A draft State Planning Policy was released on the matter in 2005. The Minister indicated in late November 2007 that it was intended that the draft would be finalised within the next couple of months.

“While complaints continue to be generated the train needs to be slowed down to eliminate the detriment it is imposing on local residents,” Mr McGrath said,

“If the train loses a bit of time going through South Perth I’m sure it will be able to make it up when it travels through areas that don’t have dense population.”

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