A study was carried out 10 years ago on the potential improvements to the service to Bunbury using the existing line or a new line. The Minister wanted the ultimate to be one hour Perth Bunbury. 186km. Stopping at intermediate stations. Yeah right.
Suggested alternatives included using the Mandurah line to Lakelands, then following the new freeway median, finally using the existing trackbed round the port to come into the old central station. Another option was connecting Lakelands to Pinjarra. The same report suggested reopening Picton to Busselton with a later extension to Dunsborough and Margaret River.
I suspect you would be struggling to find a copy of the report.
I have read the full report before, but only have access to the (very) short discussion paper right now. There are also a couple of Hansard snippets which are interesting. This was from 7th May 2002:
RAILWAYS, BUNBURY-BUSSELTON LINE, COST TO REBUILD
1705. Mr Masters to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
(1) Has an estimate been prepared of the capital cost of rebuilding the Bunbury to Busselton rail line and, if
yes, what is the estimated cost?
(2) Has an estimate been prepared of the additional train passengers that might use a re-opened Bunbury to
Busselton line, including business and tourist travel and, if yes, what are the estimated passenger
Ms MacTIERNAN replied:
(1) An estimate of the capital cost of rebuilding the Bunbury to Busselton rail line has been prepared as part
of the Engineering/Operational Analysis for the South West Passenger Rail Study. Two scenarios were
a) A rail line that would enable a journey time of approximately 45 minutes between Bunbury
and Busselton would cost an estimated $25 million.
b) A rail line that would enable a journey time of approximately 30 minutes between Bunbury
and Busselton would cost an estimated $40 million.
2. An estimate has not yet been prepared of the additional train passengers that might use a reopened line.
This will be considered in the final stage of the South West Passenger Rail Study which is expected to
be completed later this year.
And this from the 12th November 2002:
RAILWAYS, INTEGRATED RAIL TRANSPORT PLANNING REPORT
25. Mr J.L. Bradshaw to the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure
(1) When will the South West Advisory Group release it’s report for the Integrated Rail Transport Planning
compiled by the South West Passenger Rail Working Group?
(2) Has a market research survey been completed for the future of the Australind Train Service and when
will the report be released for public comment?
(3) Has an Engineering Study been completed for the future of the Australind Train Service?
(4) When will this study be released for public comment?
(5) How many organisations or representative bodies residing or operating out of Bunbury are there on the
South West Passenger Rail Study Working Group?
(6) When the South West Passenger Rail Working Group was set up it was envisaged that the study would
be completed by the September 2001 quarter, will the Minister advise what the expected completion
Ms A.J. MacTIERNAN replied:
1. It is intended that a report incorporating all the analysis undertaken for the study will be released for
public comment this year. Before thee report can be finalised, a significant component of analysis
regarding costs and benefits has to be undertaken.
2. The market research has been completed. It is intended that the findings will be incorporated into a
report to be released for public comment later this year.
3. A study of engineering and operational issues has been undertaken.
4. It is intended that the findings of engineering and operational study will be incorporated into the report
to be released later this year.
5. There are four organisations residing or operating out of Bunbury that are represented on a steering
committee of nine. These are the City of Bunbury, the South West Development Commission and the
Bunbury offices of Department for Planning and Infrastructure and Main Roads WA. Other members of
the committee are the Shires of Busselton and Bridgetown-Greenbushes, the Peel Development
Commission, the Western Australian Government Railways Commission and the Perth office of the
Department for Planning and Infrastructure.
6. The technical analysis which will be completed later this year will form the basis of a public
The discussion paper mentioned that the cost for the line from Bunbury to Margaret River would be approximately $140m in addition to the Perth-Bunbury line. The cost from Bunbury to Manjimup was estimated at the same price. The discussion paper went on to mention that the required level of patronage on each extension would need to be in the region of 529,000 to 590,000 persons per year to make it affordable, but I am wondering if the extra benefits to freight traffic (especially the Manjimup line) were taken into account.