Member for Moore Shane Love is calling on the State Government to work with Arc Infrastructure to fix the Toodyay to Miling freight line after a second derailment in almost as many months occurred today.
The first six wagons of a 30-wagon train carrying wheat derailed at 3am just south of Miling. Luckily no-one was injured as a result of the incident.
It comes after a locomotive carrying 1400 tonnes of barley derailed in late June on the same line.
Mr Love, who sat on the 2014 parliamentary committee Inquiry into the Management of Western Australia’s Freight Rail Network, said the Tier 2 line was a vital section of rail and needed to be upgraded as a priority.
“Our committee was told back in 2014 that the rail on the Miling line showed signs of rail crystallisation which leads to structural weakening of the tracks,” he said.
“This obviously hasn’t been fixed and the lines have now deteriorated to the point that trains are falling off the rails.”
Mr Love said it was a valuable piece of State infrastructure that needed an immediate fix.
“The McGowan Government as the owner and Arc Infrastructure as the lessee need to deliver a solution that doesn’t involve closure of the line or offering no longevity for rail users,” he said.
“It’s highly likely a lack of investment has led to this incident, which has resulted in 1400 tonnes of growers’ wheat destined for Kwinana being lost.
“That might not sound like a lot, but put in layman’s terms its more than 2.54 million loaves of bread or almost $500,000 worth of grain at today’s price of $320 per tonne.”
Under the terms of the rail access agreement, Arc as the lessee is required to maintain track infrastructure to a condition fit-for-purpose for users like WATCO, which was pulling today’s train.
Mr Love said the McGowan Government and the Transport Minister were obliged to act and ensure all rail lines were fit-for-purpose, not just those in Perth.
“If the Transport Minister and PTA as the landlord were doing their job properly, then they would have deemed the tracks unfit for purpose and Arc would have been required to upgrade them or surrender them to the State.
“Unfortunately the Minister is so fixated on Metronet that she has forgotten about her duty to make sure rail across the entire state is up to standard and not putting lives and valuable cargo at risk.”