End of an era: Australind train farewelled after 36 years serving communities between Bunbury and Perth

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Special guests and Transwa staff celebrate one of two farewell services for the Australind train on Saturday.
Camera IconSpecial guests and Transwa staff celebrate one of two farewell services for the Australind train on Saturday. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Harvey-Waroona Reporter

A piece of South West history was farewelled on the weekend, with the Australind train making its final journeys.

Two special services were conducted by Transwa on Saturday and Sunday, with guests including those with strong connections to the train enjoying a final taste of an experience enjoyed by thousands of commuters before the train is retired to make way for a more modern replacement.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the train had served the region well over its 36-year lifespan.

“It’s very much in the hearts of people throughout the South West,” she said.

“I know it is with a bit of sadness that we say farewell, but all good things must come to an end.”

First hitting the rails in 1987, the Australind was a major upgrade from its predecessor and was originally marketed as “the train that thinks it is a plane”.

While it has enjoyed plenty of patronage over its lifespan, it has been plagued by multiple extended stints off the rails in recent years.

Public Transport Authority spokesperson David Hynes admitted it was time for the train to go.

“There’s been some good work done with maintenance over the years to extend (its life)... so it is good to see it off and and it’s really quite exciting to get new ones coming in.”

Bunbury MLA Don Punch described the weekend’s services as a great celebration.

“I think we are going to miss the Australind, but more importantly, we are going to miss the toastie,” he said.

“The toastie will be back on the new Australind.”

The new train is expected to come online after the Armadale Line works are completed in about 18 months’ time, with road coaches to temporarily replace the service in the interim.

Fares will be discounted while the road coach service is operating.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails