Final B-Series train heading from Maryborough to Perth
AT 6.30AM on Friday, a day 15 years in the making finally arrived.
The final B-Series train left the Downer factory in Maryborough and began its two week journey to Perth where it will join others of its fleet.
It has been a labour of love and craftsmanship at the Maryborough centre since 2004, when the workers first delivered the first of the trains they were commissioned to build for Western Australia's Public Transport Authority in a joint venture with Bombardier.
"This is another significant milestone in the 150-year history of Maryborough, delivering the last of a new set of 10 B-Series trains for Western Australia's Public Transport Authority," Tim Young, executive general manager of Downer's rollingstock services business, told the Chronicle yesterday.
"The train will now travel over 4000 kilometres through the heart of Australia across the Nullarbor Plain before being delivered to the Downer Bombardier JV facility in Nowergup, Western Australia.
"After some final testing they will start their life as part of the six-time Canstar award-winning service that transports over 60 million commuters every year in Perth.
"The B-series fleet travels more than 1.3 million kilometres per month and is exceeding all expectations in terms of performance and reliability."
This B-Series train will join 75 other sets already in service, all of which have been designed, built and maintained by the Downer-Bombardier joint venture.
All 78 sets of trains are expected to be in service by mid this year.
"Our local Maryborough team should be very proud to continue delivering quality transport solutions for people all around Australia," Mr Young said.
"The strong relationships we have with customers, suppliers, partners and the local community continues to deliver successful outcomes for our Maryborough SDC.
"The next focus for our Maryborough SDC is to now undertake component and mechanical overhauls on the L-series loco-hauled coaches for trains that service Mount Isa, Longreach and Charleville.
"Preparation is also under way to begin work on the first of the new generation rollingstock modifications."
Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said it was exciting and there would be more work on the horizon for the city's factory.
"That just shows you, the West Australian Government is very happy with the quality of the trains," Mr Saunders said yesterday.
Mr Saunders said Downer was already being kept busy, with plenty of projects to work on, including the new generation rollingstock repairs which will be carried out in Maryborough.
"There's a lot of work there at the factory," he said.
"I wouldn't use any other facility, as I keep telling other people.
"It's not only the best facility in Australia but the world, it's brilliant.
"You've only got to look at the quality of the work they've turned out, it's second to none.
"The skills that we have at that facility are absolutely brilliant."