New jetty train to carry visitors on a ray of sunshine

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

A new train that will spend its days travelling up and down the Busselton Jetty has been unveiled, setting off on its first journey after more than four years planning and 18 months construction.

The Busselton Jetty officially launched the Stocker Preston Express — the jetty’s first new train in 22 years.

The electric train is the first of its kind in Australia and was named after a partnership between Stocker Preston and Busselton Jetty Inc.

The train, which cost about $400,000, accommodates up to 90 people and is powered by solar panels, which will charge the train at Railway House.

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Features include six seats in each section, accessible carriages for wheelchairs and walkers, and flip-up seats to create more space in the carriages. Passengers can also look forward to a warmer, more sheltered ride with secure see-through blinds.

Jetty operations manager Ian Clarke and designer Neil Butler worked with South West Machining Centre and GT Brakes to build the train and used local suppliers for paintwork, blinds, speakers, lights, electrics and a host of other fixtures and fittings.

Mr Clarke said as a not-for-profit community group, it was important the jetty included local businesses wherever possible.

Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve said she was impressed with the attention to detail which locals had contributed in the manufacturing process.

“They really have thought of everything for the passengers and the drivers,” she said. “It has been a labour of love.”

It was funded by a $100,000 grant from Tourism WA as part of the Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program, operated by Tourism WA, and the rest from Busselton Jetty.

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