New train on track to carry the jetty set

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Driver Jeff O’Sullivan leads the new carriages off on their maiden journey up the jetty.
Camera IconDriver Jeff O’Sullivan leads the new carriages off on their maiden journey up the jetty. Credit: Cameron Myles

Busselton Jetty received an early Christmas present this week as the first new train in 22 years graced its tracks.

In the weeks leading up to its Tuesday debut, the $400,000 train, dubbed Stocker Preston Express, received a final spruce-up at GT Brakes, marking the end of a year-long collaborative building effort by local businesses.

Before its launch, GT Brakes owner Phil Moore told the Times a concerted effort was made to engage as many local businesses as possible, including painting, audio and lighting services, among others.

“The sub-frames were built at South West Machining Centre and we assembled them here,” he said.

“The back windows, and wheels and suspensions were all made locally.”

Ben Scott, Ben Robbins, Phil Moore, Jonno McIntosh, Ian Clarke and Don Jones have been busy cleaning up the new train in time for Christmas.
Camera IconBen Scott, Ben Robbins, Phil Moore, Jonno McIntosh, Ian Clarke and Don Jones have been busy cleaning up the new train in time for Christmas. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

GT Brakes and fellow Busselton-based business South West Machining Centre worked closely with jetty operations manager Ian Clark and designer Neil Butler in building the train following four years of planning.

Mr Clarke said it was important to the Busselton Jetty Environment and Conservation Centre, as a non-profit community group, that local businesses were engaged.

BJECA chief executive Lisa Shreeve added she was impressed by the local business’s attention to detail.

Trevor Fitzgerald, Sue Trescuri, Stephen Gaebler and Jenny Sheehan on the first trip.
Camera IconTrevor Fitzgerald, Sue Trescuri, Stephen Gaebler and Jenny Sheehan on the first trip.
Trevor Fitzgerald, Sue Trescuri, Stephen Gaebler and Jenny Sheehan on the first trip.
Camera IconTrevor Fitzgerald, Sue Trescuri, Stephen Gaebler and Jenny Sheehan on the first trip.

The 90-person train features 18 seat compartments, wheelchair and walker accessibility, transparent blinds and will be powered by solar panels, which will charge overnight in the Railway House.

The Stocker Preston Express was funded by BJECA and a $100,000 contribution from Tourism WA’s Commonwealth Tourism Demand Drive Infrastructure Program.

Plans are still being made for the old Busselton Jetty Train, with sinking it as a dive site near the jetty being considered.

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