The Prospector (train)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Transwa Prospector)

The Prospector
A train of Transwa WDA/WDB/WDC class railcars operating on this service near Kalgoorlie in February 2010.
Service typePassenger train
LocaleWestern Australia
PredecessorThe Kalgoorlie
First service29 November 1971
Current operator(s)Transwa
Former operator(s)
Ridership68,497 (year to June 2022)
TerminiEast Perth
Distance travelled653 km (406 mi)
Average journey time6 hours 45 minutes
Service frequency9 trips in each direction per week
Line(s) used
Rolling stockWDA/WDB/WDC railcars
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Route map

The Prospector is a rural passenger train service in Western Australia operated by Transwa between East Perth and Kalgoorlie. On this service, two trains depart almost at the same time in opposite directions, one travelling between East Perth and Kalgoorlie, and the other between Kalgoorlie and East Perth. The original vehicles ordered in 1968 for trains providing this service were replaced in 2004 with vehicles capable of reducing journey times to 6 hours 45 minutes.


WAGR WCA/WCE class railcars crossing the Swan River at Guildford in April 1986

With the standard gauge line from Perth to Kalgoorlie due to open in mid-1969, the Western Australian Government Railways decided to replace The Kalgoorlie overnight sleeper service with a daylight service. The new service commenced on 29 November 1971, cutting the 653-kilometre (406 mi) journey time from fourteen to eight hours. With an average speed of 85 km/h (53 mph), it was the fastest service in Australia.[1][2][3][4]



There is one train each way daily between East Perth and Kalgoorlie. On Mondays and Fridays there are two services each way.[5]

Onboard facilities[edit]

Each seat on board is in the same class. At every seat there is a touchscreen entertainment system with a small selection of movies, TV shows and music. They also offer a tray table, in-seat power (Australian type only), and a foot rest.[6]

Food is not complimentary on board and can be bought at the buffet. The buffet offers a variety of items such as ham and cheese croissants, pies, muffins, soft drinks, potato chips, lollies and alcohol.[6]

Rolling stock[edit]

In 1968, Comeng, Granville were awarded a contract to build eight WAGR WCA/WCE class railcars.[2][4][7]

Built to take advantage of the generous loading gauge on the new line, they were the largest carriages ever built in Australia. They were the first trains in Australia to have at-seat catering.[4] These held the record for the highest speed attained by an Australian train until bettered by a New South Wales XPT in September 1981.[8]

In December 2000, Westrail awarded a contract to United Goninan, Broadmeadow for seven Transwa WDA/WDB/WDC class railcars to replace the original railcars.[9][10]

The first entered service on 28 June 2004.[11] The new railcars are capable of 200 km/h (124 mph), but track conditions restrict their top speed to 160 km/h (99 mph).[12] Nonetheless, they further reduced journey times to 6 hours 45 minutes.[5]


The Prospector had 68,497 passengers in the year leading up to June 2022.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Affleck, Fred (1978). On Track: The Making of Westrail, 1950–1976. Perth: Westrail. p. 157. ISBN 0724475605. OCLC 6489347.
  2. ^ a b May, Andrew S; Gray, Bill (2006). A History of WAGR Passenger Carriages. Midland, WA: Bill Gray. pp. 304–311. ISBN 0646459023.
  3. ^ Higham, Geoffrey (2007). Marble Bar to Mandurah: A history of passenger rail services in Western Australia. Bassendean: Rail Heritage WA. p. 121. ISBN 978 0 9803922 0 3.
  4. ^ a b c Dunn, John (2010). Comeng A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 3 1966-1977. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 77–91. ISBN 9781877058905.
  5. ^ a b "Prospector Timetable" (PDF). Transwa. Public Transport Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b TravelFlow (27 August 2016), TransWA Prospector REVIEW: Perth - Kalgoorlie SEAT/FOOD/SCENERY, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 8 April 2018
  7. ^ "Future prospects for the Prospector" Railway Digest October 1997 pages 18-19
  8. ^ Cooke, David (1984). Railmotors and XPTs. Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Division. ISBN 0 909650 23 3.
  9. ^ New 'world-class' Goldfields and Avon trains move closer Government of Western Australia 7 December 2000
  10. ^ "WA Short Lines" Railway Digest February 2001
  11. ^ Prospector enters new era The Golden Mail 2 July 2004
  12. ^ Prospector Product Sheet Archived 11 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine UGL Rail
  13. ^ "Public Transport Authority Annual Report 2021-22" (PDF). Public Transport Authority. 2022. p. 21. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 December 2022. Retrieved 8 January 2023.


  • 100th anniversary of rail link (History of the Eastern Goldfields railway, officially completed on 1 January 1897, to the present, including introduction of the Prospector train on 29 November 1971) Kalgoorlie Miner 1 January 1997, p. 2

External links[edit]