|Service type||Passenger train|
|First service||29 November 1971|
|Ridership||68,497 (year to June 2022)|
|Distance travelled||653 km (406 mi)|
|Average journey time||6 hours 45 minutes|
|Service frequency||9 trips in each direction per week|
|Rolling stock||WDA/WDB/WDC railcars|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
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.
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.
- East Perth
- Hines Hill
- Moorine Rock
- Southern Cross
- Bonnie Vale
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.
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.
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. These held the record for the highest speed attained by an Australian train until bettered by a New South Wales XPT in September 1981.
The first entered service on 28 June 2004. The new railcars are capable of 200 km/h (124 mph), but track conditions restrict their top speed to 160 km/h (99 mph). Nonetheless, they further reduced journey times to 6 hours 45 minutes.
The Prospector had 68,497 passengers in the year leading up to June 2022.
- Affleck, Fred (1978). On Track: The Making of Westrail, 1950–1976. Perth: Westrail. p. 157. ISBN 0724475605. OCLC 6489347.
- May, Andrew S; Gray, Bill (2006). A History of WAGR Passenger Carriages. Midland, WA: Bill Gray. pp. 304–311. ISBN 0646459023.
- 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.
- Dunn, John (2010). Comeng A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 3 1966-1977. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 77–91. ISBN 9781877058905.
- "Prospector Timetable" (PDF). Transwa. Public Transport Authority. Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- TravelFlow (27 August 2016), TransWA Prospector REVIEW: Perth - Kalgoorlie SEAT/FOOD/SCENERY, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 8 April 2018
- "Future prospects for the Prospector" Railway Digest October 1997 pages 18-19
- Cooke, David (1984). Railmotors and XPTs. Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Division. ISBN 0 909650 23 3.
- New 'world-class' Goldfields and Avon trains move closer Government of Western Australia 7 December 2000
- "WA Short Lines" Railway Digest February 2001
- Prospector enters new era The Golden Mail 2 July 2004
- Prospector Product Sheet Archived 11 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine UGL Rail
- "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