When the first Prospector came into service on November 29, 1971, television and cinema advertising hailed it as a modern rail link to Western Australia's Goldfields frontier. It was WA's great rail journey; to be taken in relaxed comfort. In many respects, that train ride represented a greater leap forward for its time than the new Prospector which commenced service in June 2004. Importantly, the Prospector marked the switch from narrow to standard gauge rail on this line, cutting the travel time and increasing ride comfort.
It was Australia's fastest train and the first to offer an ‘airline style’ full-meal service. The 14-hour overnight journey endured by passengers on the old Kalgoorlie Express, a diesel (originally steam) locomotive-hauled train with carriages and sleeping compartments, was cut to less than eight hours.
In terms of the original Prospector one point is very clear. After 33 years of transporting about 2.6 million passengers and travelling more than 20 million kilometres on the journey between Perth and Kalgoorlie, the Prospector has earned pride of place in WA rail history.
Transwa patrons can now experience a super-smooth ride on the most sophisticated, passenger-friendly train service in Australia – the Prospector.
The state-of-the-art high speed Prospector, introduced into service on June 28, 2004, can travel at up to 160km/hour, enabling it to complete the 653km trip from Perth to Kalgoorlie in under 7 hours. The Prospector, which has been operating for 7 years, recently reached the milestone of having travelled 1.5 million kilometres.
Standard features include personal music channels, new release movies, access to power points for laptop computers, buffet and special facilities for people with mobility difficulties. The Prospector joins the Australind and AvonLink train services as part of Transwa’s regional rail service.
From December 2012 the Prospector service will be gradually upgraded with a new personal on-demand entertainment system. As the system is built into the seats, the Prospector service will no longer be able to offer club seating or have the capacity to carry golf clubs.
Passengers to note: Burracoppin, Hines Hill, Koolyanobbing, Carrabin and Bodallin are all low level platforms. Passengers are required to use stairs in order to board and/or detrain at these stations.
To view the Prospector timetable click on Timetables below.