MPs’ train runs behind schedule
Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan put herself in the seat of her constituents last week when she travelled from Wodonga to Melbourne on the V/Line train.
Joined by Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone, Ms McGowan’s key focus was the train services for Wodonga-toMelbourne and Shepparton-toSeymour.
Ms McGowan and Dr Stone boarded the V/Line train on Thursday morning and spoke to passengers and staff along the journey. Feedback from the passengers suggested more work had to be done to lift the service to an acceptable standard.
‘‘There is strong support for the train service; however, timeli- ness, comfort and scheduling are issues people want addressed,’’ Ms McGowan said.
Arriving in Melbourne 20 minutes behind schedule, Ms McGowan met with Premier Daniel Andrews, V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allen’s chief of staff Matt Phelan and Public Transport Victoria chief executive Mark Wild.
said Premier Andrews was understanding of the issues and importance of a more efficient and better scheduled set of services for both lines.
He described the services as ‘‘critically important’’ and was aware of how the service was restricting travel for residents to and from Melbourne.
Mr Andrews told Ms McGowan and Dr Stone he was committed to completing a state railway strategy, including rural and regional infrastructure and services.
Public Transport Victoria chief executive Mark Wild told the MPs a draft Regional Network Development Plan would be with Transport Minsiter Jacinta Allan for consideration within six months.
Mr Wild also committed to formulate a community consultation process to provide crucial information with a regional perspective for the draft plan.
In the meeting with V/Line chief executive Theo Taifalos, the MPs told him better communication was essential for informing passengers what is happening with the daily service.
Ms McGowan returned back to Wangaratta on Friday morning on the train.
There is strong support for the train service; however, timeliness, comfort and scheduling are issues people