Train makeover meets with ap­proval

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS - Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes and her daugh­ter Philippa were im­pressed with the new-look trains now in ser­vice on the north-east line.

The re­fur­bished train on the north-east line has been given the thumbs up by Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes.

Trav­el­ling on the new-look train’s maiden ser­vice on Thurs­day morn­ing with her chil­dren, Philippa and Archie, Ms Symes said train trav­ellers would wel­come the im­proved com­fort and ameni­ties.

She said three trains had pre­vi­ously op­er­ated on the north-east line — the bare min­i­mum re­quired to op­er­ate the three re­turn ser­vices that run be­tween Mel­bourne and Al­bury each day.

This meant that if a train had to be taken out of ser­vice for main­te­nance or re­pairs, there was no op­tion but to put pas­sen­gers on coaches.

The fourth train will pro­vide an ex­tra train set for the north-east line — mean­ing there will be one in re­serve if any­thing un­ex­pected hap­pens.

The Vic­to­rian Govern­ment has re­fur­bished the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior of the train, re­fur­bished the bo­gies, added a new buf­fet sec­tion, re­placed the cush­ions and re­uphol­stered the seats, and added new car­pet, cur­tains, light­ing and a fresh lick of paint.

The train also has new toi­lets and bet­ter ac­ces­si­bil­ity for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and par­ents with prams, there is also greater stor­age ca­pac­ity for bikes and is the first in V/Line’s long-dis­tance fleet to be cov­ered in the pur­ple, white and yel­low Pub­lic Trans­port Vic­to­ria liv­ery.

‘‘I think pas­sen­gers will be pleased with the re­fur­bish­ments that La­bor has de­liv­ered, my chil­dren gave the im­prove­ments the thumbs up,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘The re­fur­bish­ment of the fleet will make our trains more com­fort­able and re­li­able and if the Fed­eral Govern­ment pro­vides fund­ing to fix the track we will have a much bet­ter ser­vice and avoid the need for coach re­place­ments.’’

How­ever, when the new trains were re­vealed in Fe­bru­ary, Mem­ber for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Na­tion­als Steph Ryan said the new trains were just an il­lu­sion.

‘‘These trains are the same old 1960s clunkers we’ve been putting up with for years with a new coat of paint,’’ she said.

‘‘The trains will be no faster or re­li­able and, with one fewer car­riage, will be more crowded.’’

She said the Vic­to­rian Govern­ment should in­vest in new rolling stock for the line in­stead of un­der­tak­ing cos­metic fixes to 60-yearold trains.

‘‘We need a train ser­vice to and from Mel­bourne with rolling stock that is re­li­able and mod­ern,’’ she said.


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