Train makeover meets with approval
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.