V/line rail punctuality goes from bad to worse
▋ Train pain falls mainly on North East: 48.3% services on time
THE protection of passenger safety and comfort, along with vandalism, have been cited as two of the reasons why V/line trains services were well below scratch on the Albury line last month.
A five-month slide of unpunctual trains continued with services only arriving on time 48.3 per cent of the time in July, while reliability fell slightly short of the benchmark due to copper wire theft and train and track faults forcing the cancellation of services.
The poor track condition at several points of the Albury line journey continues, under V/line speed restriction policy, to force trains to travel at low speeds.
But V/line reemphasised the $235 million track upgrade by the Australian Rail Track Corporation to fix current issues is due for completion in 2021.
A V/line spokesperson said its priority is supporting the North East Line Upgrade, which will improve the condition of the Albury line and enable V/line trains to run up to 130kmh.
“We understand that delays are very frustrating and we would like to thank passengers for their patience while we continue to work closely with the ARTC to try and improve performance on the Albury line,” he said.
The upgrade of the line is scheduled to be completed by 2021, providing a minimum Class 2 Victorian track standard.
V/line - which is not responsible for the line’s management - reports that it is continuing to look for any changes it can make operationally to improve the experience for its passengers.
V/line services statewide were delivered 89.8 per cent of services on time during July, with improvements headed up by results on the Geelong and Ballarat lines.
Department Head of Transport Services, Jeroen Weimar, said Geelong and Ballarat recorded large improvements, increasing line punctuality from 90.9 to 91.6 per cent and 88.3 to 93 per cent respectively.
The regional operator also exceeded its 96 per cent reliability target by delivering 97.5 per cent of scheduled services overall.
“This fantastic result is a testament to V/line’s focus on maintenance and changes in how they manage platform passenger movements on platforms and respond to incidents,” Mr Weimar said.
“Ultimately this means less delays and a more reliable service for passengers across regional Victoria.
“V/line is committed to delivering better services while also carrying more passengers across regional Victoria every day.”