V/line rail punc­tu­al­ity goes from bad to worse

▋ Train pain falls mainly on North East: 48.3% ser­vices on time

Wangaratta Chronicle - - NEWS - BY STEVE KELLY [email protected] ne­me­dia.com.au

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.”

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