Gippsland’s never ending train chaos

Opening round of the AFL highlighted the ongoing public transport chaos Gippslanders are enduring under the Andrews Government.

In state parliament, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said commuters on the Gippsland line were fed up with the public transport woes, demanding to know when Labor’s train/replacement bus saga will end.

“It’s been eight long years of train disruptions for Gippsland, the Andrews Government cannot justify such a low level of service.

“Bad commuter experiences continue to be reported to my office from locals fed up with the Andrews Government’s ineffective bus replacement program on the Gippsland line.

“Our train service is constantly disrupted and sacrificed for improvements to benefit Melbourne.”

Some recent negative experiences reported to Ms Bath’s office include:

  • The day prior to opening round of the AFL, locals visited Traralgon station and were informed trains would be running.  45 minutes into their journey, passengers were told buses would now replace trains departing from Southern Cross Station.
  • The 11PM bus service following opening round of the AFL took four hours to travel 150 km, arriving at Traralgon station at 3AM.
  • A passenger who rang PTV was informed the decision to schedule replacement buses was made on the day, based on the number of passengers travelling to Melbourne.
  • A local family was left languishing at Southern Cross station when not enough buses had been scheduled to meet passenger demand.

Ms Bath said complaints on the Gippsland V/Line service were a constant frustration for locals who tell her the ongoing unreliability of the service is a disincentive.

“On days when demands for public transport are highest, it’s unfathomable that the Andrews Government continues to bungle our Gippsland train service and relegate locals onto a bus.

“We have a train timetable with the ongoing open clause – ‘Coaches replace some evening trains on the Gippsland Line’.

“I have called on the Andrews Government to guarantee a reliable train service for Gippsland commuters.

“Our service continually fails to meet set performance targets, locals are frustrated by the poor planning and communication, and Labor’s lack of care – Gippsland’s V/Line service is the worst in the state by a country mile.

“In the past eight years, V/Line’s performance statistics show it’s met it’s punctuality target only once when there were no trains running over summer school holidays this year.

“Gippsland commuters deserve to have a reliable and punctual public transport service – Labor must inform locals when there will be an end to the ongoing train chaos.”