Gippsland’s rail fail continues

Nearly 20 per cent of services on the Gippsland line ran late in June, with the line continuing a five year streak of poor performance.

The latest VLine performance figures show just 83.1 per cent of trains ran on time in June, plunging further below the performance target of 92 per cent – which hasn’t been met in the past five years.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said the ongoing poor performance meant it was impossible for local commuters to plan ahead and have confidence they would arrive on time.

“We’re constantly stuck on replacement buses for works the Government says will make the line better, but instead we’re still on the slow train,” Ms Bath said.

“Gippslanders deserve to have a reliable, modern rail service that connects our communities with each other and with Melbourne, delivering better access to jobs and services, including health and education.

“But while country trains run late – or not at all – Daniel Andrews’ plan to improve services is new seat fabrics and new carpet.”

In June, 7 of Victoria’s 11 regional lines failed to meet the 92 per cent punctuality target. It means many commuters arrived more than six minutes late, while long-distance passengers were delayed by more than 11 minutes.

Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said the crisis in Victoria’s regional rail network left more and more country passengers running late, or not arriving at all.

“The Federal Government has delivered more than $1.6 billion to upgrade the state’s rail network, but the Andrews Labor Government is investing just four per cent of the capital funding for public transport in this year’s Budget into Regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.

“Daniel Andrews has found billions to put into level crossing cost blowouts in Melbourne, but when it comes to Regional Victoria we’re treated as second-class citizens.

“Instead of tinkering with cosmetic fixes, we need genuine investment in track and signalling upgrades and fast, reliable, comfortable new trains.”