Frequent faster trains feasible

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POLITICAL lobby group Gippsland 2020 claims Gippslanders deserve a frequent, efficient and fast rail service.

It claims that for more than 20 years there have hardly been any changes to timetables and services connecting Melbourne and east Gippsland.

Gippsland 2020- A Vision for a 21st Century Gippsland recently received a community suggestion on how to boost rail services to east Gippsland.

The plan suggests extending the VLocity service that usually stops in Traralgon, to Sale.

This could potentially double and even triple the services to Sale and facilitate a regular rail shuttle service between Sale and Bairnsdale.

Limited by the 1890 Avon river rail crossing in Stratford, the Sale to Bairnsdale route would still need to be serviced by the older N-Type locomotives.

With only a short distance between Bairnsdale and Sale, and a stop in Stratford, these services could potentially provide an all day shuttle service linking Bairnsdale and Melbourne through the Sale transfer.

Morgan Knoesen, who is investigating improved public transport services in Gippsland said initial investigations by Gippsland 2020 indicated that the above plan was technically feasible.

“As far as we can tell, there are no technical limitations to extending the VLocity service to Sale from Traralgon, and running an all day turn-around service with the N-Type locomotives between Sale and Bairnsdale,” he said.

“We will take these suggestions for improved rail services in south and east Gippsland to Peter Ryan and Tim Bull as a challenge for the upcoming election.

“We need action and trains on our tracks before the election if they want us to vote for them” he said.

Improved public transport for Gippsland is likely to be a key election factor in the November 2014 State elections.

Gippsland 2020- A Vision for a 21st Century Gippsland, invites all Gippslanders to connect and share ideas for improving life in this beautiful region. All ideas are then researched and presented to political leaders and industry as achievable challenges.

Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Gippsland2020 or email gippsland2020@gmail.com