New timetable as V/Line scrambles to fix problems

A TEMPORARY V/Line timetable has been announced, taking into account the current line restriction on Vlocity trains.

As part of the temporary timetable, beginning on Monday, two extra Metro services will run between Pakenham and Flinders Street Station in the morning and evening peak, and connect to V/Line coach services to Gippsland.

These will be free for those disembarking from Gippsland V/Line coach services.

Remaining replacement buses will continue to be free of charge for passengers.

Regular V/Line train and bus services east of Traralgon are ticketed.

The interim timetable will detail exactly which services will run as trains and which will be replacement buses.

Work to install track detection devices on metropolitan level crossings used by regional trains has begun, and is expected to be complete by mid-March.

These detectors will allow restrictions on VLocity trains to be lifted, allowing more trains to and from Traralgon.

Investigations to isolate the cause of the wheel wear issues affecting VLocity carriages are continuing, as is the accelerated wheel maintenance regime, which is getting trains back on the network as soon as possible.

The chief executives of V/Line, Public Transport Victoria, and Metro Trains will face a public hearing in state parliament on Tuesday.

Labor Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said the extra peak services were the result of feedback received from Gippsland line travellers, and would provide more options for passengers.

“In addition the extra rail services while wheel repairs and safety works continue (and) the extended free travel on train replacement coaches is a small gesture to recognise the inconvenience, delay and frustration caused to Gippsland passengers,” she said.

“I am grateful to the Gippslanders who have provided their views, suggestions and ideas to me about how to restore services and minimise disruption and I’m looking forward to seeing improvements for everyone who relies on this line while we do everything we can to restore services and certainty to the rail network.”

Nationals Morwell MLA Russell Northe said the response so far from the government had not been good enough, and passengers on the Gippsland line deserved better treatment.

“Stable certainly isn’t the word being used by my constituents who continue to contact me with stories of long delays in travel time between Traralgon and Melbourne,” he said.

For a copy of the timetable, and more information about fares, visit www.ptv.vic.gov.au, download the PTV App or phone 1800 800 007.