LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I READ with interest an article regarding passenger safety on Gippsland trains.
A spokesperson for Mr Ryan’s claims that Mr Matt Viney has “no credibility” in making these claims.
I would like to share my recent experience on the Melbourne to Traralgon service.
I travelled to Melbourne on July 3.
The train service was quite busy, with many passengers.
As soon as the train pulled away from the station an announcement came over the PA stating that only one toilet was operating on this service.
This train had four to five carriages, and obviously at each stop, more passengers boarded until the train seemed close to capacity.
I did need to use the facilities during my trip and the line for the toilet was long, with adults letting children go ahead in the line.
This seems to be an unacceptable level of service to me.
At the time I thought the toilet situation was very Third World but it was my journey home that convinced me that Australia maybe had really joined the Third World.
I boarded the V/Line service at Caulfied on July 5 heading to Traralgon.
The train was already crowded, but I was lucky to get a seat.
An announcement over the PA by apologetic staff informed us that the train was short a carriage.
As we picked up more passengers in Dandenong and Packenham, the carriage was like a sardine can.
Passengers were forced to stand in the aisles and doorways.
Many passengers were sitting on their bags.
I saw one young man lose his footing on the moving train and start to fall on a pram.
Fortunately the baby was saved from injury as the fellow managed to catch himself by grabbing the window.
I had a time where I was constantly bumped by other passenger’s bags and body parts as they tried to get down the aisle.
Despite a bus being provided from Dandenong, passengers continued to board the train.
I must add the V/Line staff did their best and kept apologising, but this level of service is nowhere near good enough.
It was an incredibly uncomfortable trip, and if an incident had occurred it would have been extremely dangerous.
So for Mr Ryan’s spokesperson to say that Mr Viney’s claims about “passenger safety are sensationalist and highly misleading” shows that his office has not done its research and needs to look at V/Line services a little closer.
I find the comments are very disappointing considering the real experiences of passengers in the electorate.