Gippsland commuters on the Tralagon line continue to face extended delays, cancelled services and replacement coaches.
Trouble for Gippsland commuters remains after the failure of a VLocity train to trigger a boom gate in Dandenong on Friday, which subsequently caused the cancellation of VLine services on suburban rail lines.
Member for Narracan, Gary Blackwood, said Gippsland Coalition members are frustrated at the lack of transparency from the Victorian government and calls on the Premier to support regional commuters.
“Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan have left both regional operator VLine and regional commuters to fend for themselves on the Traralgon line”, Mr Blackwood said.
“A number of local residents have contacted my office and stated that they were not aware services had been cancelled, delayed or transferred to coaches until they arrived at local stations.”
While the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, is yet to publicly comment on the matter, a statement was issued by the Minister for Transport Jacinta Allen.
“Yesterday I was advised of V/Line’s failure to adequately prepare for increased regional services – including a failure to plan for additional track-greasing – which has led to an escalated rate of wearing on the wheels of VLocity carriages.”
“This lack of preparation has led to the cancellation of train services across the network – an unacceptable and avoidable situation that has frustrated thousands of regional commuters.”
“I am advised that these issues are being addressed through additional maintenance and the replacement of wheels, and that services will progressively resume over the coming week.”
Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allen, dismisses claims made by the Coalition that the Victorian Labor Government has neglected regional commuters and V/Line.
According to Jacinta Allen, V/Line’s recent poor performance and disruptions were eminent because of the lack of funding from the former National government.
“Cuts in the tens of millions of dollars by the former Liberal National Government left the operator on its knees, without the capacity to deliver the growing number of services that regional network needs.”
Following the boom gate fiasco, restrictions imposed by Metro have been lifted on the Bendigo and Seymour lines.
Metro expects Gippsland line restrictions to lift by mid-next week.
All travel on V/Line services is now free until the end of this month.
An independent review of V/Line’s operational capacity has been requested, which will examine the structure, capacity and expertise of the regional operator.