Victoria Shadow Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder
No Drivers, Clapped Out Trains And Hot Weather Means Cancelled Trains
Victor P Taffa
Premier John Brumby’s failure to properly maintain V/Line’s trains and trackside infrastructure has resulted in the country rail operator beginning 2010 in the same way it finished 2009 – many cancelled trains and failing to meet its monthly punctuality targets.” Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Terry Mulder said today.
Mr. Mulder said that V/Line failed to meet its timekeeping goal on the Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Geelong, Latrobe Valley, Seymour, Shepparton, Swan Hill and Warrnambool lines in January 2010.
“Traralgon and Bairnsdale trains have now run officially late month after month for two consecutive years, while Geelong trains have been officially unpunctual for 41 months in a row, Seymour for 31 months, Bendigo for 29 months, Bairnsdale and the Latrobe Valley for 24 months, Ballarat for 35 of the last 40 months, Echuca and Swan Hill for 25 of the last 28 months, Warrnambool for 20 of 22 months and Shepparton for 15 of the last 20 months.”
“In January, the Bairnsdale and Warrnambool lines were particularly atrocious. 24 % of Bairnsdale trains and 23.6 % of Warrnambool line trains ran at least 11 minutes late.” Mr. Mulder said.
“Shepparton’s trains were a minimum of 11 minutes late 20.5 % of the time, while Echuca and Swan Hill’s trains were this unpunctual on 20.3 % of timetabled trips.”
Mr. Mulder said that although John Brumby’s commuter belt trains only covered between 70 and 160 km per trip, their performance was also poor.
“18.5 % of Seymour’s trains were at least six minutes late arriving at their destination, while 18 % of Latrobe Valley, 18.2 % of Bendigo, 17.9 % of Geelong/ Marshall and 10.2 % of Ballarat trains were also officially late.”
Mr. Mulder said that 99 V/Line trains were cancelled in January 2010, with 27 services getting the flick because of train faults and 11 because of a lack of train drivers or conductors, along with another 27 trains cancelled due to V/Line’s hot weather speed restrictions.
“Although John Brumby’s mismanagement resulted in an $839 Million cost blowout on Regional Fast Rail, short distance travellers must now contend with snail rail summer trains often limited to 90 km/h despite the national Australian Rail Track Corporation stating that concrete sleepers reduce the need for hot weather speed restrictions.”
Mr. Mulder said that of 1,024 V/Line trains that ran ‘officially late’ in January 2010, it was concerning that 262 of the delays were due to either train or infrastructure faults.
“On the Warrnambool line, train and track-related problems accounted for 18 of the 41 late trains. On the Ballarat line, trains developing a fault were the number one specified reason why commuters were delayed.”
“These continual cancellations and delays affecting country families must be part of John Brumby’s plan, because he sure does not know how to fix V/Line’s continuing poor performance.” Mr. Mulder said.
Given that Labor suffered a 12.2% swing in its fourth safest seat demonstrates that the Brumby Government is failing Victorians and unless rail services dramatically improve the people of Victoria will oust the Brumby Government in a landslide at the 2010 State Election.