September 18, 2013  |  Members Statements

Ballarat Rail Services

On several occasions in recent weeks I have had the opportunity to travel between Ballarat and Melbourne by train. Thanks to the Bracks Labor government, regional rail services  were  substantially upgraded to become much more popular with travellers who see rail as  a great alternative to travelling by car. While the new  V/Locity  trains  and  smooth  track  make the journey comfortable, the  timeliness of the  services has deteriorated over  the last  year, often slowing  considerably  as you  move  through the Metro  Trains Melbourne system into Southern Cross station.

I  have  been advised that evening services out of  Melbourne  have  often  been extensively delayed over  the  last two years, and on Monday night I experienced this for myself when I  arrived at North Melbourne station to find no listing of my train to Ballarat.

The V/Line  electronic signage was unhelpful,  listing only the  Marshall train. Station attendants were also unable to enlighten me, and  no  useful  advice was provided over the public address (PA) system. It was nearly 30 minutes after its scheduled  departure before  a  PA  announcement was  made  to  advise that  the Maryborough train was about to take on passengers.  There  was  no  mention that this was also  the Ballarat train. I was able to catch the train but was further confused to find that the electronic signage on the train advised that the  next station would be Castlemaine, which is not a station on the Ballarat line.

I urge the Minister for  Public Transport  to divert  his attention  from the $8 billion road tunnel under Clifton Hill  that provides no benefit to my community and instead  take action to improve  the punctuality of trains and, importantly, ensure that communication about delays and train departures is provided.