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.