Disruption, delays, no trains – and no benefit for Gippslanders
Gippsland travellers heading to Melbourne will be severely disrupted and delayed by ongoing works in the Melbourne corridor - works that will still not fix the main problem for Gippsland train passengers.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said Gippslanders were beginning to treat the train line as a joke, given that in the last 12 months it has operated more often than not as a bus service.
“The announcement that all trains will not run on the Gippsland line through much of April is a further frustration.
“We accept that work needs to be done to improve our train services but the reality is this is again a program to deliver better Metro services while the government does nothing to deliver a dedicated line for Gippsland trains into Melbourne.
“When they are actually running, Gippsland trains have the worst punctuality performance in the state, in large part because Pakenham onwards they share tracks from with the Metro service.
“The Nationals at the last election committed to a multi-billion dollar high speed regional rail program that included separating out tracks for Gippsland services through Melbourne suburbs.
“Unfortunately, the Andrews Labor Government has shown zero interest in even planning for this important upgrade. If we don’t plan for a dedicated line the congestion affecting Gippsland rail will only get worse.
“It’s only appropriate that free travel is being offered on coaches during this further significant disruption but at the end of the process Gippsland will be no better off.
“While the Andrews Labor Government spends billions of dollars on metro rail and other services for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo the Gippsland line will continue to fall behind.
“I note the Government’s announcement that V/Line has introduced a new public servant called the ‘Suburban Interface Manager’. How about instead of employing new bureaucrats to tell us how bad Gippsland’s rail performance is the Government actually does some work to deliver a dedicated line?”
“We all understand and accept the need for works to occur and that they will sometimes disrupt our train line, but if we get no benefit at the end of it that only frustrates Gippslanders even further.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien, says works on the Gippsland line need to include planning for a dedicated track for V/Line trains.