Celebrations by those who welcomed the news that trains would resume on the Gippsland Line this month were short-lived as replacement coaches were quickly announced for the majority of services.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said that while he understood the importance of the work being undertaken on the line, the disruption would be far more bearable for those east of Traralgon if the works promised to result in increased services.
“After touting that trains would resume on the Gippsland Line this month it was revealed that replacement coaches would continue to operate for most services from 4-8 February, 10-15 February and 20 February-1 March.
“The services that are running are running on a reduced timetable and many continue to be late or operate without buffet services.
“It is understandable that timetables will be impacted by such major upgrades to the line, what is not understandable is that many of the residents who utilise the Gippsland line will not benefit from these upgrades.”
Mr O’Brien said he had been campaigning for additional train services to Sale and Bairnsdale for many years.
“It is disappointing that the Andrews Labor Government continues to fail to commit to new services on the Gippsland line east of Traralgon, despite major upgrade works.
“Central and East Gippsland have just three return train services a day when there are 20 a day from Traralgon just down the road.
“Additional services to Sale and Bairnsdale would help drive economic growth in our region which is why The Nationals had made a commitment to increase services on the line if we had been elected to government at the last election.
“It is time for the Andrews Labor Government to match that commitment and deliver for all of Gippsland.”