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Gippsland trains running late, or not at all

Gippsland passengers are on slow, unreliable trains under the Andrews Government and it’s only getting worse.

V/Line figures show the Gippsland line to Traralgon has continued its poor performance with just 88.3 per cent of services delivered, far below the 96 per cent reliability target. Worse, just 80.8 per cent of services ran on time, less than the target of 92 per cent.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said unreliable and late train services were making it harder for people in Gippsland to get to medical appointments and see family and friends.

“The Bairnsdale line has fared even worse with just 79 per cent of trains running on time - that means one in five trains throughout March were late.

“This will not be news to any Gippslanders who take the train, who have sadly become very used to this sort of performance.

“In terms of reliability, well there is very little at the current time because we are yet again reduced to catching coaches instead of trains.”

Mr O’Brien said the current works that were affecting Gippsland line operations would do little to improve the longer term outlook.

“Unless the Labor Government is prepared to look at a dedicated line for Gippsland trains we will continue to suffer this poor performance.

“Labor has openly mocked the notion of a dedicated line, showing that it has no interest in Gippsland commuters.

“By contrast The Nationals took a policy to deliver a dedicated line through Melbourne suburbs to the last election,” said Mr O’Brien.

Across all regional lines, just 84.4 per cent of services ran on time in March. V/Line figures also show that over the past five years, just 86.2 per cent of services made it to their destination on time, leaving commuters on nearly 57,000 services running late.

V/Line also failed to meet the 96 per cent reliability target in March, with 95.2 per cent of services delivered. 

Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said while the Andrews Government poured billions into Melbourne metro projects, it refused to commit to desperately-needed regional rail upgrades.

“The Andrews Government has abandoned regional passengers leaving us with unreliable, slow and uncomfortable trains,” Ms Ryan said.

“Better rail connections between regional communities would transform regional Victoria making it possible to live in one town and work in another but that won’t happen while Labor treats us as second class citizens.”

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