Gippsland Rail Users Railroaded by Napthine Government

  • Travel times for Gippsland VLine passengers to Melbourne have increased by about 11 minutes on average since 2008 according to the published timetables.
  • Metro trains get priority over VLine services causing further delays and has resulted in Reliability dropping from over 90 % to less than 80% over the term of this Government to be the worst of all the lines in Victoria.
  • VLine customer approval on this line has decreased every year that the Napthine Government has been in power.
  • Things will get much worse if the Unsolicited Offer to upgrade signalling on the Cranbourne and Pakenham Lines proceeds.
  • This proposal, instigated by a consortium headed by MTR, the operator of the Melbourne Metro, will allow for peak Metro trains to have less than 2 minutes separation between successive trains from Dandenong into the City. VLine trains will be forced to slow to the speed of the slowest Metro train ahead of it.  MTR are improving their service delivery at the expense of Gippsland commuters.
  • This could add between 20 and 30 minutes to the travel time from Pakenham to Southern Cross.
  • The planning for this upgrade is being done in secret. Will there be provision for the urgently needed track duplication between Dandenong and Caulfield and for double stacking of containers when level crossings are removed to cater for increased freight traffic? Where is there evidence of a holistic, integrated approach to transport by this Government?
  • Is this another hasty East-West link decision where economics and good planning are overlooked for the sake of appearing to do something?
  • At the moment almost every peak VLine service is overcrowded with the afternoon services being the worst.
  • If more capacity was provided by VLine, then more people would commute by rail and take pressure off the Monash Freeway, which is also at bursting point now.
  • Track duplication will also cater for the massive population growth to the east and south east of Melbourne and allow for upgraded Cranbourne services.
  • The increased patronage would make this work viable with a shortened payback time, but we don’t even know if any of this was considered.
  • The Greens transport plan envisages big investment in public transport and increases in the trains servicing rural areas. Unless the bottle-neck between Dandenong and Caulfield is addressed, then it won’t be possible for these upgrades to be fully effective.
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