Labor imagines new trains as horror run continues
13 May 2019
Trains on the north-east line have continued their horror run, with a whopping 46.6 per per cent of services running 11 or more minutes late during April.
Last month’s shocking punctuality data comes after the line recorded its worst performance in more than five years during March.
Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport and The Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan said the results were a damning indictment of the Andrews Government’s refusal to buy new trains for the line.
The results coincide with the two-year anniversary of Daniel Andrews telling our communities that ‘the moment the federal government makes a commitment to fix the track, I’ll be more than happy to be on the phone to the Prime Minister giving him my word and our government’s commitment that we’ll be good for the rolling stock investment that will be needed’ and ‘once there’s allocations made to improve the track, we will stand ready to fulfil our important obligations around trains and the rolling stock that will be needed’. (April 24, 2017).
“While the Federal Nationals are investing $235 million into improving the track, the Andrews Government still hasn’t purchased new trains,” Ms Ryan said.
“For three years Labor has been designing new long-haul trains while our service gets worse and the trains on our line continue to break down.
In a media release in June 2016, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan stated that the government would ‘seek feedback in the coming months on what features local passengers would like to see in these new trains, such as buffet cars and luggage and bike facilities’. (Media release, 1 June 2016)
Yet last week, in response to questions asked by Ms Ryan in Parliament, Ms Allan was unable to answer even the most basic questions about the design of the trains.
“When pressed on the design of these new trains, Jacinta Allan could only say that design works are ongoing,” Ms Ryan said.
“Labor’s promise for new trains is about as real as the emperor’s new clothes. After spending more than three years designing them, they can’t even answer basic questions about what that design looks like.”
Ms Ryan said the Andrews Government had an opportunity to come good on its promise to buy new trains by allocating money in this year’s state budget.
Commuters are eligible to a free day return V/Line ticket as compensation for the Andrews Government’s failure to meet the line’s performance targets. Forms for compensation can be filled out online at https://www.vline.com.au/About-V-Line/Additional-pages/Compensation or obtained by calling Ms Ryan’s office on 5762 1600.