Rolled gold! New trains for Shepp, north east lines
05 March 2018
Unreliable old diesel trains on the Shepparton and north east rail lines will be replaced with a new generation of faster, long-haul trains if The Nationals are elected to government.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the commitment followed a long and sustained campaign for the replacement of rolling stock.
Within the first term of an elected Liberal Nationals Government, the N and Z class trains which service the region will be fully replaced with a variant of the successful VLocity rail car modified to include buffet cars.
“Our commitment to buy new long haul trains will mean fewer breakdowns, more seats and cleaner, modern trains that have the capacity to run at faster speeds,” Ms Ryan said.
“Securing this pledge has been a community effort. I am particularly grateful to those people who gave me permission to share in Parliament their horror stories of travelling on our trains.”
Ms Ryan said a survey she ran of commuters on the north east line in 2016 showed that reliability, punctuality and cleanliness were travellers’ greatest concerns.
“The Albury service is the worst in Victoria. In January this year just over half of trains arrived on time while almost 20 per cent of services were cancelled.
“The age of the trains and the carriages, some of which date back to the 1950s and 60s, is leading to breakdown after breakdown and is holding back development in our region.”
Ms Ryan said she hoped The Nationals’ pledge would force Daniel Andrews to finally come good on his promise to buy new trains for the line.
“Daniel Andrews has had almost three and a half years to buy new trains for Shepparton and the north east line,” Ms Ryan said.
“People are sick to death of the blame game. I have lobbied for three years to get new trains for our region and the message from commuters is clear - we want a service that we can rely on.
“We are well on the way to achieving that with the $140 million invested by the Federal Nationals to improve the track on the north east line and our commitment to replace the rolling stock.
“I will continue with my campaign until Daniel Andrews matches our pledge so that people in our region can have confidence that our train service will be fixed,” Ms Ryan said.