Track without trains
19 March 2021
The north east is a step closer to realising improved passenger rail services, with the completion of track works on the north east line.
Member for Euroa and Victorian Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan marked the major milestone with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today.
“Thanks to the Federal Nationals, the speed restrictions that have plagued our line for so many years have now been lifted,” Ms Ryan said.
“This is a long overdue investment in our region and one I have fought for since I was elected in 2014.”
Ms Ryan said the next major step towards a better and more reliable passenger service was new trains for the line.
“The Andrews Government buckled to my demand for new trains on our line, but we are yet to see them make good on their promise.
“Jacinta Allan repeatedly claimed that the only thing holding up new trains for our region was the standard of the track and new rolling stock would be ready to go once the Federal Government completed track works.”
In August 2018, Ms Allan stated: “it’s Labor who isn’t wasting a minute to ensure the trains are there, when the track’s finished.”
On 11 November 2018, Labor MP Jaclyn Symes reiterated this when pressed to match the Victorian Nationals’ commitment to replace the old rolling stock, stating: “We’re committed to having trains on the track when the track is upgraded. You’ve got the Minister on the record, the Premier on the record and me on the record saying that.”
Ms Symes repeated this in Parliament in May 2019 when she said: “We are told the track will be ready in 2021, so this is what we have done in this budget. We have committed to the trains so they will be ready when the track is finished.”
“With the track work now complete, Labor is officially out of excuses. They must immediately deliver complete replacement of the existing rolling stock on our line,” Ms Ryan said.
“The only thing holding us back is the old and unreliable trains we are forced to use.”
Caption: Steph Ryan with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Senator Bridget McKenzie and Lima South Quarry’s Ashley Day