V/LINE’S quiet carriage trial, launched on the Ballarat line this week, has got train commuters talking.
V/Line commuters will be asked to keep noise to a minimum on particular carriages in response to commuter concerns of excess noise on country trains.
The quiet carriages, to be clearly marked, will be introduced on seven VLocity trains across the commuter belts of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon.
Speaking aboard her first quiet carriage yesterday, Ballarat resident Cheryl Folker said the concept was a great one.
She was looking forward to a peaceful journey all the way to Melbourne.
“It’s nice to be able to read and you don’t have a lot of people shouting,” she said.
On the quiet carriages, customers will be asked to turn down electronic devices, switch mobile phones to silent and speak quietly.
But how would this work if a train was overcrowded? Or what if a mother and her crying baby had nowhere else to sit?
V/Line spokesperson Clare Steele said the quiet carriages were self-regulated and common sense would prevail.
“If there’s nowhere else to sit, obviously they’re going to be welcome to come onto the quiet carriages,” she said.
She said commuters were encouraged to observe quiet carriage etiquette but there are no penalties for breaking the courtesy code.
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder launched the quiet carriage trial on the Ballarat line this week, and there are plans to introduce it to the other lines throughout the week.
Mr Mulder said the idea arose after commuters expressed concerns about the volume of noise on trains to and from Southern Cross Station.
“There are people who like to work on the train, who like to read on the train, there are students who can study on the train and quite often their peace and quiet is interrupted by mobile phones, electronic devices and loud conversations,” Mr Mulder said. “I guess the message is ‘shhh, you’re on a V/Line quiet carriage’.”