V/Line trains finish 2013 below target again

BALLARAT trains finished the year where they started it, with below par performance results. 

However, there was an improvement with V/Line getting far closer to meeting the performance target compared with December 2012. 

The target is to have 92 per cent of trains arrive within six minutes of their scheduled time. 

During December last year, 89.7 per cent of trains met the target which is a stark improvement over past year’s result of 83.8 per cent. 

However, the improvement still hasn’t pleased Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight, who says trains met their performance target on only two months for the entire year. 

“It does have an absolute impact on the quality of people’s lives,” she said. 

“The other thing is, we are looking to attract people to Ballarat. It is a great place to live and in order to do that, we need to be better at getting to and back from work on  time.

“Or even to medical appointments or getting to the footy on time.” 

Trains ran on time during September and November. 

The train services were at their poorest in January last year with only 81.9 per cent of trains meeting the target.

The results follow on from a recent report in The Courier which showed the timetabled train times had increased by 12 minutes since 2006 for the popular 9am arrival in Melbourne service. 

Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said that during December 867 of the 967 trains ran on time with the main cause for poor punctuality being metropolitan congestion.

“Regional Rail Link will largely eliminate the congestion caused by metropolitan trains sharing the tracks with country trains which is often the cause of delays on the network and frustration for commuters,” he said. 

This project is expected to improve reliability and according to Mr Mulder, should create a greater chance of trains being on time. 

“During the 2012-13 year there were 3.28 million passenger trips made on Ballarat trains, an increase from 3.21 million in 2011-12,” he said. 

“I am satisfied there is confidence in the system from V/Line passengers. 

“They are voting with their feet and continuing to support V/Line through their patronage.” 

The Victorian government has spent $210 million on 40 VLocity railcars to be used in the future.