Teething issues continue for new Regional Rail Link timetables

Ballarat to Melbourne trains remain overcrowded.
Ballarat to Melbourne trains remain overcrowded.

THE pain for Ballarat train commuters continued on Wednesday as overcrowded carriages and late services became the common themes for the start of new Regional Rail Link timetables.

Multiple commuters continued to provide feedback to The Courier outlining their disappointment in the services, with the only solution appearing to be the addition of more carriages to the Ballarat fleet.

The Courier was inundated with feedback earlier this week from commuters who were all upset by the changes that saw trains not only run late, but also overflowing with passengers.

Commuters reported that even services outside of the main peak times saw dozens of passengers standing in the aisles during the journey. 

While some commuters reported extra carriages had been added to the train services on Wednesday to quell the passenger fury, V/Line spokeswoman Ebony Jordan said capacity on trains changed regularly. 

“The number of carriages and type of train on a particular service can vary on a daily basis, according to rolling stock availability,” she said. 

“We rotate carriages in and out of the Ballarat workshops as part of our regular maintenance regime so there will be occasions when a particular train has a different capacity.  This is something that used to occur in previous timetables as well.”

Monday was meant to be the first day of an improved service for V/Line commuters who had been promised a more efficient service as a result of the RRL project. 

However, much to their surprise regular Ballarat commuters saw less carriages on each train only slightly off set by one new peak service. 

Commuter Joseph van Dyk was forced to endure a standing room only service that ran 20 minutes behind schedule on his return to Ballarat earlier in the week, with the train scheduled for a 6.20pm arrival at Ballarat coming in at 6.40pm.

"It was a horrible service," he said.

"I would prefer to go back to the old service after the first three days.

"Today was a little bit better, there were enough seats today but it was still late."

Mr van Dyk said the change in services has lengthened the journey time and gone away from the original idea to reduce travel time between Ballarat and Melbourne to 60 minutes, 

"It's (a one-hour journey) definitely achievable, but the aim of the game now is just to be serviceable," he said.