On first glance this train looks like it was graffitied in a New York subway, but the unwanted paint job took place much closer to home: Maryborough’s stabling yard.
Commuters were surprised to find a big tag spray painted on the side of a carriage this week, complete with an orange and red backdrop.
One passenger published photographs of the train on Twitter, questioning V/Line about whether it should have been pulled from service to be cleaned.
V/Line confirmed yesterday the carriage was vandalised in the stabling yard at Maryborough station last Sunday night, with local police officers attending the scene.
The rail operator decided to push ahead with a 7:12am service on Monday and the brightly coloured train completed its scheduled journey to Southern Cross, where it was cleaned.
In April, a refurbished train on the Albury line was temporarily suspended after it was defaced with spray painted tags.
A V/Line spokesman denied at the time it was due to the graffiti.
But the regional rail operator has admitted vandalism is a major problem for the network.
“V/Line does not tolerate this type of reckless behaviour and we continue to work with Victoria Police to identify offenders,” V/Line chief executive James Pinder said this week.
“The cost of graffiti is significant and it can also sometimes disrupt the travel plans of hundreds of customers when trains have to be cancelled and replaced by coaches.”
Graffiti costs V/Line around $4 million each year on cleaning and rail replacement services.
It has several measures in place to minimise the risk while trains are stored, including high fencing, security patrols, lighting and CCTV surveillance, as well as working closely with police.
Sneaking into railway yards without permission is illegal and V/Line urged witnesses who see trespassers to call police.
On the afternoon of November 3, another Southern Cross to Wendouree train ran with “reduced capacity ... due to vandalism”.