V/Line’s slow January as latest figures reveal punctuality shortfall

The punctuality of V/Line train services on the Ballarat line has fallen for a third month in a row with just 83.5 per cent of services arriving on time in January 2018. 

The statistics reveal a fall of 0.4 per cent from in punctuality for December 2017. 

Latest performance figures released by V/Line show in January, 2018, 4.9 per cent of services on the Ballarat line didn’t run at all. 

In a statement, V/Line blamed the summer weather for the shortfalls in punctuality and service delivery when compared to the preceding two months. 

As a safety precaution, when ambient temperatures reached 36 degrees or higher, trains were slowed to 90km/h, causing delays. 

Further more, during January this year, some services were replaced by coaches for either part or the entire journey for various reasons. 

V/Line CEO James Pinder said while summer heat is unavoidable, the company are committed to providing safe train services. 

“Safety is our number one priority so heat speed restrictions are enforced on hot days because the steel tracks expand in the heat,” he said. 

“We’re working to do everything we can to minimise disruptions to passengers during the summer months and continue to remind passengers to plan ahead and allow extra time.”

Mr Pinder said works on the $551.7 million Ballarat Line Upgrade ramped up over the long weekend in January, with site preparation works completed along the line.

“Crews installed safety fencing along the rail line so work could begin on the 18 kilometres of track duplication between Deer Park West and Melton,” he said.

Commuters can expect more disruptions in 2018 as the following projects get underway: 

  • Duplicating 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park West and Melton. 
  • Upgrading Rockbank station.
  • Constructing additional platforms at Wendouree, Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations.
  • Building a new station at Toolern.
  • A new stabling facility at Maddingley
  • Duplicating three kilometres of track between Bacchus Marsh station and the new Maddingley stabling facility.
  • A new 4.5 kilometre passing loop at Ballan.