IT was just two months ago that V/Line was spruiking one of its best ever results on the Ballarat line, but unfortunately it didn’t take long for the wheel to turn the other way.
Figures released on Tuesday by the authority showed a dramatic decline in reliability to levels not seen since January 2016.
V/Line services ran at just 93.4 per cent delivery throughout November, a long way down on the authority’s target of 96 per cent.
In terms of punctuality, V/Line ran at 87.6 per cent, again, well below its target of 92 per cent, but a slight improvement on October’s figures.
A V/Line spokesperson said the 93.4 per cent for reliability was a poor result.
“This is well below the level our passengers deserve and expect and we are sorry for these disruptions,” he said.
The spokesperson said the cancellations were mostly due to a shortage of carriages, resulting from animal strikes.
A major train fault on November 15 was also a factor, causing 15 service cancellations. This happened after a train broke down on a single section of track near Melton.
Signal faults at Sunshine and Caroline Springs also contributed to the much higher number of cancellations.
“The slight improvement to Ballarat line punctuality last month was a positive, but there is still room for improvement,” he said
“The number of train cancellations was higher than normal due to a range of factors.”
On a slightly more positive note, on time trains were the second highest this year and well up on the 12 month average of 84 per cent.
V/Line said to address these factors, there are 87 new VLocity carriages on order and the Victorian Government has made a commitment to buy an additional 54 carriages.
In addition, V/Line has been asked by State Government to provide advice on how it can improve its train maintenance processes to reduce the number of carriages being removed from service.
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