BALLARAT rail users and community leaders say they fear a service disruption could stop train services, and have called for better contingency preparations from V/Line.
The concerns follow the shutdown of the Geelong line this week after a faulty cable caused all train services to be suspended for nearly 24 hours and be replaced by coaches.
Some Geelong commuters were also held on trains for more than five hours last week when a signal fault shut down the line.
A V/Line spokesperson could not provide
Public Transport Users Association spokesperson Paul Westcott said the Ballarat line was not immune from infrastructure problems.
“Last week the response on the Geelong line was appalling, and totally unacceptable for people to be kept in a train for five hours without any information,” he said. “The V/Line board has issued its own statement and called for changes but I don’t understand why trains aren’t organised to move at lower speed to a nearby station in these cases.”
Regular commuter Jenny Maxwell, who works in Melbourne’s Docklands, said she drove to work much more frequently.
“The last few months have been terrible with most services completely packed and often late, so I just can’t risk it any more,” she said. “I looked at Twitter while the Geelong chaos was happening and thanked the universe it wasn’t me.”
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said the number of complaints from her constituents was growing. “Looking at Geelong you think ‘okay it’s a one-off event’, but then when it happens again a week later there is clearly a problem,” she said.