Tepid timetable response

MINOR changes to the Gippsland V/Line timetable has evoked a tepid response from public transportation users on The Express’ Facebook page.

The changes to the timetable, effective yesterday, will see four additional weekend trains both to and from Traralgon, as well as minor tweaks to the timing of the trains, failed to inspire a positive response from customers.

“I think it’s about time we got additional services (to) help the growing Latrobe Valley (population),” reader Zara Dyke said.

“They need to take a closer look at the amount of carriages they use; sometimes they have minimal carriages for the peak-hour trains and maximum carriages for the off-peak; this just does not make sense.”

According to a statement from Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, last month, the changes would coincide with a metropolitan timetable change.

He said the additional service on Saturday and Sunday would better cater to people travelling to football and other events.

“Previously these services occasionally ran as special trains that V/Line would timetable to cater for increased demand,” Mr Mulder said.

However, Traralgon resident Sarah Wilhelme commented a timetable that was not so football-centric would be “fantastic” as there were other sports.

“I think V/Line need to stop metro people catching V/Line trains; it’s not fair country people have to stand for long periods just because metro people don’t want to wait for a metro train,” Ms Wilhelme said.

V/Line spokesperson Clare Steele said not all of its services picked up and set down at Pakenham.

“Passengers who hold a metropolitan ticket are eligible to travel to Pakenham on V/Line services,” Ms Steele said.

She said the changes to the metropolitan timetable were due in part to the new Cardinia Road Station near Pakenham, which needed to be incorporated into the schedule.

In a statement, V/Line chief executive Rob Barnett urged customers to familiarise themselves with the new timetable before travelling.

“The changes in some cases will only be a few minutes, but could be enough for customers to miss their train,” Mr Barnett said.

The new timetable is available online at vline.com.au

V/Line spokesperson Ms Steele said members of the public wishing to provide feedback with regard to the timetable could phone V/Line on 1800 800 007.