Gippsland trains late again

THE Gippsland rail line was the worst performing V/Line service in the past 12 months, with only 80.7 per cent of services delivered to Traralgon on time, according to government data.

This figure was well short of the 92 per cent target of trains arriving within six minutes of the scheduled time, which has not been met on the Traralgon line since 2006.

While Albury recorded a worse 12-month average punctuality figure of 71.8 per cent, large sections of track between Seymour and Albury are subject to speed restrictions due to works.

Despite the “disappointing” figures, Transport Minister Terry Mulder pointed to overall performance improving under the State Government, as he announced the performance results for March.

“Punctuality across the V/Line network has risen from 80 per cent in March 2010, to 85 per cent in March 2014,” Mr Mulder said.

This compares to Metro’s 12-month average of 92.9 per cent of services delivered on time to Melbourne suburbs.

“For the 23rd consecutive month, Metro has achieved punctuality above 90 per cent, with 92.2 per cent of services delivered on time (in March),” Mr Mulder said.

Public Transport Users Association regional spokesperson Paul Wescott said while the performance figures fluctuated each month, the Gippsland line had remained steadily disappointing.

Mr Wescott said the line shared a large section of track with metro trains, adding to the congestion, as did the single line of track between Longwarry and Bunyip.

He said signalling upgrades, duplication of that length and removing level crossings were investments the State Government could make to improve punctuality on the Gippsland line.

In March Mr Mulder announced signalling upgrades, among other improvements, would be delivered post-election.