The Andrews Labor Government is converting an extra V/Line locomotive to standard gauge to improve the reliability of train services on the Albury line.
There are currently only three standard gauge locomotives available to haul trains on the Albury line. Routine maintenance means one of these locomotives is almost always off-line, leaving only two available to operate the six daily services.
If a second locomotive has to be withdrawn from service due to a fault or damage from an animal strike, there is only one available, meaning services need to be replaced by coaches.
Converting a fourth locomotive to standard gauge will give V/Line the buffer they need to provide more reliable services to Albury line passengers.
The transfer of an additional locomotive from the broad gauge fleet has been made possible by the introduction of a new overnight maintenance regime, which means more trains are available for passenger services.
The improvement to Albury services comes as the Labor Government prepares to launch its Regional Network Development Plan – a long-term strategy to boost capacity, reliability and coverage of the regional public transport network.
Communities in Northern Victoria will be consulted as part of the development of the plan, with consultation to kick off next month.
The additional locomotive is expected to be ready for service on the Albury line by the end of July this year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan
“Right now the Albury line is running on the bare minimum of trains. Adding a fourth locomotive will provide the capacity V/Line needs to improve services and make them more reliable.”
“Our Regional Network Development Plan offers an opportunity to further improve services to Albury, and I encourage people to put forward their views during consultation over the coming months.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes
“This is a great announcement for Albury line passengers and I look forward to working with local communities across northern Victoria on a long-term plan for better public transport through the Regional Network Development Plan.”