The Andrews Labor Government is restoring and reconfiguring the north east line’s fleet of classic trains and has set out the first ever long-term plan for their replacement by a next-generation of rolling stock for the line to Albury.
Visiting Wangaratta today, Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the community in Victoria’s north east had said loud and clear that they want more services and better trains.
The Labor Government is acting on this feedback, investing $15 million in the recent Victorian Budget 2016/17 for an extra carriage that will enable trains on the north east line to be reconfigured to boost reliability.
The funding will also refurbish the carriages, to make them cleaner more comfortable for passengers and start planning for the next generation of rolling-stock on the north east line and the retirement of the classic fleet.
The Labor Government will seek feedback in the coming months on what features local passengers would like to see in these new trains, such as buffet cars and luggage and bike facilities.
In the short term, the Labor Government will soon start consultation on a trial of new express coach shuttles to Seymour, that connect to train services. The consultation will seek feedback on which towns the shuttles should service and when they should run.
Ms Allan also announced today that the Labor Government and Benalla Rural City Council will each contribute $25,000 to build a new accessible bus stop at the Wangaratta District Specialist School.
The Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP) released earlier this week outlines the series of infrastructure and rolling stock improvements required to deliver five services, five days a week to Shepparton and Albury-Wodonga.
For a copy of the RNDP – Connecting Regional Victoria – and more information, visit transport.vic.gov.au/rndp
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We know the north east needs better trains, so we’re improving the carriages we have and planning for better trains in the future.”
“While we do the planning work that has never been done before to deliver the next generation of train for the north- east line, we’ll look at coach connections we can improve straight away.”
Quotes attributable to the Member for Northern Victoria and Co-Chair of the Regional Transport Advisory Group Jaclyn Symes
“Communities in North East Victoria deserve better train, bus and coach services and a long term plan for the future, and that’s what we’re delivering.”
“Short-term measures will bring added reliability, comfort and upgrades to many stations and facilities”
“Along with the communities between Seymour and Wodonga, I welcome the two million dollars in the recent State Budget to determine the best replacement rolling stock on the North-East line.”