Bendigo passengers are set to benefit from added capacity on their regional rail service, with three new VLocity carriages allocated to two peak services today.
Passengers will see a more comfortable journey on the 7:00am weekday service from Epsom to Southern Cross as well as the 5:53pm from Southern Cross Station to Bendigo, in addition to the three carriages added to the 4:02pm service from Southern Cross Station in January this year.
The Bendigo line is getting busier, with patronage jumping by around four per cent in 2016/17 compared with the previous financial year.
In November, more than 234,000 passengers travelled on the Bendigo line, a 12 per cent increase from the same month last year.
V/Line regularly monitors patronage and as new carriages become available, they are added where they are needed the most.
On average, more than 1.2 million of 1.7 million V/Line passenger trips on are taken on VLocity trains each month.
The Andrews Labor Government has ordered 87 VLocity carriages with 31 added to the V/Line network since October 2016.
Some have been assigned to services on the Bendigo, Traralgon, Geelong, and Ballarat lines, while others have been used as maintenance spares, ensuring capacity on some of the busiest services across the network and increasing the flexibility of the V/Line fleet.
The 2017/18 Victorian Budget included $311.1 million for 39 new carriages, building on the existing order of 48, which continue to roll off the production line and into service.
VLocity trains travel in three and six-carriage configurations and run on the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour, Traralgon, Maryborough, Echuca and Ararat lines.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“New train carriages will double capacity on two busy Bendigo services and passengers will get a more comfortable journey starting today.”
“We’re delivering new trains, a better Bendigo station and more services so people can get to and from Bendigo more comfortably and sooner.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“We know Bendigo is growing – so we’re providing a record investment now and planning for the future.”
“These new carriages will help boost capacity and provide a better service for local passengers.”