The Victorian Government has announced a temporary, stable V/Line service timetable to allow the Gippsland community plan their travel with greater certainty while work to restore full services continues.

As part of the temporary timetable, from Monday 15 February two extra Metro services will run between Pakenham and Flinders St in the morning and evening peak, and connect to V/Line coach services to Gippsland. These will be free for those disembarking from Gippsland V/Line Coach services.

The Victorian Government continues to acknowledge the specific difficulties faced by Gippsland commuters given the boom-gate issues on the metropolitan section of the Gippsland Line and is working to fix this as quickly as possible.

These restrictions on VLocity trains between Pakenham and the city ensure the safety of passengers, staff and other road users. However this means that fewer train services are able to run than other regional lines.

Work to install track detection devices on metropolitan level crossings used by regional trains has begun, and is expected to be complete by mid-March. These detectors will allow restrictions on VLocity trains to be lifted, allowing more trains to and from Traralgon.

Train-replacement coach services will continue to be free, as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience ongoing disruption to regular train services is causing.

Investigations to isolate the cause of the wheel wear issues affecting VLocity carriages are ongoing, as is the accelerated wheel maintenance regime, which is getting trains back on the network as soon as possible.

Further information about those investigations, and the timetable for V/Line services beyond the next five weeks, will be provided by mid-March. Free travel on train-replacement coaches will continue until at least that time.

For a copy of the timetable, and more information about fares, go to ptv.vic.gov.au, download the PTV App or call 1800 800 007.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria, Harriet Shing

“These extra peak services are the result of feedback that we have received directly from Gippsland line travellers, and will provide further options for passengers in these frustrating circumstances.”

“I know there’s more to do and unlike Coalition MPs who cut the guts out of V/Line when in Government, I will continue to stand up for locals to identify the problems, advocate for improvements and get better outcomes for Gippsland communities.”

“In addition the extra rail services while wheel repairs and safety works continue, the extended free travel on train-replacement coaches is a small gesture to recognise the inconvenience, delay and frustration caused to Gippsland passengers.”

“I am grateful to the Gippslanders who have provided their views, suggestions and ideas to me about how to restore services and minimise disruption and I’m looking forward to seeing improvements for everyone who relies on this line while we do everything we can to restore services and certainty to the rail network.”