Getting Melbourne’s Rail System on Track

Published April 2007
(Revised October 2007)

Crowded trainRecent events have demonstrated the need for the State Government to refocus its public transport priorities to ensure that passengers are provided with a reliable, frequent and readily available service.

Over the past four years the PTUA had expressed concern over the early retirement of the Hitachi train fleet, due to the need to augment current services and provide some redundancy in case of failures with the other train fleets. This advice was ignored, despite reports that warned of looming train shortages, which would result in “a substantial amount of unsatisfied growth”[1], and potential issues with the new rail fleet. Given that train patronage is now rapidly increasing, this shortage has now eventuated.

While the PTUA acknowledges that Meeting Our Transport Challenges (MOTC) provides a substantial amount of funding for Melbourne’s public transport system and provides a basis in identifying the needs of Melbourne’s public transport system, it is clear that in light of ongoing issues that priorities must be reassessed.

The actions outlined in this document identify a mixture of short-term and longer-term projects that can be enacted to restore confidence in Melbourne’s rail system and build and properly handle patronage into the future to more aggressively pursue the government’s 20/2020 goal.

High priority actions (to be done in the next 12 months) are summarised on page 12.

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[1] Department of Infrastructure (2003), Melbourne Metropolitan Train Plan, p. 76.