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Media Release


Fast Rail Disappointment: Users Call for More Trains

Train users have called for more frequent train services between Geelong and Melbourne, among other changes recommended by their submission on V/Line’s draft weekday 2006 timetable.

The submission was developed by members of the Public Transport Users Association’s Geelong Branch. V/Line’s draft 2006 timetable was intended to show train travellers the benefits of the $69m upgrading of the Geelong line and the new fast trains.

Geelong Branch Convener Tim Petersen said while some changes were to be applauded, there were serious concerns about proposed changes to existing, popular trains. Users were especially disappointed that the State Government had failed to match its rhetoric about upgrading the rail service with any major improvements to train frequency.

"The three extra trains a day between Monday and Thursday are welcome but fall well short of Australian best practice. Brisbane to Robina (Gold Coast) and Sydney to Gosford run at least half-hourly services throughout the day.

"V/Line’s own research shows that Geelong train users want more frequent services more than any other timetable improvements."

"Given that no train will make it between Geelong and Melbourne (with stops at North Geelong and North Melbourne) in the promised 45 minutes, train travellers are looking for improvements to the service more generally."

Among the submission’s concerns:

  • The failure of many ‘express’ services to stop at North Geelong (as promised).
  • The departure of the last train from Spencer Street to Geelong (Monday to Thursday) 35 minutes earlier than the current service (at 11:00pm instead of 11:35pm).
  • The rescheduling of the popular 8:35am train from South Geelong, so that it arrives at Spencer Street three minutes too early for "off-peak" fares to apply. Only 12 of 53 (less than one in four) weekday services will be extended through to the new Marshall station.
  • The "disappearance" (rescheduling) of the popular 6:46am express service from South Geelong.
  • Still no commitments from the Government on integrating fares with other public transport in Melbourne and Geelong, or improving bus connections to trains.

And the submission welcomed:

  • The extension of almost all train services through to South Geelong
  • The extra 1:00am service from Spencer Street to Geelong on Saturday morning
  • The extra service back to Melbourne from Geelong departing at 10:30pm
  • More predictable stopping patterns
  • Improvements in scheduled travel times (an average 3-4 minutes faster)

Submission on V/Line’s Draft 2006 Geelong Line Timetable (34 KB, PDF)

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 28 April 2005