WARRNAMBOOL’S trains were delayed 50 per cent of the time in a seven-day period – and one was nearly 40 minutes late.
Eleven services were late last week and two were delayed on Monday.
It comes in the same month services were halted on the line after a crossing fault near Camperdown was discovered.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said the line was “being left to languish”. Delays were caused by “speed restrictions” between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool.
Warrnambool bound trains on November 22, 23 and 24 were all delayed by more than half-an-hour.
“My understanding is the temporary speed restrictions are in place at level crossings where there are no flashing lights, bells or boom gates and there is limited line of sight,” Mrs Britnell said.
“On top of that, the Rail Tram and Bus Union has placed a 100 kilometre an hour speed restriction for passenger trains between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool. Timetables are based on a maximum permitted speed for passenger trains of 115 km/h. So while the Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan and the Premier (Daniel Andrews) are busy spruiking the benefits of level crossing removals for Melbourne commuters, country travellers are being forced to deal with lengthy delays.”
Mrs Britnell said Ms Allan needed to address the issues on the Warrnambool line to ensure trains could return to normal speeds.
“Reliable public transport to regional areas is a key way to decentralise population and take the pressure off the city,” she said.
“It’s not just those travelling to and from Warrnambool that are impacted. Every late Warrnambool train affects services to and from Geelong. The problems on the Warrnambool line are not new, but for two years this Labor government has done nothing but blame the previous Coalition government – despite its slogans ‘getting it done’ and ‘putting people first’.”
Ms Allan said speed restrictions had been imposed following the horrific accident at Pirron Yallock in July.
A V/Line spokesman said the temporary speed restrictions were in place to enhance safety for passengers, staff and road users where drivers had limited line of sight at level crossings.
He said the government had upgraded two crossings and announced an extra 12 weekly services on the Warrnambool line.