Level crossing safety upgrades progress on the Warrnambool line

Boom gates lowering and lights flashing at a level crossing to signal train impending. Picture: Amy Paton
Boom gates lowering and lights flashing at a level crossing to signal train impending. Picture: Amy Paton

Work to upgrade 20 level crossings on the Warrnambool line is progressing, V/Line says – although no upgrades have been completed since April.

Safety restrictions that slowed the line were introduced last year following a collision between a train and a truck near Colac a year ago.

A $10 million package of works to improve safety at 20 level crossings between Geelong and Warrnambool was announced by the state government in February.

Completed crossing upgrades included in the package include one at Back Larpent Road, Larpent and one at Wiridgil Lane, Weerite.

A V/Line spokeswoman said work was underway on the 18 other crossings due to be upgraded by the end of the year.

Each of the crossings, which only contain stop or give way signs, will be fitted with boom gates, flashing lights, bells and axle counters.

In June, a punctuality rate of 64.6 per cent was recorded on the line.

On Monday the 9.05am service from Warrnambool to Melbourne was significantly delayed due to a train fault, making it more than an hour late.

The fault occurred on a section of track between Lara and Little River, which V/Line said meant it could not disembark customers and call replacement coaches.

A locomotive had to be sent to retrieve the service, resulting in it arriving at Southern Cross more than 60 minutes late.

V/Line said passengers were entitled to apply for compensation.

“V/Line would like to sincerely apologise and thank customers for their patience following the lengthy delay on the Monday morning Warrnambool train,” a spokeswoman said.