Punctuality on the Warrnambool train line dipped slightly in the past month, but overall the service continues to improve on record-breaking lows earlier in the year.
Monthly data shows 89 per cent of Warrnambool line trains arrived on time last month, compared with 90 per cent in September.
V/Line chief executive officer James Pinder said ongoing track upgrades had affected punctuality, but work was continuing to reduce journey times in the south-west by the end of the year.
“We have another 12 level crossings to upgrade by the end of the year, and our teams are busy getting this done,” Mr Pinder said.
“We closed the Warrnambool line a couple of weeks ago, so we could prepare the remaining level crossings for the upgrades. Crews completed trenching work so they could get power to the sites.”
Nine level crossings on the Warrnambool line have been upgraded with boom barriers, flashing lights, bells and axle counters so far this year.
“Once the level crossing upgrades are completed and safety is boosted for vehicles and trains, we’ll be able to reduce train journey times for passengers,” Mr Pinder said.
Reliability on the line last month remained steady, with 96.3 per cent of Warrnambool’s trains delivered in October, with 210 of the 218 scheduled services operating as trains. It compares with 96.4 per cent in September and below the twelve-month average of 98.4 per cent.
Mr Pinder said on-time performance across the network had been climbing each month since May.
“Performance is a really big focus for us and there are several projects underway to make improvements to on-time running for individual lines and across the network,” he said.
“This is coming through in the results, which is great to see and we’ll be working to ensure it continues.”
Across the V/Line network last month, 87.9 per cent of V/Line services ran on time, the best result for the service in 2017.
Reliability results exceeded the 96 per cent threshold on most lines on the network, with 97.6 of all V/Line train services delivered in October.
Public Transport Victoria chief Jeroen Weimar said there was still “a long journey ahead” to improve the regional rail network, but the latest results were positive.
“It’s good to see continued improvement in V/Line performance data,” he said.