V/Line train faults on Warrnambool line hurt performance

V/Line has brought in extra mechanical engineers to examine the diesel locomotives that service the Warrnambool train line in a bid to improve service following a fault-riddled December.

V/Line Chief Executive Officer James Pinder said unexpected faults in December resulted in 10 Warrnambool services being replaced by coaches. 

“We’ve brought in some additional specialists as part of our fleet team, who are working closely with our maintenance partners to reduce the number of train faults that are occurring,” he said.

Punctuality on the line was at 86 per cent and reliability was 95.5 per cent in December. 

“While 214 Warrnambool services operated last month, we were just short of reaching our 96 per cent reliability target,” Mr Pinder said. 

Mr Pinder said passengers could expect a “safer” and more reliable service from January 28 when temporary speed restrictions are lifted at 22 upgraded level crossings.

A new timetable, which is effective from January 28 will incorporate these improvements and give passengers a “more realistic journey time”.

A V/Line spokeswoman said a reduction in speed, introduced at the site of a near miss between two trains on the line on January 2, would not impact travel time.

The Transport Safety Bureau is investigating how an empty passenger train travelling from Waurn Ponds to Geelong passed two stop signals at Marshall, entering the same single line as the Warrnambool train.