PUNCTUALITY on the Warrnambool line improved in February, but the city is still home to the poorest performing train route.
The percentage of trains arriving on time in February rose to 31.7 per cent. A train is considered on time even if it arrives 10 minutes and 59 seconds after it it scheduled to.
This was a significant improvement, with only 12.6 per cent of trains sticking to the schedule in January.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell was pleased to see some improvement, but said it was not good enough. “If you got 31.7 per cent on an exam – that’s a fail,” Mrs Britnell said.
The improvement comes after V/Line adjusted its timetable to allow extra time for the journey and give passengers more certainty.
Mrs Britnell said the results may indicate punctuality is worse.
“V/Line has built in an extra 20 minutes to the timetable and yet the train is continuing to arrive late 60 per cent of the time,” she said.
“People rely on this service to get to Melbourne for meetings, medical appointments and to catch flights. It’s simply not good enough to add time to the trip and then say allow another 20 minutes because of potential delays.”
V/Line chief executive officer James Pinder said in addition to the improvement in punctuality, 99 per cent of services had been delivered in February. “We’re working hard to improve services for our passengers on the Warrnambool line, so it’s good to see on-time running increased to 31.7 per cent, an improvement of 19.1 percentage points,” Mr Pinder said.
He said the service continued to be affected by temporary speed restrictions in place following last year’s collision at Pirron Yallock.
Mr Pinder assured passengers the $10 million upgrades to 20 level crossings would allow V/Line to restore services to the standard users deserved.
To date four crossings have been updated along the Warrnambool line.
Public Transport Victoria acting executive director for network service delivery Dean Purkis said he was keen to see punctuality improved further. “V/Line are already working to deliver on $10 million worth of work to upgrade level crossings along the Warrnambool line so they can safely provide the punctual service that passengers deserve,” Mr Purkis said.