Trains still not on track

Warrnambool line passengers have endured V/Line’s worst performance figures in 10 months, with May seeing a 10 per cent drop in punctuality from the month before.  

The latest figures show 72.9 per cent of Warrnambool line services arrived at their destination on time in May. 

The statistic is 19 per cent short of V/Line’s punctuality target of 92 per cent.

V/Line acting chief executive Carol-Anne Nelson said the figures were "especially disappointing after the huge improvement delivered in April”. 

She said regular track assessments meant temporary speed restrictions were put in place along sections of the line between Warrnambool and Waurn Ponds. 

“On-time performance was affected last month due to temporary track speed restrictions, which caused longer journey times,” Ms Nelson said. 

But V/Line's monthly performance review shows Warrnambool wasn't the only service that failed to meet its punctuality target.

The Ararat-Maryborough line fell 18 per cent short of V/Line’s stated goal, with punctuality dropping by 10.6 per cent from the month before.

Services on the Bendigo, Ballarat and Shepparton lines were down eight per cent from April and Geelong by five per cent.

Ms Nelson said May saw an increase in trespasser incidences and vandalism events and more delays than usual on tracks shared with metropolitan trains.

“Compared to previous months, we encountered a higher number of one-off delays during the peak periods which had a major impact on our monthly performance right across the V/Line network,” she said. 

“We had our busiest May on record last month, with 1.8 million passenger trips across the entire network and we’re working hard to meet this continued growth.” 

Ms Nelson said speed restrictions on the Warrnambool line would be lifted near Colac by the end of the week, with more to be removed between Terang and Camperdown towards the end of the month. 

“A significant amount of track maintenance and improvement work is currently underway on the Warrnambool line. We apologise to passengers for these delays, however speed restrictions are applied for the safety and comfort of passengers and staff,” she said.

“We achieved 92 per cent punctuality on the Warrnambool line in April and our goal is to get back to that benchmark as quickly and safely as possible.”

For reliability, 96.1 per cent of Warrnambool line services were delivered last month, with nine cancellations.