The number of on-time trains on the Warrnambool line has dropped to its lowest in seven months.
The January punctuality rate of 71.6 per cent is significantly down from V/Line’s 92 per cent target, and is the lowest result since June 2018.
A V/Line spokesman said some journey times took longer than scheduled as trains slowed down through areas where timber sleepers were replaced with concrete.
“Trains need to slow down through the areas where new sleepers have been laid as the track beds settle,” he said.
The temporary speed restrictions are expected to be lifted after the sleeper replacement program is complete in March 2019.
The $18 million program commenced in September and will replace 45,000 sleepers along the line.
Works are taking place overnight and between trains to reduce major disruption to services.
“We thank our south west passengers for their ongoing patience while we continue to install new concrete sleepers between Colac and Warrnambool,” the spokesman said.
“The sleeper renewal work is due to finish soon, and we look forward to performance improving in the weeks ahead.”'
In the past decade the Warrnambool train service has exceeded V/Line's punctuality target just 11 times.
Last year, there was only one occasion when V/Line hit its target.
That was back in April, with 92.9 percent of trains arriving in a timely fashion.
We thank our south west passengers for their ongoing patience while we continue to install new concrete sleepers between Colac and Warrnambool.V/Line spokesman
It was the best performance recorded on the line since October 2011.
Meanwhile, reliability on the line has increased by two per cent on December statistics with 214 of a total 227 (94.3 per cent) scheduled services running.
V/Line’s reliability target is 96 per cent for scheduled services.
That target was exceeded eight times in 2018.
Other contributing factors to January's delays and cancellations included trains stopping longer than scheduled in the timetable and the impacts of January’s higher than average temperatures.
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