LIMITED accessible carriages and unsuitable toilets are posing challenges for commuters with disability, say advocates calling for upgrades to Warrnambool train services.
V/Line says it aims to offer accessible carriages on long-distance journeys but there are times when carriages require maintenance and the service is unavailable.
"We will always provide an alternative for passengers in instances where accessible carriages are not available," a V/Line spokesman said.
But commuters meeting with advocacy body Disability Resources Centre in Warrnambool this week said the service was unreliable, which added extra anxiety to their journeys.
They laid out demands including wanting an accessible carriage on every service, as well as boarding ramps, working all-access toilets and more accessible taxis for when services fail.
Warrnambool's Joe Francis, who commutes on the train in a wheelchair, said train trips regularly didn't go to plan.
"It adds an extra level of anxiety about whether I'm going to get there in time," he said.
He said V/Line often organised him a taxi, which could also cause lengthy delays. Mr Francis has found the train's all-access toilets "unsafe" and regularly broken.
"If I needed to go to the toilet on a train by myself I wouldn't be able to go," he said. "I don't believe it's a disabled toilet, it's a toilet they've just chucked a handrail on."
V/Line maintains that the toilets on accessible carriages are safe to use for passengers with mobility aids.
Another commuter with disability, Harvey Thulborn McCorkell, said the fully accessible carriage, called BZN, was unavailable for him at least twice a year.
"The suspension is very bumpy, the outdated nature of it. When I take the train I have to get out of my chair, and I get spasms in the spine from the trip," he added.
Disability Resources Centre spokeswoman Anja Homburg said Warrnambool had some of the oldest trains on the V/Line network
"A lot of the other lines have some of the newer rolling stock, so it's a little bit less of an issue," she said.
"Even if the BZN carriage is on the service, people are putting their luggage in the wheelchair accessible spot and there is not necessarily accessible toilets that are working. Anyone whose disability involves bladder weakness is vulnerable to having an accident on a 3.5-hour train trip."
A government spokesman said the state was delivering a $114 million Warrnambool Line Upgrade to improve services.
"We have also invested $23.1 million to improve comfort, reliability and amenity on the existing classic fleet," he said.
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