Passenger Rail

Punctuality improvements across the board for Victorian public transport

Metro train. Photo:

Both Metro Trains Melbourne and Yarra Trams met their monthly performance targets in April, improving on their results from the previous month.

In March Metro Trains and Yarra Trams fell short of their service respective punctuality targets of 92% and 82%, which were established late last year with their new contracts with Public Transport Victoria (PTV).

PTV’s April results show that Metro delivered 93.2 per cent of services on-time – its best result since the introduction of the new contract – while Yarra Trams delivered 83.9 per cent of services on-time, despite major upgrade works to rail infrastructure over the month.

“April saw major works to complete two more level crossing removals along the Dandenong corridor, an extended shut down of the Hurstbridge line, and other critical maintenance, signalling and infrastructure work on the network,” PTV CEO Jeroen Weimar said.

“Against this backdrop, April saw our operators deliver significant performance improvements, on top of extra morning services on Anzac Day to ensure thousands of Victorians could pay their respects at dawn services.”

The best results for Metro were on the Glen Waverly and Sandringham lines, with 97.2% and 96.2% of trains arriving on-time. The worst performing lines were the Craigieburn and Pakenham lines. Service punctuality on the Pakenham line improved dramatically – from 84.8% in March to 89.4% in April.

Yarra Trams’ performance improved across its Melbourne routes, despite major upgrade works across the city.

“To manage services around the impact of these major upgrade works and still deliver significant improvements in performance is a win for our passengers,” Weimar said.

Victoria’s regional passenger train operator, V/Line, also saw a marked improvement in April, with network punctuality almost five percentage points – from 81.7% to 86.2%.

The Geelong line recorded its highest on-time performance result in 18 months (91.5%), while the Bendigo and Ballarat lines (both 85.4%) performed better in April than the last 6 and 5 months respectively.

“This is the third consecutive month of improved punctuality on the Geelong line and the highest result in 18 months so the results are really pleasing,” V/Line CEO James Pinder said.

“A huge amount of work has gone into achieving this outcome, including regular maintenance works to ensure the ongoing upkeep of the line and improving fleet reliability.”

The Albury and Gippsland lines were the poorest performers in April; however, the Albury line’s service punctuality of 67.7% of trains running on-time was a dramatic improvement upon its March result of 54.3%.

“This is the highest punctuality result on the Albury line in the past five months and we want to ensure it continues,” Pindar said.

Pindar indicated that the Albury line’s delayed services were mostly caused by signal faults and speed restrictions due to the condition of the track on the ARTC network.

“V/Line is looking forward to work starting as quickly as possible on the $235 million north-east line upgrades by the ARTC so both the ARTC and V/Line-imposed temporary speed restrictions can be lifted,” Pinder said.

“In the long term, this investment will make a significant difference and we will work closely with ARTC to ensure these works can be delivered as soon as we can for passengers.

“We are also providing advice to the Victorian Government in regards to recent causes of delays, cancelations and train faults and what steps need to be taken to deliver a quality service for passengers and staff.”