V/Line has appointed Gary Liddle as acting CEO of V/Line.
Liddle will take over from Nick Foa, who stepped into the role after former CEO James Pinder was sacked.
Pinder was removed by Victorian Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll after Carroll was advised that the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) had launched an investigation.
Melbourne rail operator Metro Trains has stood down rollingstock manager Peter Bollas due to the same investigation.
Separately, V/Line has been taken to court by a cleaning contractor for alleged lack of payment between 2015 and 2018. Statements of claim have been lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court. V/Line said that it had received non-compliant invoices which led to the withholding of payment.
Liddle returns to V/Line having been enterprise professor of transport at the University of Melbourne. Before this role, Liddle was interim CEO of V/Line in 2016 and has also been CEO of VicRoads, and Public Transport Victoria.
V/Line board chair Gabrielle Bell said that Liddle will be a stabilising force within the regional passenger rail operator.
“Liddle returns to our organisation with extensive knowledge of our business, our customers, our challenges, and our opportunities. He will provide the leadership and support V/Line needs at this time.”
Liddle was brought in to V/Line in 2016 as the CEO at another troubled period for the operator. A safety incident in January 2016 saw a V/Line train failing to trigger a boom gate at a level crossing in Dandenong. This led to some services being prohibited from running on the Melbourne suburban network.
Foa will return to his role as head of transport services at the Victorian Department of Transport.