Passenger Rail

Tough March figures for Victoria’s operators

Victoria’s passenger rail operators had a month to forget in March, with commuters eligible for compensation after Metro Trains, Yarra Trams and V/Line all missed punctuality targets.

Public Transport Victoria acting chief executive Alan Fedda said a number of issues contributed to performance setbacks across Melbourne’s train and tram networks and the state’s regional lines.

“There were a number of issues last month that significantly impacted the performance across the network – some of these were out of the operators’ control, some in their control,” Fedda said on April 9.

Metro Trains’ service delivery was 98.0 per cent against a target of 98.5 per cent, and just 88.4 per cent of services were on time, against a target of 90 per cent.

Fedda said several external incidents impacted Metro, including a significant disruption on the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Frankston lines after a United Energy power cable broke and fell onto overhead train lines. Two major police operations at Flagstaff and Footscray also contributed to reduced performance.

“Despite these external incidents, Metro’s performance was not up to the level that our passengers deserve,” Fedda said. “I know how frustrating it can be when our services are delayed or cancelled at the last minute.”

Yarra Trams, which operates Melbourne’s vast light rail network, reported just 78.1 per cent service punctuality against a target of 82 per cent. Fedda noted the impact of a derailment in Flinders Street which disrupted six routes for three hours, along with increased congestion after Metro Trains work on the Lilydale, Belgrave and Alamein lines took longer than scheduled. However, he said “it’s important that our operators deliver services reliably and on time”.

“These contracts set a high bar for Yarra Trams and Metro, and when they don’t reach that level they are penalised.”

On the state’s regional railways, V/Line reported 84.4 per cent punctuality against a 92 per cent target, and 95.2 per cent of services delivered against a target of 96 per cent.

Fedda noted there was a lot of work going on across the regional network, and said reliability had improved on a number of lines.

“In March, significant progress was made on the Ballarat Line Upgrade, and in April, upgrades will be carried out on the Geelong and Warrnambool lines.”

Under the operators’ respective service delivery deals, Metro, Yarra Trams and V/Line passengers are eligible to apply for varying levels of compensation due to the poor performances in March.

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