Plans in place to address late trains

By Shepparton News

V/Line is celebrating a ‘‘punctuality boost’’ despite fewer than 85 per cent of Shepparton line services arriving on time during July.

The authority said the 84.8 per cent result is the Shepparton line’s highest punctuality result in nine months and have welcomed ‘‘a third consecutive month of improvement on the line.’’

But the result still falls short of V/Line’s punctuality target of 92 per cent.

Delays in the line’s shared section of network remained a key cause of the late arrivals.

But V/Line Chief executive James Pinder said there were other contributing factors.

‘‘One of the reasons for trains stopping at stations longer than scheduled is the short platforms at Donnybrook and Wallan, which will be extended as part of the Regional Rail Revival.’’

‘‘The longer platforms will help speed up boarding and alighting times for the growing number of passengers.”

A higher-than-usual number of train faults and copper wire theft also led to delays in July, the authority reported, along with signal faults and track faults.

Mr Pinder said a comprehensive performance improvement plan was in place to lift the reliability of north-east line trains.

‘‘At the same time, V/Line and Metro are working more closely than ever before on ways to reduce delays on the shared network.’’

The Shepparton line’s reliability remained more consistent at almost 98 per cent through July, exceeding the target.

Meanwhile a team of dedicated managers and analysts has been appointed with the aim of improving regional train operational performance, identifying and trialling improvement ideas across each regional line.

Mr Pinder said more than 100 improvement ideas across the network will be looked at to trial and implement in the coming months.

He said a detailed improvement plan aimed to address factors impacting V/Line’s operational performance.

‘‘While current performance is not at the level our passengers expect or deserve, we have a comprehensive improvement plan in place to address the factors within V/Line’s control as the regional rail network operator,’’ Mr Pinder said.