V/Line restored

Many of the rail replacement services in Victoria will no longer be necessary in a few weeks

Bus rail replacements in regional Victoria will return to train services in the coming weeks as the State Government says work to mitigate issues has been successful.

It is anticipated 93 per cent of V/Line trains will run again in weeks, including almost all Gippsland services.

As a result, 43 of the current 64 coach replacement services across the V/Line network will become trains again on 21 March 2016, returning more than 5,000 regional passengers to rail services.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan says work to reduce wheel wear, accelerate maintenance and fix boom-gate detection issues had been more effective than anticipated.

"Travel will continue to be free for passengers on the remaining coach replacement services, with full restoration of services still on track for the middle of the year," she says.

 "There is still more work to be done but we are on the right track, and I will continue working as hard as I can to return V/Line services to the level people in regional Victoria expect and deserve."

Every Ballarat peak train service will be re-instated, along with all but two Gippsland services – the line hardest hit by recent disruptions.

Most services will also be restored on the Geelong and Bendigo corridors, getting around 1,000 passengers on these busy lines off coaches and back onto trains.

The faster than anticipated restoration of these services is part of Stage 1 of the V/Line’s Service Restoration Plan.

Stage 2 will see even more trains return to service, with full restoration of the timetable expected by the middle of the year.

In the interim, travel will continue to be free on the small number of services still running as coaches.

Installation of track detection devices on metropolitan level crossings used by regional trains remains on track for completion by 11 March, which will allow current restrictions on VLocity trains on the Gippsland corridor to be lifted.

The final Monash University technical report into the cause of the faster than normal wheel wear, along with the review of the operational capacity of V/Line, are due for completion later this month.

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