A $15 million commitment to improve rollingstock has the North East service on track to deliver a better service for passengers. Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, welcomed the significant news announced in the Victorian 2016-17 Budget today. The Victorian Government also announced a major commitment for maintenance on regional rail services.
“The Victorian Government has listened to the people of Indi. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport, Jacinta Allan, have delivered on their commitment to address this major issue,” Ms McGowan said. “Indi matters and thanks to the lobbying of the Border Rail Action Group (BRAG), the Border Mail, ABC Goulburn Murray and all regional media, councils, community groups and the long-suffering passengers, there will be an improved service.”
The $15 million will be spent on refurbishing and converting three train-sets of five carriages to four-train sets of four carriages to service the North East line. This will improve reliability and make the carriages more comfortable for passengers, with seats to be re-upholstered and new carpet laid. Ms McGowan said the refurbishments were an interim measure while the plan for retiring the fleet and replacing them with new rollingstock is completed.
“The Indi Way is working. Consultative partnerships, community engagement and strong lobbying have been effective and this demonstrates how an Independent can deliver for the people,” Ms McGowan said.
At a meeting in Spring Street in October 2015, Ms McGowan and neighbouring Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone, stressed the need to Ms Allan for better rollingstock on the northern line.
“I was encouraged by the Victorian Government’s positive attitude. Due to the lobbying, for the first time a State Government has given serious consideration to a public transport plan for all of regional Victoria. Minister Allan acknowledged that in previous times, focus had gone to the regional centres of Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong and this plan would now be for all of regional Victoria,” Ms McGowan said.
Ms McGowan and Ms Stone met with Premier Andrews, Public Transport Victoria and V/Line senior executives in early 2015 to discuss the ongoing train issue.
Regional Rail investment, including North East line
- $141 million for regional rail maintenance
- $198 million for V/Line to better meet service standards so that our rail infrastructure can deliver reliable services
- $186 million for extra services, track and station upgrades on the Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, North East, Shepparton and Warrnambool lines