Release the scoping study on North East rail line project
Posted February 26, 2018
Two recent stories from Indi constituents about delays on the North East rail line have informed Cathy's call for the scoping study into the upgrade to be released immediately.
Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (13:42): There's a recognised need for urgent upgrades to the north-east railway line and new rolling stock. Among the technical reasons we've heard often in this House, the real reason that I'm speaking today is that people are suffering. The current train service is not good enough, passengers are feeling the brunt and it's costing a lot of money.
Services hit an all-time low on Sunday, 18 February, and The Border Mail tells the true experiences of the passengers. The train was cancelled. There was a replacement bus. Denise Rowland travelled with her husband from Broadmeadows to Chiltern on the bus. They were to be dropped off at Chiltern, but, seeing that the bus wasn't stopped, they yelled out, 'Chiltern!' The bus didn't even stop at the required place. It was 150 metres short through no fault of the driver; he was unable to find any gears, and the bus rolled down the main street.
It was no better for those going in the opposite direction. Sheridan Williams met the stopping-all-stations bus at Chiltern heading for the Southern Cross station. She said:
It took for one of us passengers to ring V/Line complaining before we got any communication about what was happening.
It was probably half an hour before we actually got anything said that 'we're stopped here'.
The solution was a 290-kay trip in maxi-taxis, which cost $750—$1,500 both ways.
I say to my colleagues: this is not good enough, and the new minister for transport must act urgently.