BETTER TRAINS ON THEIR WAY FOR THE NORTH EAST LINE

The Andrews Labor Government is refurbishing and reconfiguring trains for the north east line to make services more comfortable and reliable for local passengers.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes will travel to Melbourne on Tuesday with Mayors and CEOs from three local councils to inspect works on the Labor Government’s $15 million upgrade of the north east line carriages.

The north east line is the only standard gauge passenger line in Victoria, with a dedicated fleet of standard gauge rolling stock.

Currently there are three train sets operating on the line – the bare minimum required to run the three return services to Albury each day.

This means that if there is a fault, animal strike or other incident which causes a train to be taken out of service, there is no option but to put passengers on coaches.

The upgrade being carried out right now will add a new carriage and reconfigure the three existing five-carriage trains into four four-carriage trains.

Creating a fourth train will mean there is one in reserve if something goes wrong, meaning less services replaced by coaches.

The multi-million upgrade will also refurbish the north east line trains – deep-cleaning the carpets, replacing upholstery and giving the old carriages a fresh lick of paint.

The Labor Government is also planning for a new generation of rolling-stock on the North East line, to replace the current ‘Classic’ fleet.

Ms Symes once again renewed calls for the Federal Government to do their bit and fix the track on the north east line, which continues to be the main source of delays and disruptions for services to Albury.

While Victoria operates the trains on the north east line, the track is operated and maintained by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) – a federal body regulated by the Federal Government.

“I can’t wait to see how works are progressing on our multi-million dollar upgrade of north east line trains.”

“Our multi-million dollar carriage upgrade will make the journey more comfortable for local passengers, and mean they are on trains instead of coaches more often – even if something unexpected happens.”

“Damian Drum, Darren Chester and the Turnbull Government are sitting on their hands while the line decays and passengers suffer – it’s time for them to fix the track properly so we can run better services.”