V/Line has begun reconfiguring existing carriages to construct a fourth train to service a train line to Albury – a town bordering Victoria in southern New South Wales – boosting the reliability of services while it plans for the next generation of trains to service Victoria’s north east.
Currently, three five-carriage trains operate on the Albury line which is the minimum required to run the three return services to Albury each day. However, if a train has to be pulled out of service, the only option is to put passengers on coaches.
The extra train will ensure there is one in reserve if anything unexpected happens.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’re building a fourth train for the Albury line to boost reliability and it’s great to see work underway.
“Reconfiguring the carriages will improve services for local passengers while we plan for next generation trains for the north east line.”
On average there are around 330 seats per train and currently an average of 200 seats available on Albury line services, so the reduction of carriages on each train will not affect the ability of passengers to get a seat.
The reconfiguration work will take a carriage off each of the three existing trains and add a new one to create four four-carriage trains.
V/Line has also already sourced and begun refurbishing a power van for the fourth train, which acts like a power supply generator, so it can have lighting, heating and cooling.
Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, said, “I am looking forward to the introduction of the extra train to the North-East line that will deliver much needed improvements to the service and comfort for commuters.
“We’ve sourced the power van, work has started on the carriage refurbishment, and next year the new train will be in service – we’re getting it done.”
The upgrade is part of $15 million provided by the Labor Government in the Victorian Budget 2016-17.
The investment will also clean and repair the interior of the existing carriages, to make them more comfortable for passengers, and fund planning for the next generation of trains for the north east line.
The reconfigured trains will start service in the first half of 2017.