The State Budget provides no long-term solution to the frustrations of a North East rail service that continues to suffer cancellations, endure delays and rely on buses.
The Labor Government has chosen a Band Aid rather than a permanent fix.
The 35-year-old rolling stock remains, the services will have smaller capacity and works on the line itself will be confined to the tracks on the Melbourne side of Seymour.
North East rail line to get $15 million for improvements to the line, including refurbishment of rolling stock.
Rural and Regional Budget Information Paper, P10
That is a little over 1 per cent of the $1.3 billion that the Andrews Labor Government has committed to public transport in regional areas.
Some of the money will be used for planning for the future.
The works on the line are expected to be on the southern side of Seymour.
The three, five car sets will now become four, four car sets aimed at avoiding the cancellation of services but at the same time reducing their capacity.
Comments attributable to member for Benambra Bill Tilley:
“There is no political will from this government to replace the aged rolling stock that continues to be a source of frustration and breakdowns on the North East rail corridor.
“Without that investment we are likely to see repeats of train cancellations and people, who have booked train travel, being forced onto buses.
“Refurbishment and spending money on the line on the other side of Seymour is no long-term solution.
“We had hoped the government would invest in new rolling stock and will continue to lobby that position in the halls of the state parliament.”
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