Labor again fails to deliver for North East rail
Thursday 15 November 2018
Labor’s announcement that it will only provide new trains for Geelong and Ballarat is yet another slap in the face for local rail users, Nationals Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy said.
Mr McCurdy, who travelled on the train with Nationals Leader Peter Walsh today, said the Andrews Labor Government had again ignored the North East rail line, failing to include the train line in its so called ‘regional rail’ plan.
“Daniel Andrews has made it painfully clear that the North East train line and local passengers do not matter to him,” Mr McCurdy said.
“This week’s announcement that Labor will spend $340 million for 18 new trains on the Ballarat and Geelong lines is an affront North East passengers.
“Despite appalling punctuality and reliability, and having some of the oldest rolling stock in the state, the North East line did not even rate a mention in Labor’s plan.”
Mr McCurdy said Daniel Andrews had promised new rolling stock for the North East line, but with less than two weeks until the election, time had run out.
“Daniel Andrews stood in Wangaratta in April 2016 and said he would buy new trains for the North East line if the Federal government provided money to fix the track,” he said.
“We have been successful in securing millions for track works from the Federal Coalition, but Daniel Andrews has completely failed regional commuters along the North East line, backing down on his promise to buy new trains.
“Local residents need and deserve a reliable and efficient passenger rail service to Melbourne.”
Mr McCurdy said in government, The Nationals will provide $120 million for new Wangaratta trains as part of an overall $633 million investment to replace the ageing fleet of diesel hauled trains with 16 new-generation, faster, long haul variants of the successful V/Locity trains.
“The fleet replacement of 16 new, six-car train sets, totaling 96 new railcars and capable of speeds up to 160 km/h will be built in Victoria and include extra leg room and a buffet car to suit longer haul country travel on the Albury-Melbourne line. Every long haul train on the North East rail line will be replaced.
“An order will be placed in June 2019 with the new fleet delivered during the first term of government.”