DISGRUNTLED Melbourne-bound V/Line passengers experienced delays of more than an hour yesterday morning after a Pacific National train blocked the line at Elphinstone about 5am.
Bendigo commuter Mark Seddon said replacement buses took more than an hour to arrive in Bendigo on the 5.40am train to Melbourne, making him very late for work.
Castlemaine’s Stuart Glasgow said he had no choice but to drive to Melbourne to get to work on time.
“When we were told the delays would be significant, I jumped in the car and drove,” he said. “It happens from time to time – we all understand that.
“All I would say is that at times V/Line’s contingency plans seem a little lacking.”
Bendigo commuter Caitlin Taylor said there was only one replacement bus for the 7.40am train.
“They said they couldn’t get more buses,” she said.
“I’m so late for uni. It’s so frustrating.”
V/Line spokesman James Kelly said the transport company had called bus services from all over Victoria as soon as it was notified of the disruption.
“It is not possible for us to have enough replacement coaches to cover an entire peak service without delay when we are asking for coaches at short notice,” he said.
“Often when we are seeking coaches at short notice we are in direct competition with schools who have already booked what coaches might be available to get students to and from campus or for excursions.
“We were fortunate this morning that although it did take some time to organise coaches for cancelled services, we did have enough to get people to where they needed to go.”
Pacific National was contacted but could not provide a reason for the train failure.