New electronic displays and public announcement systems providing real-time updates on train times, service changes and platform alterations will be installed at 10 stations along the Bendigo line from next week.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan made the announcement along with representatives of V/Line and Public Transport Victoria at the Bendigo Railway Station on Wednesday.
Ms Allan said the new technology would bring regional stations up to speed with their metropolitan counterparts.
“This is all about providing more information to passengers so people can plan their movements,” she said.
“So if for whatever reason a train may be running a few minutes late or something’s happened on the network people will know exactly where it is.”
She said the improvements would also make it easier for people with disabilities to access services via public transport.
“People with special needs and people with a disability rely a lot on our transport system so improvements to technology mean we can provide better information for them to help them plan their journey,” she said.
South Australian tourist Gaby McInnes, who caught the train from Melbourne, said more up to date service information would make journeys run more smoothly.
“Especially for travellers who are on a schedule because we have interconnecting trains,” she said.
“It’ll be very useful feedback, immediate feedback, which is what you want.”
V/Line regional manager Jonathan McKeown said customer feedback had indicated real-time information was a priority.
“When there’s a disruption on the network customers want to understand where the service is and why there’s a disruption, so the roll-out of real-time information will greatly assist customers, particularly at unmanned stations,” he said.
“It’ll inform our customers around which platform the train’s going to arrive on, particularly on this Bendigo corridor and some of the other corridors where train services will change platforms.”
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s planned Rail, Tram and Bus Union strike in Melbourne Ms Allan said she didn’t believe any future industrial action would affect V/Line services.
“At this stage there is no notification for any potential further disruption to our train system and I’m hopeful that’s the way it remains,” she said.
“Talks are scheduled to be ongoing through the course of this week and into next and it’s important those talks are productive.”
The upgrades will take effect at 33 stations across the V/Line network including Kangaroo Flat, Kyneton, Gisbourne, Macedon and Woodend and are set to be completed by the end of the year.