Bendigo trains delayed at stations

Trains stopping at stations too long is one of the main reasons behind delays on the Bendigo line, according to the regional public transport operator.

V/Line released its August performance results this week, showing 86 per cent of Bendigo services arrived on time during the month.

The figure is the highest the line has recorded in three months, however, it is marginally lower than the previous year’s August figure of 86.5 per cent.

V/Line chief executive James Pinder said 700 of the 816 Bendigo line trains that operated in August arrived at their destination on time.

“This is the highest punctuality result since May, which is really good to see,” he said.

In terms of reliability, the Bendigo line reported its best month this year, with 98.4 per cent of services being delivered, and highest figure since November last year.

Like punctuality, the August 2017 figure for reliability is marginally below what is was in August 2016, with 98.9 per cent of services being delivered.

Mr Pinder said one of the main reasons for delays on the Bendigo line in August was some trains stopping at stations longer than scheduled to allow passengers time to board and depart their service.

“There’s a lot of work going on to improve dwell times at stations,” he said.

“This includes station announcements from staff to encourage passengers to spread out along the platform and use all available doors when boarding to help ensure a train departs on time.”

Mr Pinder said an extra 18 services on the Bendigo line introduced at the end of August would help meet demand and address the growing patronage, as would the regional rail revival program.

The program will see $91 million spent on upgrades to the Bendigo line and provide an additional daily service to Echuca – where only 73.8 per cent of services arrived on time in August.

The figure is a big jump from the previous month, when just 46.1 per cent of services arrived on time on the Echuca and Swan Hill line.

In terms of reliability, 99.5 per cent of services were delivered.

Across the V/Line network, on-time performance increased for the third consecutive month to its highest level since October last year, with 85.2 per cent of trains arriving at their destination on time.

“On-time performance across the network has been a big focus so it’s really pleasing to see punctuality at its highest level in 10 months and we will be working to ensure this continues,” Mr Pinder said.

Reliability of services remained constant, with 98.4 per cent of services delivered in August, the same figure for July.