CUSTOMER satisfaction on V/Line trains has improved, however it still sits far below figures achieved in 2006

 
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/2156749/traveller-satisfaction-improves-as-vline-works-on-reliability/?cs=62

"CUSTOMER satisfaction on V/Line trains has improved, however it still sits far below figures achieved in 2006.
The Public Transport Victoria results show 86 per cent of customers are satisfied and covers the services between October and December.These results are attributed to all V/Line train services, not just the Ballarat line.
This is an increase from previous figures of 84 per cent in the two quarters prior to this result. The figure sat as high as 92 per cent in 2006.
However, Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said services had improved during 2013, which were reflected in the satisfaction figures.
The figures hit lows of 81 and 82 per cent during 2012.
“The Coalition Government has invested in 40 new VLocity carriages for V/Line and the Regional Rail Link will provide greater reliability for Ballarat customers by separating regional and metropolitan trains on the approach to Melbourne,” he said.
“I always want to see V/Line and other operators continually improve.
“V/Line currently has the highest satisfaction of all public transport operators. It has maintained a high level of customer satisfaction over a period of sustained patronage growth.”
Mr Mulder said some of the primary drivers of the satisfaction figures were the journey time, punctuality and frequency.
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight hit out at the figures saying she didn’t hear from too many satisfied V/Line customers
“Commuters are frustrated and fed up,” she said.
“The default feeling is ‘oh I am going to be late again.’
“People are stressed before they leave home because they don’t even know if they will arrive on time.”
The Courier has previously reported on the timetable time increases which have plagued the Ballarat line.
The scheduled train times have increased from 61 minutes in 2006 to 73 minutes currently for the popular 9am arrival in Melbourne."

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The Courier has previously reported on the timetable time increases which have plagued the Ballarat line.
The scheduled train times have increased from 61 minutes in 2006 to 73 minutes currently for the popular 9am arrival in Melbourne."
dean65

In 2006 pax were so overwhelmed with the brand new, faster and more frequent 160 KPH VLocity trains that compared to 2005 and the older trains operated by cramped sprinters, and a happy farewell to the slow bus travel whilst the RFR works were being done there was such an enormous improvement to the service that everybody except the Courier newspaper was happy.

Today, thanks in part to the present state government, services have been slowed and crowds are growing faster than the government can fund new carriages to accommodate them.

V/Line is a victim of its own success..

Mike.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
Yes very true. The last few weeks have seen most services very crowded.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
In 2006 people were happy if a train arrived at all! They have seen the government spend money and experienced an improved service so that is the new baseline for acceptable performance.  

Now with disruptions due to the regional rail line, the demand there for more services that is not (or sometimes can not) be fulfilled and satisfaction has dropped.

The same thing happens with all things (eg people are surprised if they can't access the internet somewhere now whereas 10-15 years ago it was expected that you would not always have internet access)
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Exactly. Ballarat passenger services are a vast improvement on a decade ago, but by now people have begun to regard these improvements as "normal".

But those improvements in both speed and frequency have generated increased demand which V/Line is hard pressed to fill. Thus the government is spending squillions on the new tracks and new Velocity DMU's.

As soon as they come on line (next summer?), people will be pleased and the satisfaction rating will improve. But people will gradually become complacent and satisfaction will gradually decline as the new improvements will create higher demand... leading back to more crowded trains and slower times in about a decade.

With the standard approach of alternating major rail and road projects of both political parties over many decades. (Sorry Vinelander but your attempt at scoring partisan political points isn't valid.) It will be a while before we see further improvements to the Ballarat line such as Melton duplication and electrification as there are lots of other transport projects in the queue.

* Regional Rail
* Northern city bypass road thingy
* Rail tunnel from Kensington to South Yarra
* Unknown major road project
* Unknown major rail project (Could be Melton duplication and electrification, could be quadruplication to Dandenong with a new line to Hastings, could be...)
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yes very true. The last few weeks have seen most services very crowded.
dean65

That's what happens when University commences.  And petrol prices skyrocket to over $1.50/ltr.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I would like to see the figures for Albury. Since the conversion to SG services have been well below expectation as there have been no 160km/h trains running of course.

Vline has excelled in many areas but not so in others. I imagine the figures for gippsland would not be pretty.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
(Sorry Vinelander but your attempt at scoring partisan political points isn't valid.) It will be a while before we see further improvements to the Ballarat line such as Melton duplication and electrification as there are lots of other transport projects in the queue.

Bogong

25+ years of commuting on the Ballarat line gives me a reasonable level of knowledge and experience of V/Line services to enable me to offer a degree of informed comment...

Mike.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
As a semi regular V/line passenger, I've got to say, I think V/line do a tremendous job with what they have got to work with. The way I see it they are the public face that cop the brunt of dissatisfied customers/ passengers, some of whom wouldn't be happy no matter what.

Most of their services run to time, and when they don't it usually is caused by something well out of their control, like a fault on the Metro system, or some fool that has gone and gotten themselves hit by a train because it is so hard to tell where trains may or may not appear (Is it really that hard to look before you cross a railway line?). Even when they are within the confines of V/line's scope of responsibility, the delays are most likely to be caused by ancient rollingstock (30+ year old N class locos, H sets that are essentially 60 year old Harris cars), some wayward animal or tree damaging signalling or aging track infrastrucure. They are still limited to what ever funding the government (Labor or Liberal, both are equally guilty) is willing to provide.

So yes, all things considered, V/Line do a pretty good job. Yes they could do better, but then again probably not until the government is willing to part with a fair wedge of our hard earned coin. I'm just happy Victoria still has a decent country rail service.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As a semi regular V/line passenger, I've got to say, I think V/line do a tremendous job with what they have got to work with. The way I see it they are the public face that cop the brunt of dissatisfied customers/ passengers, some of whom wouldn't be happy no matter what.


So yes, all things considered, V/Line do a pretty good job. Yes they could do better, but then again probably not until the government is willing to part with a fair wedge of our hard earned coin. I'm just happy Victoria still has a decent country rail service.
Gman_86

I couldn't agree more...
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I couldn't agree more...
The Vinelander

Me too. V/Line are doing the best they can. Only a significant government investment would help them do better.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Me too. V/Line are doing the best they can. Only a significant government investment would help them do better.
railblogger


how much is significant government investment?

if you had the funds available where would they best be spent?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
how much is significant government investment?

if you had the funds available where would they best be spent?
JimYarin

On the Ballarat line, another crossing loop between Bank Box Loop and Millbrook. Dual track between at least Deer Park West and Melton with the ability of express trains to 'run through' slower stoppers which appears to have ceased with the signal changes of the new RRL project.

Express Ballarat trains used to run through slower Bacchus Marsh trains at Deer Park West Jn, Rockbank, Melton or Parwan Loop.

Mike
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
On the Ballarat line, another crossing loop between Bank Box Loop and Millbrook. Dual track between at least Deer Park West and Melton with the ability of express trains to 'run through' slower stoppers which appears to have ceased with the signal changes of the new RRL project.

Express Ballarat trains used to run through slower Bacchus Marsh trains at Deer Park West Jn, Rockbank, Melton or Parwan Loop.

Mike
The Vinelander


the signalling changes i have been reading about here and in the alternate thread are supposed to benefit vline services.  maybe the changes are to better balance the rrl between sunshine and the rrl junction (does this have a name?) ?
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

Changes in signalling between Deer Park west and Sunshine are a huge step backwards. Much flexibility has now been lost as its now a simple up and down line
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
how much is significant government investment?

if you had the funds available where would they best be spent?
JimYarin

Duplicate single sections of track on the Bendigo, Gippsland, and Seymour lines (I believe there is one between Dysart and Seymour), and a progressive duplication of the  Ballarat line along with additional trains to make use of the added capacity. Off-peak services should be upgraded to at least 30-minute headways as trains seem to be getting quite full. Better maintenance procedures should also be implemeted.
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
Is there a large distance in the differing routes between Ballarat and Melbourne and Ballarat and Melbourne via Geelong?

I think there would be a lot of work required to duplicate track between Melbourne and Ballarat via Ballan.  Longer crossing loops might help but this is a temporary fix.  Duplicate track from Sunshine to Bacchus Marsh.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Duplicate single sections of track on the Bendigo, Gippsland, and Seymour lines (I believe there is one between Dysart and Seymour), and a progressive duplication of the Ballarat line along with additional trains to make use of the added capacity. Off-peak services should be upgraded to at least 30-minute headways as trains seem to be getting quite full. Better maintenance procedures should also be implemeted.
railblogger


The single section of track between Dysart and Seymour is around 2 kilometers in length, duplicating it at this time would give little improvement and the cost due to a new bridge over the Goulburn river would be significant.

I regularly travel on  the train from Seymour and I have yet to be on a service that was delayed due to this single track section.

The biggest problem on The Seymour BG line is from Kensington into Southern Cross. it being entirely normal to stop for 4 or 5 minutes or more at the signal just north of Arden st and for another few minutes in the SC yard.  Essendon is only 8 kilometres from Southern Cross, yet it often takes 15 minute to travel this section.

The current RRL works may be a big help here by removing confilcting paths between North Melbourne and Southern Cross.

woodford
  712M Chief Commissioner

Will Seymour services be able to utilise 15/16 at Southern across once RRL is complete? This means that the North Melbourme stop would be lost but would avoid interaction with Upfield sparks.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Will Seymour services be able to utilise 15/16 at Southern across once RRL is complete? This means that the North Melbourme stop would be lost but would avoid interaction with Upfield sparks.
712M


I did not think Seymour and North East services were in scope for the RRL project?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
A big improvement to the Ballarat line would be a new set of points at Deer Park West to replace the inadequate points already in situ there. Currently ALL up trains must slow to 65km/h for these points (previously only trains that were going onto the North line needed to slow down, now all up trains use the North line) Sureley 100km/h points would be more suitable for this location.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
We should be world leaders in regards to public transport. Instead we are about 60 years behind most OECD countries. No wonder our roads are chocked with cars. Melbourne last Sunday was bumper to bumper.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Correct dean.

We are a long way behind in anything to do with freight on rail but the good news is we have an opportunity to change it.

The RRL project did not have Seymour and goulburn valley services in scope.

There should be spare capacity available on metro lines when Ballarat Geelong and Bendigo services are moved onto the new tracks.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Will Seymour services be able to utilise 15/16 at Southern across once RRL is complete? This means that the North Melbourme stop would be lost but would avoid interaction with Upfield sparks.
712M

I do believe that there was a junction built between the RRL and Broadmeadows Suburban Lines?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I did not think Seymour and North East services were in scope for the RRL project?
bevans


There's access to the new tracks for the North Melbourne flyover or platforms 15/16 for Seymour services IF REQUIRED by some switching just south of the Broadmedows flyover.

As far as I see one of the major benefits of the RRL project fo all BG western and northern services is to a great extent to remove the bottle neck caused Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo services having to cross the suburban lines to get into Southern Cross. I would not die of shock if in there near future the long delays on the Seymour service are greatly reduced.

woodford

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