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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
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V/Line trains stop running on Melbourne tracks, excluding the Ballarat and Geelong lines, forcing passengers to switch to Metro services in the city's outer suburbs.
A V/Line spokesman said the ban was not affecting trains on the Ballarat or Geelong lines, which used the regional rail link.
Public Transport Victoria (PTV) confirmed reports the ban was initiated because a V/Line train failed to trigger boom gates at Dandenong on Friday.
PTV said they had been jointly advised by Metro and V/Line that the regional lines would not operate on the metropolitan network until technical investigations had been carried out.
"This decision is about ensuring the safety of rail services for passengers and the community," PTV said in a statement.
"PTV's focus is on working with V/Line to ensure customers are able to reach their destination.
"All regional customers are advised to check the V/Line website for up-to-date information and allow additional time for their journey."
The withdrawal of the Bendigo, Seymour and Gippsland lines from suburban tracks comes days after V/Line identified a fault in its fleet of V-locity trains.
The operator is inspecting all 59 of the trains and will undertake maintenance on those not up to standard after finding higher-than-usual wheel wear.
V-Line spokesman Colin Tyrus said on Thursday that wear was identified last month and the changes would affect all lines over a number of days.
"Depending on the rolling stock and the type of tracks, a train wheel can last months or sometimes years but in this case we've noticed the wheels on the V-locity carriages are wearing at a faster-than-normal rate," he said.
"On varying days, a differing number of them are out for these wheel replacement repairs.
"So we're advising our customers to check on our website or check with their station as to whether their train may be either replaced by buses or running with a reduced [number] of carriages."
Opposition, Greens criticise Government over V/Line problemsVictorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said fixing the signalling problem should only take a few days.
"I'd urge the Government to get on and fix this problem and fix it quickly ... don't take weeks and months, fix it and fix it quickly," he said.
"This is a major crisis for transport across Victoria, one and a quarter million Victorians live in regional Victoria, we've got to make sure their trains are running - all of them.
It's not beyond the ability of rail managers to anticipate these issues and deal with them before they lead to cancellations.
Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber
"It will be a disaster for weekday timetables if we have trains that are terminating at metropolitan stations."
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber accused the Government of neglecting the regional service, saying it had been "crippled by a series of safety and maintenance issues".
"We've seen the Bairnsdale line closed for months due to rust on the tracks," he said in a statement.
"Now Ballarat trains have been cancelled because of worn wheels.
"Reportedly, on Friday night, boom gates weren't triggered by an approaching V/line train, leading to most services across the state being halted.
"It's not beyond the ability of rail managers to anticipate these issues and deal with them before they lead to cancellations.
"When you're running a rail system that tens of thousands of people depend on, there's no such thing as 'oops'."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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