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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
Speed restrictions have been removed on two level crossings on the Dandenong rail corridor, including Progress Street, where a V/Line train failed to trigger the boom gates on Friday.
V/Line is running a mixture of older trains and coaches between Traralgon and Southern Cross Station, meaning travellers will not ned to switch to Metro services at Pakenham.
Gippsland commuters travelling into Melbourne face severe disruption as they return to work on Monday, with Metro's ban on V/Line trains set to add almost an hour each way to journey times.
V/Line has warned travellers to allow 45 minutes extra travel time on their commute. There is no word on when the travel ban will be lifted.
Friday's potentially catastrophic boom gate failure prompted Metro to make the snap call to block all V/Line VLocity trains from metropolitan tracks, forcing passengers on three regional lines to switch from V/Line to Metro at the suburban fringe on the weekend.
The Age revealed on Saturday that the ban had been enforced.
V/Line's older Sprinter and locomotive trains are exempt from the ban.
Bendigo and Seymour line services were on Sunday permitted back into the city, but will not run to the full timetable this week.
Level crossings on the Bendigo line are being staffed by safe working teams that will monitor train movements and manually trigger booms if necessary.
The Seymour line will run with older train types only.
Some services on those two lines will be replaced by coaches because V/Line is desperately short of available VLocity carriages.
The level crossing failure occurred at the end of a horror week for V/Line, which has been forced to remove 27 VLocity trains from service due to rapid wheel wear.
The source of the wheel wear has not been named, but curved sections of the new tracks on the Regional Rail Link are held by rail experts to be the likely cause.
A V/Line spokesman said safety investigations were ongoing, which had forced V/Line to run an altered timetable.
"Trains on the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Seymour lines will operate direct to and from Southern Cross Station, however some cancellations are expected due to VLocity fleet maintenance," the spokesman said.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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