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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
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METRO rail commuters should be braced for possible overcrowding on the Pakenham line tomorrow, with hundreds of V/Line customers travelling on the Gippsland line set to be dumped at the outer suburban station due to a train ban.
V/Line’s new VLocity trains were barred from using the metropolitan network after a train passed through a level crossing at Progress St, Doveton on Friday without triggering boomgates or warning signals.
The near-miss led to Metro banning V/Line’s entire VLocity fleet from the shared metropolitan network.
V/Line’s older trains are still permitted to operate on metropolitan tracks.
V/Line customers using the Geelong and Ballarat lines are not affected as they use dedicated tracks as part of the Regional Rail Link.
Direct services from Bendigo and Seymour to Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station were running as normal today.
Most V/Line services on the Gippsland line — where the fault occurred — continued to terminate and originate at Pakenham with some services replaced by coaches for the entire journey.
Acting Premier James Merlino said Public Transport Victoria was working around the clock carrying out testing in a bid to fix the issue and restore the full timetable.
“This is understandably frustrating for commuters; it’s frustrating for the Government but our first and most important priority is the safety of commuters,” Mr Merlino said.
“Testing has occurred overnight. We’ll know the outcomes of those tests later on today (Sunday) and the operators will be making some further announcements in terms of those tests.
“The government wants to see a full service implemented as soon as possible, but the safety of our commuters is absolutely paramount.”
A PTV spokesman said Metro services will continue to operate to a normal timetable today.
“The VLocity technical investigation will continue throughout this week as we work to minimise disruptions and safely restore services as quickly as possible,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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