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Media Release from the Minister for Public Transport.
Public Transport Minister, Lynne Kosky, today announced that testing will begin on the first of 22 new rail carriages for V/Line's VLocity train fleet.
Once rolled out, the additional carriages will add more than 1600 extra seats onto the V/Line network.
Friday, 18 April, 2008
VLOCITY MIDDLE CARRIAGES ON TRACK WITH 1600 NEW SEATS
Testing will begin on the first of 22 new rail carriages for the VLocity train fleet which, once rolled out, will add more than 1600 extra seats onto the V/Line network.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said testing would begin shortly, marking the first stage of the eventual roll out of the new carriages.
Inspecting progress on the new carriages at Bombardier’s Dandenong factory today, Ms Kosky said the first of 22 carriages was due to enter service in the middle of the year.
“The Brumby Government is taking action on public transport and these 22 carriages will add 1672 extra seats across the regional network,” Ms Kosky said.
“We have seen an unprecedented growth in patronage on regional rail services in the past 12 months and we recognise that we need to meet that growing demand.
“Each carriage features seating for 76 passengers, four dedicated wheelchair sites, air conditioning, passenger information systems to announce stops and storage for bicycles and surfboards.
“As these carriages gradually come online, capacity across the regional network will increase, which is terrific news given that more people are using regional train services then ever before.”
The Brumby Government ordered 14 middle carriages in 2006 in response to growing patronage and last October purchased another eight.
“From the middle of the year, one new carriage a month will be introduced to the V/Line fleet and run across the regional rail network,” Ms Kosky said.
“We know that many of our popular regional services are operating at capacity and these extra seats will help enormously.
“It is great to see regional Victorian’s embracing rail travel and these extra carriages will help allow even more people to use public transport.”
A record 9.37 million journeys were made on V/Line train last financial year, a 30 per cent increase with Ballarat and Bendigo line patronage increases exceeding the state-wide average.
“The growth was driven largely by the new timetable and extra services, a 20 per cent cut in fares last March; newer, more comfortable trains operating on upgraded tracks to many locations; and a major boost in services at a time of rising petrol prices,” Ms Kosky said.
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