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V/LINE passengers will be refunded following ‘major disruptions’ to services on the Bendigo line today.
It comes after a passenger endured an almost three-hour journey from Castlemaine to Bendigo aboard the 7.41am service from Southern Cross Station to Swan Hill.
All services on the Bendigo line are now on hold due to an “obstruction on the tracks near Macedon.”
“We sincerely apologise to passengers for the major disruption to Swan Hill and Bendigo services today,” V/Line chief executive, James Pinder, said.
“We’re working as quickly as we can to get passengers off impacted train and on to their destinations and to repair the faulty train to restore services as soon as possible.”
The 7.41am service from Southern Cross Station to Swan Hill broke down on a single track section at Harcourt about 9.30am, in a spot where passengers could not safely exit the train.
Minor repairs enabled the train to continue to a section where it was safe to disembark – namely, the Harcourt station.
Passengers on the 6:58am Swan Hill to Southern Cross Station train also experienced extensive delays due to the faulty service.
Their train was stopped on the tracks near Harcourt until about 1pm.
V/Line said it was unsafe for the service to proceed or for the passengers to be assisted off the train at that location.
The train has since started moving again.
V/Line said conductors on both the faulty train and the service delayed as a consequence were walking through the train to attend to passengers and hand out water, soft drink and food.
“V/Line will refund passengers for today’s journey and will provide them with two free return vouchers,” Mr Pinder said.
“We handed out vouchers at stations and ask passengers who have did not receive them, as well as for reimbursement, to contact us on 1800 800 007.”
EARLIER: A V/LINE passenger is demanding answers after an almost three-hour journey from Castlemaine to Bendigo.
David Wybar boarded the 7.41am train service from Southern Cross Station to Swan Hill about 9.30am on Wednesday.
The Castlemaine resident was travelling to Bendigo for a medical appointment.
Mr Wybar said the train was running about 10 minutes late to begin with.
It then stopped at Barkers Creek for about 30 minutes – a delay V/Line attributed to a train fault.
Mr Wybar said it was unclear to passengers what was going on.
The train started up again, only for the service to be terminated at Harcourt.
V/Line staff resorted to a ladder to help passengers disembark from the train, Mr Wybar said.
He said passengers endured a further 30 minute delay as they waited for buses to arrive at Harcourt.
It was 12.34pm by the time Mr Wybar reached Bendigo station.
He had not only missed his morning medical appointment, but also one the clinic had rescheduled to accommodate his transport woes.
Mr Wybar described the delays to the service as ‘atrocious’ and has lodged a complaint with V/Line.
His medical appointment has now been rescheduled for a second time.
“I think I’ll be driving,” Mr Wybar said.
Subsequent services on the Bendigo line have been affected by the faulty train at Harcourt.
They include the 11:57 Bendigo - Southern Cross, 09:14 Southern Cross - Bendigo, 10:20 Epsom - Southern Cross, 10:20 Southern Cross - Bendigo, 12:30 Bendigo - Southern Cross and 11:20 Southern Cross - Bendigo trains.
V/Line has been contacted for comment.
This article first appeared on www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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