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CANCELLED trains and a crash on the West Gate have thrown Geelong commuters into peak hour chaos.
A multi-vehicle crash and diesel spill closed all outbound lanes on the West Gate at Altona North, causing heavy delays, with VicRoads telling drivers to stay away from the freeway, use alternate routes or take public transport if possible.
Polwarth MP Richard Riordan was caught in the traffic snarl, tweeting an image of bumper-to-bumper traffic heading to Geelong, with the caption; “No love on the Westgate this afternoon. Complete standstill on freeway. Over an hour to cross the bridge, bring on Geelong Fast Rail!”
While drivers were told to use public transport, Geelong line rail users were busy dealing with a flurry of cancelled services.
Almost a dozen service change announcements were issued for the Geelong line on Tuesday afternoon, including eight cancelled services and three delays caused by a trespasser on the tracks.
Stranded commuters took to social media to air their frustration.
“It’s just disgraceful: 3:10 service to South Geelong cancelled, 3:30 to Waurn Ponds is overcrowded and we have to catch 4:06 train. It’s the everyday drama.” Besmillah Mohabbat tweeted
“Disgraceful service from vline!!” user Shaun tweeted
“@vline_geelong are you going to compensate every one today for the pathetic service you are providing this afternoon? Why so many cancellations and shorter carriages? Did all trains decide to not work at once?” Mekr tweeted.
The infamous 3.10pm Southern Cross to South Geelong ‘Ghost Train’ was one of the cancelled services on Tuesday, notching up its eighth cancellation this month.
The train has disappeared from service at an average of four times a month since late last year — including seven times in the past fortnight, and 15 times in the past two months.
Between November 2017 and this month, the 3.10pm Southern Cross to South Geelong V/Line train has been cancelled or its route altered on 48 days.
Last week, the Geelong Advertiser revealed at least 7300 seats had been stripped from Geelong trains in the past four months.
Train faults, staff issues, animal strikes and vandalism resulted in V/Line pulling carriages off the Geelong corridor at an average of 16 times a month since July.
This article first appeared on www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
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