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With a new timetable and much heralded changes to Victoria's Transport system, there was some anticipation that the changes which will come into effect on the 19th June 2015 will turn around the many years of below par transport for Maryborough and District.
Noel Laidlaw, President of the Rail Revival Alliance, said today that the people of Maryborough had been sadly let down again. "in fact, after all of the talk about faster rail services into Melbourne with the completion of the 3.8 Billion Regional Fast Rail work, the morning train from Maryborough is seven minutes slower than what it was under the previous timetable."
There have been some changes to the times for the local train to leave Maryborough in the morning and arrive back in the evening. As from June 19th the weekday the train will leave Maryborough at 7:12am and arrives at Southern Cross at 9:40am. It leave Southern Cross at 4:33pm and gets into Maryborough at 6:39pm It is very nice to be able to arrive into Melbourne a bit earlier than than before but it is in fact seven minutes slower than the current timetable!
The return journey is in fact seven minutes faster than previously. It takes 2 hours and 28 minutes to go to Melbourne in the morning yet it only takes 2 hours and 7 minutes to get home.
Mr Laidlaw said there was a number of major omissions in the new timetable. There are no extra services.... not even a day return from Melbourne on Saturday and Sunday. Maryborough has the worst level of train service in Victoria. Ararat, a similar sized community has nearly three time more train services than Maryborough.
"It is still not possible to catch any form of public transport into Maryborough of a Sunday morning. Ararat has five services each way of a Sunday including two trains each way."
Mr Laidlaw said that even with the very limited resources given to Maryborough, there are situations where there are V/Line services competing with each other. Friday is particularly bad where there are three Maryborough bound services leaving within half an hour of each other from Southern Cross Station. These services should be spread more evenly throughout the day where at times it requires a wait of five hours between services.
"Overall the much heralded completion of the work has done precious little for many Regional and Rural Victorians. The 3.8 billion spent on Regional Fast Rail will save about 5 to 7 minutes for some services from Ballarat and Bendigo. Trains are still running slower than what they were five years ago."
"The Rail revival Alliance calls on the State government to introduce additional train services on the Maryborough line and have them timetabled with the needs of worker, students and families in Maryborough and district."
Public Relations Manager
Rail Revival Alliance
0439 961 646
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