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A disability advocate says there's no point screaming for high-speed trains if they can't deliver the level of comfort most Warrnambool line passengers are used to.
Camperdown's James Carter is a member of the All-Aboard Collective, a group of people with disabilities who advocate for better inclusive public transport across the state.
He said the current VLocity trains were built for an "inner-city or medium-distance service" and were not acceptable for the three-plus hour trip between Warrnambool and Melbourne.
"I hear people screaming for VLocity trains due to the time savings they will bring and that they're the answer to all the rail travel in the state," Mr Carter said.
"But some trains are built for short stopping and starting, others for long haul services."
Mr Carter said the current VLocity trains did not provide enough accessibility and comfort for long-haul trips.
"You think about when you get to Waurn Ponds and you cannot move on that train, there's too many passengers and not enough space, well the VLocity trains won't alleviate that," he said.
"If you travel to Bendigo in a VLocity you will find your bum and back know about it and you have no leg room to stretch out in.
"They've also been running VLocitys to Bairnesdale and although they were a great idea at first, there were soon complaints about comfort and the service dropped in patronage."
Mr Carter said there was no doubt the VLocity trains would cater for long-haul trips but "we just aren't there yet".
"It takes at a minimum three to four years to get a train online," he said.
"There is a committee of stakeholders currently providing input to the government to build a new service that provides appropriate accessibility and comfort. They will be different to the current VLocitys and will include snack bars, seats with more padding and more carriages and space.
Information received from the Department of Transport revealed the state government was delivering new, modern VLocity trains specifically designed for long-haul journeys to the North East train network, which runs between Melbourne and Albury/Wodonga.
The trains are expected to provide improved comfort and accessibility similar to current VLocity trains operating on the regional network.
The design process is under way with their delivery timed to align with the completion of the North East Line upgrade.
Warrnambool's current train services are V/Line's locomotive hauled fleet that feature amenities including first class seating and café bar facilities.
It is not known when the Warrnambool line will see VLocity's on the line.
Mr Carter said the community should "be patient" and wait for the long-haul services to run on the line.
This article first appeared on www.standard.net.au
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