Back to the buses for rail works

NO trains will run between Albury and Melbourne tomorrow.

Buses will provide all XPT and V/Line services because of works on the regional rail link project.

Sunday’s services will revert to the “normal” temporary timetable introduced last month with a mix of train and bus services.

But XPT passengers face delays of up to 40 minutes on Sunday due to RailCorp track maintenance work in suburban Sydney.

Countrylink operates two intercapital services each way daily on Saturday and Sunday.

V/Line operates three weekend services each way, one a through-bus under the temporary arrangement.

Bus passengers can’t take checked luggage, pets or bikes.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation’s general manager for the north-south project, Tony Frazer, met passengers at the Albury and Wodonga stations yesterday and shared barbecues with them.

He said the $134 million track program in NSW and Victoria was proceeding well.

He recently travelled on the V/Line service to explain delays to passengers and says timetables should return to normal by the middle of next year.

Mr Frazer said he was confident the normal speed limits of 130km/h for the XPT and 110km/h for V/Line would be achieved by then.

There are now various limits on the track, depending on work being done there.

“We’ve spent $5 million of the $134 million on the program so far,” he said.

“Most work will be done by mid-year but we’ll complete the drainage work over the next three years.”

He said while some passengers were frustrated by delays, they understood why the work was necessary.

While he was at the Albury station, the Sydney XPT arrived more than 20 minutes late, following an also-late V/Line train.

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