V/LINE services between Albury and Melbourne have been hit hard by train cancellations again.
Four services yesterday and another four today have had to be replaced by buses because a locomotive hauling a train from Albury hit a tree last Friday night and is out of action for repairs.
The engine was not derailed in the incident at Longwood, between Avenel and Euroa.
Because no spare engine is available, buses will be used today on the 7.10am and midday services from Southern Cross station to Albury and the 12.45pm and 5.20pm services from Albury to Southern Cross.
The same services were affected yesterday.
But not all train journeys have been hit by the changes.
The 6.35am Albury to Southern Cross and 6.01pm Southern Cross to Albury ran as normal yesterday and will do so again today.
A V/Line spokesman said the tree caused significant damage to the front and undercarriage of the train in Friday’s incident.
The tree had fallen onto the track, though V/Line said it was not known what caused this to happen.
The train affected was the 5.20pm Albury to Southern Cross service.
“Coaches took passengers for the rest of the journey,” the spokesman said.
V/Line was left with no back-up position after the train was taken out of service.
The spokesman said that because of V/Line’s maintenance cycle, another train was also unavailable for use on the Albury line.
“We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused,” he said.
And there is still no guarantee that services will return to normal tomorrow.
V/Line has recommended anyone looking at travelling tomorrow to visit V/Line’s website at vline.com.au.
“We are hopeful to have full services restored by the end of the week,” the spokesman said.
The Border’s V/Line services have been plagued by cancellations for months.
Most recently, the line was hit by a series of issues in late July and early August.
A radio communications breakdown caused a switch to coaches after a fault in a radio that allows the driver to talk to train control.
Buses replaced all trains between Melbourne and Albury on the weekend of August 3 and 4 because of track work.