V/Line train trip becomes a 7-hour trek

A BORDER grandmother has slammed the V/Line service after it took almost an hour to travel between Albury and Wodonga on Saturday afternoon.

Lorraine Heriot said the train had then crawled at snail’s pace to Springhurst where passengers were transferred to buses for the rest of the trip to Melbourne.

“We crawled to Springhurst,” she said of her seven-hour journey.

Mrs Heriot, of Wodonga, said V/Line had said the delay was due to signals malfunctioning at Albury.

“The staff were wonderful and it was not their fault,” she said.

But Mrs Heriot was furious she had to walk about 200 metres with her luggage to board a bus.

“I am on holidays, so I had a huge case I had to drag down a gravel track,” she said. “It was hot and I am not young.

“I also have a bad hip, knee and back and was exhausted.

“It’s just not good enough.”

Mrs Heriot said an express bus to Melbourne had filled quickly.

“I had to go on the other bus that was to stop at all stations,” she said.

“We boarded the train at 1pm and I reached Melbourne about 8pm, after stops at Wangaratta, Benalla, Seymour and Avenel.”

Her husband, Tony, also was unimpressed with the fiasco.

“They are talking about fast trains and they can’t even run a slow train,” he said. “People need to be reminded of this on-going saga and something needs to happen.”

A V/Line spokesman said the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which manages the tracks and signals, had lost all signalling to the line.

“To ensure passenger safety, we could only run the train at 25km/h,” he said.

“The corporation was unable to restore signalling so V/Line decided to get the train to the next station.

“Springhurst is not ideal to get coaches to, but it was important to get customers on to coaches rather than limp on to the next station (Wangaratta).

The spokesman said V/Line had done its best to help passengers transfer to buses but was unable to help everyone with their luggage.

“We are looking to the corporation for better solutions when it comes to communication faults,” he said.

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