More V/Line pain for Border

V/LINE services between Albury and Melbourne will be disrupted for three weeks because of network improvements to benefit other regional cities.

The disruptions began on Saturday, with passengers forced to travel on replacement buses with little to no warning.

This will continue on all services between the two cities until Thursday.

From then until January 19, the Melbourne to Broadmeadows leg of the morning and evening services will either be via bus or Metro train.

The afternoon service will be by bus the entire way.

Passengers have been told to allow an extra 30 minutes for their journeys on the V/Line website.

The disruptions are due to work on the $4.8 billion Regional Rail Link that will give Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo trains their own direct lines into Melbourne.

Some of the first passengers affected arrived in Albury yesterday.

Simon Rhee, of Melbourne, who was visiting a friend, said he was upset at the lack of notice to the change of transport.

“It would have been nice if they’d told me there would be coaches instead of trains,” he said.

“I’d rather a train.”

Sarah Janson, of Hobart, who was visiting family, said she was happy as long as there were services.

“I’d prefer the train — it’s easier to get up and walk around,” she said.

The disruptions come off the back of recent cancellations on the Albury to Melbourne line.

These have been for reasons ranging from urgent maintenance to problems with communications systems.

On December 17, more than 100 angry Border residents vented their frustration at the Australian Rail Track Corporation and V/Line over the problems plaguing the line at a forum held at The Cube.

And earlier this month four train services on the Albury-Wodonga line had to be replaced by coaches because of a freight train derailment.

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