V/LINE can’t do much about the reliability of its Albury-Melbourne service any time soon, but it’s enthusiastic — literally — to do some window dressing.
The train service’s chief Theo Taifalos said after this week’s first meeting of its customer reference group at Benalla that cleaner train windows and better platform announcements would top the to-do list.
Mr Taifalos was keen to sort out track reliability and rolling stock issues, but said there were no short-term fixes.
“Giving customers cleaner trains and better communication is something we can get on to straight away,” he said.
But Albury’s customer representative Bill Traill said he feared tackling lesser issues would lead to work on more substantial issues being delayed and he would like equal stress on punctuality.
“I have no problem with those being the first ones addressed but I hope it doesn’t delay other things,” he said.
“I believe works on all issues can be implemented at once.
“Windows need cleaning because dirty windows degrade the service, but it is minor problem when matched with delayed and unreliable services.
“We need to get on to the more substantial things.
“We have informed V/Line about many problems and we were assured they would be acted upon quickly.”
Mr Traill said he wanted a lack of disabled seating and bicycle storage addressed.
Wodonga’s customer representative Di King declined to comment.
Mr Taifalos said many of the group’s ideas were achievable and gave V/Line the chance to tangibly improve services.
He said group members understood the issues and what their communities needed.
“They know the issues in V/Line’s control and tell me where we can improve, which is great,” he said.
Mr Traill said “only necessary” station announcements should be made — “you see people’s body language when there is just a plethora of them”, he said.
“It’s pretty obvious when the train is late and you don’t need excess messages.”
He said he was pleased the group could talk to rail bosses so issues “are not lost in translation”.