Express V/Line service a winner: Bill Traill

Bill Traill at Albury Railway Station with a V/Line train behind him. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

Bill Traill at Albury Railway Station with a V/Line train behind him. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYN

PROMINENT Border rail campaigner Bill Traill will continue his push for a express V/Line service to Melbourne despite some opposition.

Benambra MP Bill Tilley had dismissed the idea as unwarranted and unfair to train users outside of Albury-Wod-onga.

But that has not deterred Mr Traill, who has already raised the idea with V/Line’s community reference group.

He will do a full presentation at the group’s next meeting in Wangaratta.

Mr Traill has said his proposal would not be a true express as it would only cut out three or four smaller stations.

Mr Tilley said last week that introducing an express service would prevent too many people from rightfully being able to use the train.

“If we put on an express service out of Albury-Wodonga and it didn’t stop at Wangaratta, at Benalla, Euroa and Violet Town, then what about the rest of the people,” he said.

Mr Tilley argued the service was for all communities along the line, not just the people of Albury-Wodonga.

But Mr Traill said passengers who got on at Albury and Wodonga represented the 68 per cent of the North East rail market that had been “most affected by the last several years of disrupted travel times”.

“I don’t resile from representing their interest,” he said.

“There is however much value in the express idea for almost all the other markets along the line.”

Mr Traill said he remained convinced a daily express service would find “overwhelming” favour in the North East.

Mr Traill estimated the express service would get people to Southern Cross Station in 2¾ hours and would be accepted by V/Line.

“Interestingly, such a reform would be virtually cost free,” he said.

“All it needs is will and a new timetable — perhaps support from our state regional politicians would be useful too.”

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