DISGRUNTLED V/Line passengers on the Border will get the chance to grill the people who served up the faulty track that has so badly affected services.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation was happy to hold a forum in Wodonga next month to help educate people about work to fix the track, Benambra MP Bill Tilley said.
Mr Tilley — one of four North East state MPs who met the corporation in Melbourne last week — was speaking a couple of hours after the second of two Albury-Wodonga train services was cancelled yesterday.
The 7.10am Melbourne to Albury train and the return 12.45pm service were replaced with buses because of a fault in the bogies of the power van.
“The train is not able to run without (the power van),” a V/Line spokesman said.
“This is the same reason trains were cancelled and replaced with buses at the weekend.”
Mr Tilley said he was confident the corporation “would be happy to front up to a public forum” over the rail line’s problems.
“The ARTC will be coming to Wodonga and there will be a very public appearance,” he said.
“They will be here to answer the questions directly, they’ll be having meetings with people if they so desire, they’ll have printed information.”
The corporation told Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder and the four MPs — Mr Tilley Tim McCurdy (Murray Valley), Bill Sykes (Benalla) and Cindy McLeish (Seymour) — it would take until the middle of next year to fix the interstate line’s ballast and drainage problems.
It will cost $134 million.
Mr Tilley said he accepted the bad news of cancelled train services would continue — often on a daily basis — because the line was “shaking the trains to pieces”.
“Does the community want to continue with a passenger service or take it off and go back to buses for a period?” he said.
“The thing is, that at the same time, that’s not going to stop the freight going to Melbourne; we’ve got to get our freight down to export.”
The MPs were told the corporation was importing a specialised ballast machine from the US to repair the line.
“They’re very confident it will do the job,” Mr Tilley said.
“From today all the way to mid-June we’re going to see a continuation of works right along the line.
Mr Tilley said that “at the end of the day” he was disappointed.