63.8 per cent of V/Line trains arrived on time on the North-East railway line

THE North-East railway line has recorded another below par monthly punctuality result for V/Line in February.

Although on-time performance lifted by seven per cent compared to the previous month, just 63.8 per cent of services arrived on time for the month.

V/Line has a 92 per cent punctuality target, but it has fallen well below the mark for three months in a row.

Ongoing speed restrictions imposed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation on the North-East line continues to have a negative impact on punctuality with 34 of the 138 services delivered for the month delayed.

The line fared better for reliability despite the Chiltern “maxi-taxi” fiasco with 82.1 per cent of services delivered in February with train faults causing some services to be replaced by coaches.

V/Line data shows 23 trains out of 168 services were replaced by coaches due to train faults with another seven cancelled due to copper wire theft, train vandalism and staff illness.

One passenger clocked a bill for $750 for the entire trip.

In comparison, all scheduled services on the Shepparton line were delivered in February.

V/Line chief executive James Pinder acknowledged there was still room for improvement on the North-East line.

“There is still a lot of work to do to deliver a service our passengers deserve and expect,” he said.

“We apologise to passengers for the ongoing delays and will continue working with ARTC and our industry partners, to address the broad range of factors that cause delays and cancellations on the line.”

Meanwhile, ARTC has confirmed a shutdown on the North-East line between March 17-19 for annual maintenance work.

An ARTC spokeswoman said more details would be confirmed next week.

“The works will support the reliability for passenger customers and growing freight operations along the rail network,” she said.