Time for Bill to take a stand

IT’S time for Bill Tilley to lay down the law — demand a better deal for the Border’s long suffering rail travellers.

The litany of delays, cancellations and replacement buses have scarred the psyche of V/Line users and made a mockery of what should be the fastest and most direct access to the Victorian capital.

Rail authority and transport department bureaucrats will continue to pontificate and justify the failings long into the future but none of their words will alter the faltering of the railway’s reputation in our part of the world.

We now expect the train to be late, are no longer shocked to see a bus pull into the station when rail travel was promised only hours before.

The duplication of broad gauge track between here and Melbourne was seen as the beginning of a new era, faster travel times, better services.

But since the return of the rail, like the trains themselves — much later than anticipated — none of that has proved true.

The Victorian government blames the state of the track and the commonwealth’s investigation into how that came about may offer some salvation.

Mr Tilley needs to make some noise in parliament, call for another train set, but perhaps like the trains it is too late.