MAJOR track issues that have plagued the Albury-Wodonga train line are expected to be fixed within months, ending a horror run on the much-maligned service.
A V/Line community reference group meeting in Wodonga yesterday was told track upgrades were due to be finished this year.
The group was also told V/Line had dealt with most of 30 grievances put to it.
EDITORIAL:Trains getting back on track
Its chairman John McMillan said V/Line’s response had been “quite good” and the group had signed off on many of the issues.
“The big issues are getting the track back and removing speed restrictions,” he said.
“The primary thing the group is on about is seeing the service back to the standard you expect in terms of on-time running and the time it takes for the trip between Albury-Wodonga and Melbourne and all the points in between.”
Mr McMillan said the Australian Rail Track Corporation had told yesterday’s meeting the track work had advanced to the point where several speed restrictions had been reduced.
He said the corporation had explained how the system would be maintained to ensure it did not degrade badly again.
The “great bulk” of the issues would be completed this year.
Group member Merrill Boyd, of Avenel, said V/Line was taking suggestions “very seriously” and working on them.
“We’ve closed out a considerable amount of issues, including some that are always going to be there like scheduling and cleanliness,” she said.
Miss Boyd said a return to a more normal service would give people more confidence in V/Line.
“They don’t want to be on buses, it’s more convenient to be on a train,” she said.
Mr McMillan said the committee had been pleased with the corporation’s report.
He said the condition of the track had been so bad at times it had greatly affected reliability of the service.
“There’s been carriage springs broken — all sorts of things,” he said.
Miss Boyd said the experience of the group — due to wind up in December — could be replicated elsewhere.
“If V/Line feels it’s been worthwhile, it will probably do more of this on other lines,” she said.
“The North East line had some very particular issues and, hopefully, a lot of these will be resolved.”
The committee will next meet on July 15, at a venue to be decided.