V/Line group calls for express to Melbourne

ESTABLISHING a limited express V/Line passenger timetable once a day between Albury and Melbourne was a high priority for residents at last night’s rail forum.

Convenor and Albury’s V/Line customer reference group representative Bill Traill said residents were keen to establish a timetable providing a 2¾-hour journey from Albury to Southern Cross Station.

Mr Traill said it would investigate the number of stops required for a limited express service once a day.

“We are not talking about a complete express but it would cut out three or four smaller stations,” he said.

“There’s definitely strong support for a once a day express service.”

Mr Traill said when he first arrived on the Border in 1985 there was a limited express in the middle of the day.

“It was a heavily booked train because it was a popular service,” he said.

“It got to Melbourne on the discredited old track in three hours and 20 minutes from Albury.”

A motion has been compiled for the V/Line customer reference group including establishing a limited express service, getting a time frame for the track and a signalling upgrade to accommodate speeds up to 160km/h, as well as investigating a modified VLocity train.

About 30 residents attended the meeting at Albury Railway Station, including Albury councillor Ross Jackson, Labor candidate for Benambra Jennifer Podesta and former Albury-Wodonga Devel- opment Corporation chairman Ron Dennis.

One couple travelled from the King Valley.

Albury’s Leonie O’Hai- re had a gripe about the trains’ cleanliness.

“It’s an embarrassment to think tourists ride on our trains and can’t even see out the windows,” she said.