V/Line cancels another eight train services ahead of weekend heatwave

THE holiday train service crisis has deepened with V/Line making major changes to its schedule for coming days with no guarantee the troubles will end by the weekend.

V/Line cancelled another three trains on the North-East line on Wednesday and confirmed another two had been scrapped on Thursday and a further three on Friday.

V/Line has advised already frazzled customers to factor in an extra hour for travel times aboard buses due to the changes.

The embattled rail operator is facing further dramas at the weekend with temperatures to soar over 40 degrees on Saturday.

V/Line has confirmed free bottles of water, packets of potato chips and coffee vouchers will be made available to affected passengers as well as icy poles for the anticipated hot weather predicted for the weekend.

V/Line chief executive James Pinder has again apologised to Albury line passengers for the series of recent disruptions and reassured them that its staff and external contractors were working as quickly as possible to restore all train services.

“We know that our service changes and coach replacements have been incredibly frustrating for passengers on the Albury line and we sincerely apologise for that,” he said.

“The disruptions were caused by a number of factors, including train and track faults, power and signalling issues and heavy rainfall.”

The four locomotives which run on the Albury line have all experienced unforeseen and unrelated faults in the past two weeks, according to V/Line.

Repairs are also being carried out on other train equipment including power vans, which carry extra capacity to power air-conditioners.

The signalling system on the North-East corridor, run by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, has also experienced a series of faults.

Mr Pinder said he was working closely to resolve all issues with his counterparts at the ARTC and Bombardier, which maintains V/Line’s locomotives for the Albury services.

The trains which operated between Seymour and Southern Cross on Wednesday were hit with delays of around an hour.

In one instance passengers were removed from a faulty train at Tallarook.