THE North-East railway line's annus horribilis has continued with the worst monthly punctuality result for 2019 and predictions they may get even worse due to a wet winter.
June performance results revealed just 52.5 per cent of trains ran on time even though the service once again exceeded the reliability benchmark of 96 per cent with a result of 98.3 per cent.
The previous worst punctuality result came in March when 52.7 per cent of trains ran on time after a 2019 high of 71.9 per cent in February.
The Melbourne to Albury service has only once in 2019 not had the worst punctuality result of the six long distance lines in the state with the Bairnsdale line just beating the North-East in January.
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Extreme weather events in Gippsland forced V/LIne to replace all trains with buses from the lead-up to Christmas to mid-January with customers being offered free travel at the peak of the dramas.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation, which owns the line, acknowledged the June performance results were "disappointing", but the organisation was meeting its obligations under its lease with V/Line for the track.
"While the performance results for June are disappointing, we have a lot of early works already delivered and continue to make good progress on the major contract associated with the North-East rail line upgrade project," an ARTC spokesman said.
"ARTC continues to meet its obligations under its lease for the track.
"We do however acknowledge the high community interest in passenger service performance needing to improve and the North-East line upgrade will help achieve a V/Line Class 2 passenger performance standard."
The North-East track is being upgraded to an equivalent standard of the other five long distance lines.
Border Rail Action Group spokesman John Dunstan said the results weren't a great surprise due to 24 sections of track being under temporary speed restrictions.
"There is one at least that has been in place since Christmas and it's 60km/h just south of Seymour," he said.
Mr Dunstan said the XPT was experiencing the same lateness issues and feared there was no turnaround in the short-term.
"The ARTC will tell you they are putting extra work into mud hole repairs and track tamping," he said.
"But the bottom line is through all this period they have been doing this work, which is basically this whole calendar year, the number of temporary speed restrictions have steadily climbed from 18 to 19 up to the current 24."
A V/Line spokesperson said: "Albury line services again exceeded their reliability target in June.
"While punctuality on the Albury line continues to be a challenge, we are working closely with the Australian Rail Track Corporation to support the improvement of the track".
When V/Line doesn't meet monthly targets it provides compensation in the form of a complimentary day return V/Line ticket or the myki equivalent, to eligible customers.
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