The State Government has today (4 February 2016) announced a temporary, stable V/Line service plan to allow people to plan their travel with greater certainty while work to restore full services continues.
The interim plan sets out exactly which services will run as trains, and which will be replaced by coaches for the next five weeks.
With the service pattern now stable and 80 per cent of services operating as trains, regular fare arrangements will return to time-tabled services.
From first service on Monday 8 February, passengers on regular V/Line train and coach services will need a valid ticket.
However, train-replacement coach services will continue to be free, as an acknowledgement of the inconvenience ongoing disruption to regular train services is causing.
Work to install track detection devices on metropolitan level crossings used by regional trains has begun, and is expected to be complete by mid-March.
These detectors will allow restrictions on VLocity trains to be lifted, meaning more trains to and from Traralgon.
In addition, from Monday 15 February two extra Metro services will run between Pakenham and Flinders St in the morning and evening peak, and connect to V/Line coach services to Gippsland.
These services will be Metro trains operated by Metro drivers and will provide more choice to Gippsland passengers.
Investigations to isolate the cause of the wheel wear issues affecting VLocity carriages are ongoing, as is the accelerated wheel maintenance regime, which is getting trains back on the network as soon as possible.
Further information about those investigations, and the timetable for V/Line services beyond the next five weeks, will be provided by mid-March. Free travel on train-replacement coaches will continue until at least that time.
For a copy of the timetable, and more information about fares, go to ptv.vic.gov.au, download the PTV App or call 1800 800 007.
The Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan said: “We can’t fix this problem overnight, but we are doing what we can to acknowledge the disruption and provide certainty for passengers.
“This interim, stable service plan means people can plan their travel, their appointments and their lives with greater confidence, even if not all services are running as they should.
“From Monday, normal fare arrangements will return for V/Line trains and regular V/Line coach services, but train-replacement coaches will continue to be free, until the broader issues affecting services are resolved.
“I would like to thank the many passengers I have spoken to over the past week out and about on the network for their feedback and patience, while we do everything to restore services to the level they expect and deserve.”
Source: A state government media release