SEYMOUR line rail users are the big losers in the carve-up of the $1.42 billion funding boost to the regional rail network, following an agreement between the state and federal governments to commit to the transport infrastructure package.
Despite the local MPs putting their own particular spin on the funding, Seymour line passengers should not expect additional or more reliable trains anytime soon.
Evidence that the Seymour line is crying out for more reliable and more frequent trains is supported by V/line issuing over 50 email advices relating to late or cancelled services on the Seymour line since May 28.
The Ballarat and Gippsland lines get the lion’s share of the funding with the transport minister, Jacinta Allan’s hometown line of Bendigo also being high on the list. This is not the first time the Seymour line has missed out.
It was the only line that was left out of the regional fast rail upgrade undertaken between 2000 and 2006 when tracks and sleepers were replaced, modern signals were installed and line speeds were increased to 160 km/h. Seymour line trains still can’t get anywhere near those speeds.
The Seymour line’s rolling stock hasn’t changed much in recent years. The ageing Sprinters, first introduced in 1993, still provide the bulk of the service between Seymour and Southern Cross station.