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The Rail Revival Alliance has accused V/Line and Public Transport Victoria of gross mismanagement of the State's country rail network concerning operations of trains in the hot weather. The Alliance has called on the State Transport Minister to institute an independent review of the management of rail lines in hot weather.
Rail Revival President, Noel Laidlaw, said today, 'V/Line should be able to manage all of its lines without imposing speed restriction on train operating in temperatures over 33 degrees.'
At present, trains are either cancelled or a speed limit of 30km/hr is imposed when this relative modest summer temperature is reached. Even the newest and best maintained Regional Fast Rail lines to places such as Bendigo and Ballarat, speed restrictions are imposed once the thermometer reaches 36 degrees.
Mr Laidlaw stated, 'All over the world, railways run normally under these weather conditions and it is erroneous of V/line to use the excuse that trains have to be cancelled of have speed restrictions due to hot weather.'
Mr. Laidlaw said, 'We need to look no further than the trans Australian line across the Nullabor Plain, where temperatures of up to 50 degrees are reached and yet an operating speed of 115 km/hr is maintained.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation lines to Portland and to the South Australian border running many hundreds of trains per week don't need to have speed restrictions or cancellation of trains in the hot weather.
ARTC manages their lines using a Heat Stress Management Programme to keep the trains running at full speed. V/Line desperately needs to get on board so as to keep both passenger and freight trains running, irrespective of what the thermometer says.
Mr Laidlaw said, 'The management of Victoria's country rail network was inefficient, out of date and scarred by decades of under investment.
It is high time that an independent review takes place, the necessary changes made and to get the network into the 21st century and to stop further inconveniencing passenger services'.
Rail Revival Alliance
0448 563 429
Public Relations Manager
Rail Revival Alliance
0439 961 646
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