Coalition says the trains will come

07 Mar 2018 Euroa Gazette, Euroa VIC (General News) by Will Murray Promise made to supply $633m on V/Locity rolling stock A COMPLETE set of new trains will be rolled out along the North East train line, if the Coalition wins the state election in November. Deputy Nationals leader, Steph Ryan, announced on Sunday evening that all the old diesel N and Z locomotives that currently operate on the line will be replaced by a variant of the new faster, long haul V/Locity trains, if the Liberal Nationals form government. Ms Ryan said that new trains would drastically improve the reliability of Victorias worst performing train line by putting a stop to regular breakdowns, improving the quality of ride and the on-board services available. Our train service is the worst in Victoria. In January this year just over half of trains arrived on time while almost 20 per cent of services were cancelled. The biggest factor holding back our line is the age of the trains and the carriages, some of which date back to the 1950s and 60s. The announcement is part of the Liberal Nationals $633 million plan to replace the entire fleet of diesel trains currently operating on Victorias tracks. This will include 16 new train sets, consisting of 96 new railcars, capable of speeds up to 160 km/h, all built in Victoria. This includes trains along the Shepparton line, also improving the experience for Nagambies train users. The new trains would be made part of the 2019 Budget, and an order placed in June of next year. Continued page 2 Coalition says itll spend $633m on V/Locity trains From page 1 This means the new fleet would not be delivered for some time- the coalition only placing a within our first term timeline on the promise- and Ms Ryan said she hoped that the announcement would encourage the Andrews Labor Government to make a similar commitment. Daniel Andrews has had almost three and a half years to buy new trains for the North East line. I will continue with my campaign until Daniel Andrews matches our pledge so that people in our region can have confidence that our train service will be fixed. Labor Member for NothernVictoria, Jaclyn Symes, said the promise of new trains to run along a track still plagued with problems was non-sensical. Ive asked for new trains every budget since I got elected, Ms Symes said. Ive not been successful because the reality is you cant run new trains on the dodgy track we have. It would literally be like driving a Rolls Royce on a 4WD track. The fix for the fault plagued line is two-fold track then trains. The track can only be fixed by the Federal Government; the trains are the states responsibility. Ms Symes said theAndrews Government would commit to new trains once the trains were brought up to a standard that would allow them to run effectively. We cant allocate taxpayers money for new trains to sit in storage, Ms Symes continued. I again call on Steph Ryan to divert her attention to her Federal colleagues who currently hold the purse strings to fix the track properly once and for all. While Ms Ryan agreed that the tracks required upgrading, she argued that it was no excuse for the State Government to sit around and wait. People are sick to death of the blame game. I have lobbied for three years to get new trains on our line and the message from commuters is clear we want a service that we can rely on. We are well on the way to achieving that with the $140 million invested by the Federal Nationals to improve the track and our commitment to replace the rolling stock. Caption Text: ELECTION PROMISE: Steph Ryan (MLA, Euroa) pictured at the Euroa train station, announced new rolling stock for the North East line if the Liberal-Nationals win government at the state election this year. PHOTO: Will MurrayLicensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence