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Improving regional rail

The Victorian Coalition plan to invest heavily in upgrading regional rail is a win for country Victorians who have been forgotten by the Andrews Government.

The Liberal Nationals have announced they will spend $633 million to replace the ageing diesel-hauled train fleet with new-generation V/Locity trains.

Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay, said the announcement is important.

“Anyone travelling to and from Warrnambool will understand exactly what this plan means.

“These passengers are deserving of greater comfort and reliability when they travel to our capital city.  It’s a long journey and long overdue for a contemporary makeover”, said Mr Ramsay.

The new trains will run on the Warrnambool, Shepparton, Albury, Bairnsdale and Swan Hill lines.

The Coalition plan encompasses 16 new train sets – each train consisting of six carriages, or ‘cars’, and will be configured flexibly as required.

The first order of these trains will be placed in June 2019.

“These trains will be capable of faster speeds, will be more comfortable and more reliable. They will be designed specifically for long-haul distances.

“It’s about time commuters in these parts of country Victoria were recognised as valuable customers”.

“We have to do better than the sardine-services currently on offer.

“Victorians travelling distances in this fashion know too well how awful that can be, especially in the heat of Summer”, Mr Ramsay he said.

Mr Ramsay said the modernisation is overdue and prepares the regions for change.

“Decentralisation and population growth are not going to wait for anything or anyone.  It’s happening now and these trains are needed now.

“Add to that the crumbling state of country roads – completely and utterly discarded by this Andrews Government.

“These trains will give commuters another reason to get off roads for a safer, faster, reliable journey”.

About the Author
Simon Ramsay was elected as a Liberal Member for Western Victoria Region at the 2010 Victorian State Election.