By Brendan Rees
Just over one train, on average, was abruptly cancelled on the Cranbourne train line every day in September – which has been labelled one of the “worst on the entire rail network”.
New figures, released by Public Transport Victoria on 10 October revealed Cranbourne’s punctuality rate was 84.5 per cent – up 1.1 per cent from August.
The result was substantially short of Metro Trains’ performance benchmark of 92 per cent. Overall, 41 trains were cancelled for the month on the Cranbourne line.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said passengers continued to suffer from “late and crowded trains,” on Cranbourne line which was “some of the worst on the entire rail network.”
“This is in no small part thanks to the single track sections on the line, which play havoc with cascading delays and limit the number of services that can run. It’s good to hear that the government is working on duplication – it has waited far too long, and can’t come soon enough,” he said.
Opposition Transport spokesman David Davis labelled the results as “an appalling rail fail on the Cranbourne line under Labor.”
“In 2019, there have been 1,567 cancelled, short runs, bypasses and slips – so far,” he said.
“In the last 12 months under Labor, it is a 100 per cent punctuality fail on the Cranbourne line – with the required punctuality not met once,” Mr Davis said.
For the second consecutive month, Metro Trains will pay compensation to passengers for failing to deliver 90 per cent of its services on time – including eligible Cranbourne line commuters.
Following a number of challenging months, the Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne directed the Department to work closely with Metro to improve their performance.
“Metro needs to continue to work hard to improve its performance and we will continue to ensure they have the plans in place to do so,” Mr Weimar said.
Under its previous contracts, Metro Trains would not be required to pay compensation for September’s level of performance. Passengers are advised to visit the Metro Trains website to claim compensation.
Four hundred and fifty-two trains have been cancelled this year so far on the Cranbourne line.
There were more than 320 incidents involving police operations, trespassers on train tracks and near misses, which delayed a total of 955 trains across Melbourne.
A Metro spokesperson said September saw improvements “to reliability and punctuality” on the Cranbourne line – “but we’re still not delivering the level of service our passengers deserve.”
“There were far too many disruptions during the month, including a significant number of trespasser and police incidents which delayed our passengers,” the spokesperson said.
Metro said it was “working harder than ever” to give passengers a more reliable service.