New train drivers to increase regional reliability

V/Line will soon have more drivers than ever before thanks to a 20 per cent increase in drivers by the end of 2020, helping deliver more reliable services across the entire regional network.

As part of an intense period of recruitment and training, around 30 fully qualified drivers have come on board across the network in the past year, and more than 120 trainees are currently completing an intensive driver training course thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

At the end of 2020, there will be more than 500 fully qualified drivers across the V/Line network, helping improve reliability, reduce cancellations and prepare the network for future growth.

Each trainee driver must complete several stages of training before they are qualified to drive V/Line trains, including class room work, on-the-job practical training and practice in V/Line’s state-of-the art driving simulators.

Several trainees are currently undertaking on-the-job training alongside a qualified instructor on Seymour, Shepparton and Albury services as part of the final phase of their course. Trainees rotate through each region to become familiar with the track across the network.

The safety of motorists and train passengers in Victoria’s North East has also recently been boosted, with the Victorian Government upgrading level crossings at Avenel and Barnawartha.

Works to install new boom gates, bells and flashing lights at the Ewings Road level crossing at Avenel and the High Street level crossing at Barnawartha were carried out by V/Line between March 2019 and April 2019, helping prevent serious collisions between motorists and trains on the Albury rail line.

Seymour and Shepparton line passengers will also benefit from a multimillion-dollar track maintenance investment delivered by the Victorian Government in 2019, with more than 55,000 life-expired sleepers on the two tracks between Donnybrook and Seymour to be replaced in 2019.

The $7.2 million first stage which recently began involves replacing sleepers on the Seymour-bound track until 26 June 2019. A similar amount will be invested in replacing timber sleepers as part of the second stage on the Melbourne-bound track from 9 July 2019 to 19 December 2019.

Source: Vic Government