Passengers in regional Victoria and Melbourne’s west will soon enjoy a more comfortable and accessible journey, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $50 million refresh of Victoria’s entire fleet of VLocity trains.
Acting Premier Lisa Neville and Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne today announced the first three-carriage train has been recently refurbished at Bombardier’s Dandenong workshop and is now taking passengers, delivering a better travel experience for regional Victorians.
As part of the VLocity Refresh program, the interior of all 75 VLocity trains in the fleet will be refurbished with new carpets and seats, priority seating areas, more handrails and minor repairs as required.
Automatic announcement technology that lets passengers know when their train is approaching the next station will also be installed.
The refresh will also deliver important accessibility improvements including installing hearing loop technology and wider toilet doors for wheelchair access, and improving safety handrails and door handles.
The program goes further than any previous refurbishments, bringing the existing fleet up to a similar standard to the new, future VLocity’s and helping to pave the way for nine-car VLocity trains across the entire fleet. All 75 trains will be upgraded by late 2021, supporting 45 local jobs in Dandenong.
The fleet upgrade comes as new data reveals V/Line is transporting more people than ever before, with a record 22.3 million journeys on the regional rail and coach network in 2018/19, surpassing the previous year’s record of 20.8 million.
The Labor Government announced $340 million in the Victorian Budget 2019/20 for up to 18 new VLocity trains, further increasing capacity and comfort for passengers on the Geelong, Ballarat and North East lines.
This is on top of $311.1 million in the Victorian Budget 2017/18 for 13 new Vlocity trains and the 48 trains already ordered and delivered by the Labor Government since 2015.
Significant improvements to V/Line’s existing classic fleet, including a refresh of Sprinter carriages, are also due for completion towards the end of 2019.