V/Line to remove Z carriages for inspection
Added: 30 January 2013
Public Transport Victoria said today that V/Line had decided to immediately remove 22 of its older carriages from the V/Line fleet for testing and repairs.
V/Line decided to remove the carriages from service following a safety audit which revealed fatigue cracks in some critical areas of the ‘bogies’ or undercarriages of ‘Z’ class carriages.
PTV CEO and Chair Ian Dobbs said: “V/line has advised that safety and maintenance inspections have raised concerns about the condition of the bogies that support the Z carriages. As a result, V/Line has announced that the carriages will be withdrawn from service for further testing and repairs starting immediately.
“We support V/Line’s decision to withdraw the carriages for testing and, where necessary, to address any critical issues with the bogies.
“Our priority is to ensure that V/Line continues to run a safe network.
“Once thorough testing has been completed on each bogie, V/Line will be in a better position to determine the next steps and decide when the carriages can be returned to service. Experience would indicate that this may take some months to achieve.”
Mr Dobbs said that PTV and V/Line were working to organise replacement coach services to minimise the extent of any disruption.
Shepparton, Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Bairnsdale, and some Geelong and Traralgon trains will have fewer seats while this essential work is carried out, so additional coaches will be made available to accommodate the reduced capacity on these services.
Importantly, none of the carriages operates on peak commuter services. V/Line trains have a total of 70,000 seats each weekday and the withdrawal of these carriages involves about ten per cent of seats, not all of which are occupied on these off peak services. In most cases, these trains will operate with four carriages instead of five.
V/Line Acting CEO Ross Pedley said: “With safety as our number one priority in the operation of Victoria’s regional train service, V/Line is withdrawing these carriages to allow for a thorough examination by our fleet experts.”
“While the reduction in capacity will cause some inconvenience we want to ensure that there is no risk to the safety of our passengers and staff. We will ensure that passenger services are maintained, supplemented by road coaches where needed.”
“V/Line apologises for any inconvenience caused to our customers while we undergo this safety check, but I am sure that everyone shares our view that safety is paramount.”
Media enquiries: V/Line - 9619 5955, Public Transport Victoria - 0466 017 500