V/line Gears Up For Scorching Week 1

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27th January 2009, 02:44pm - Views: 506
Tuesday 27 January 2009

V/Line gears up for scorching week

An increase in train maintenance and earlier cooling of trains are part of a package of
measures in place as V/Line gears up for one of Victoria's hottest weeks on record.

With temperatures forecast to be up to 41 degrees in Melbourne until Saturday (and
hotter in some parts of the state), V/Line is preparing the regional train fleet and
infrastructure for the heat wave.

The package of hot weather measures has seen a step-up in train maintenance over the
past few days in preparation. While most hot days are soon followed by a cool change,
the sustained heat expected over several days will see maintenance crews working to
full capacity.

A fleet of 20 coaches will be on stand-by tonight and other hot days at Southern Cross
Station to back-up trains affected by the extreme heat. More coaches will be on hand in
the hottest part of the state at Swan Hill and Shepparton, with further coaches deployed
to other locations as needed.

To help passengers cope with sweltering temperatures, air conditioning on the older
locomotive-hauled trains will also be run well before departures to help ensure cooler
carriages as people board.

As rail operations get ready for the heat, V/Line is also helping train passengers to
prepare with the following special hot weather travel advice:

Stay well hydrated in the heat by drinking plenty of water before your trip. All
V/Line trains have onboard water fountains, and the older locomotive-hauled
trains also have onboard buffets for purchase of bottled water and other
Allow up to half an hour extra travel time between midday and 8pm on days when
the temperature rises above 36 degrees in most of the state (or 33 degrees in
Swan Hill and Echuca). Steel tracks expand in the heat, requiring trains to run at
slower speeds to be safe;
Keep up-to-date with service alterations by signing up for V/Line's new SMS and
email alert system called `V/Line Inform'. This free service is available by
registering at www.vline.com.au/inform; and
Listen for announcements giving service updates at stations and onboard trains.


Ms McGinnes said the continued heat wave this week was unprecedented.

"This will mean little or no relief for train maintenance crews until there's a break in the
weather conditions.

She said Victoria's inconsistent weather made it difficult to timetable ahead for hot days.

"In other parts of Australia and the world, some operators implement summer timetables
where services on all days are essentially slowed to cater for the heat.

"Here in Victoria, temperatures exceed limits on too few days to make a summer
timetable viable because trains would be slowed on more days than needed.

"Previous years show us that hot weather delays to trains occur on average nine days
per month over summer, while the other 19 to 22 days are unaffected.

Ms McGinnes thanked train passengers in advance for their patience as V/Line works to
get ready for the heat.

Customers are encouraged to visit vline.com.au/heat or call us on 136 196 for more

- ends

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