Albury V/Line rail service
|Type||V/Line passenger service|
|Rolling stock||Locomotive hauled N type carriages|
|Line length||306 km (190.1 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Old gauge||1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) Victorian broad gauge|
The Albury line is a regional passenger rail service operated by V/Line in Victoria, Australia. It serves passengers between state capital Melbourne and the regional cities of Benalla, Wangaratta, Wodonga, and Albury.
After February 2008 train services on the line terminated at Wangaratta station, with road coaches operating from Wangaratta to Albury. This was due to the deteriorating track conditions between Seymour and Albury which were resulting in train speeds being reduced from 115 to 80 km/h (71 to 50 mph), and trains not being able to make the return journey in the timetabled period.
On 30 May 2008 the then Premier of Victoria John Brumby announced the broad gauge track between Seymour and Albury would be converted to standard gauge, with the project to be combined with the relocation of the railway line away from the Wodonga CBD. Three V/Line passenger locomotives and 15 passenger carriages were also to be converted to standard gauge to operate the service. Although the project was planned for completion by 2010, it was not finished until the end of June 2011.
While the gauge conversion program was being carried out between 2008 and 2011, all Albury services operated as road coaches north of Seymour, connecting with trains operating between Seymour and Melbourne. 68 seats on the CountryLink Melbourne-Sydney XPT service were also made available at V/Line ticket prices.
Rail services on the standard gauge commenced on 26 June 2011 with one service each way each day between Albury and Melbourne. A second daily train service was added from 31 October, with a third daily service commencing operations 22 April 2012, marking the end of road coach replacements on the line. However serious problems soon emerged with the condition of the standard gauge track north of Seymour, meaning that the new service became very unreliable due to speed restrictions, and trains were regularly replaced by buses.
V/Line operates daily passenger trains on the Albury line from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne. Services as far as Seymour station are operated as the Seymour Line. Services run by Metro Trains Melbourne also operate as far as Craigieburn station as the Craigieburn Line.
Classified by V/Line as an Intercity service, a snack bar is provided on board trains, and first class accommodation is available. Locomotive hauled N type carriages are used, and most services run express between Seymour and Melbourne.
Bold stations are termini, italic stations are staffed at least part-time. Standard gauge is in blue. (Correct as of 26 June 2011 when trains returned to Albury)
- "News - New timetable for Melbourne <> Albury services". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- "Premier of Victoria, Australia - FEDERAL-STATE CO-OPERATION DELIVERS MAJOR RAIL PROJECT". www.premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- "Full Steam Ahead". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
- "Albury Line / North East rail upgrade works ~ V/Line". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-12-24.
- Bronwen Wade (26 June 2011). "They're back: V/Line trains return". ABC Goulburn Murray. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Coughlan, Kate, & Thomas, Di (2012-08-31). "V/Line admits defeat". The Border Mail. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
- Carey, Adam (2012-12-17). "$290m loss on botched rail line". The Age. Retrieved 2013-03-05.