V/Line

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V/Line
Government-owned corporation
Industry Rail & coach transport
Founded 1 July 1983
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia
Area served
Regional Victoria
Adelaide
Canberra
Southern New South Wales
Key people
Jenny Dawson Chairman
Gary Liddle acting CEO
Services Regional trains and coaches
Revenue $675 million (2015/16)
Number of employees
1,654 (June 2016)
Parent Government of Victoria
Website www.vline.com.au
Victorian-rail-map-2007.png
Victorian railway network in 2007
Locale Victoria, Australia
Dates of operation 1 July 1983–
Predecessor Victorian Railways
Public Transport Corporation
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Albury line)
Headquarters Melbourne

V/Line is a government-owned corporation that operates the regional passenger train and coach services in Victoria, Australia. It was created after the split-up of VicRail in 1983. V/Line is owned by the V/Line Corporation, a Victorian State Government statutory authority.

V/Line carried 16.8 million passengers in the 2015/16 financial year. It is the track manager of the Victorian intrastate rail network outside of the Australian Rail Track Corporation and Metro Trains Melbourne leases.[1] As at June 2016, it operated 90 stations, 41 locomotives, 134 locomotive hauled carriages and 177 diesel multiple unit carriages.[2]

History[edit]

As a government authority[edit]

On 1 July 1983, the State Transport Authority and a range of other transport bodies were created, when the Transport Act 1983 came into effect.[3] The new authority replaced VicRail, and established the V/Line operating brand for both country passenger and freight. The VicRail orange and silver 'teacup' livery used on passenger rolling stock was replaced in August 1983 by an orange and grey livery. The white and green V/Line logo was launched on 14 August 1983 by Transport Minister Steve Crabb, at Spencer Street station, with special trains running to Essendon to mark the occasion.[4][5]

This was altered when on 1 July 1989 the Transport (Amendment) Act took effect, merging the State Transport Authority with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to form the Public Transport Corporation (PTC).[6] The relationship between the country V/Line and suburban 'The Met' brands was blurred, with the Sprinter trains delivered in the 1993-1995 period appearing in PTC colours but with both PTC and V/Line logos.[7]

On 1 July 1994, the operation of some of V/Line's regional passenger services was contracted out to the private sector. Hoys Roadlines took over the Melbourne to Cobram service with trains operated under contract by V/Line to Shepparton with Hoys operating a road coach service beyond.[8] The service from Melbourne to Warrnambool was operated by West Coast Railway who operated their own trains throughout.[9][10] Both of these returned to being operated by V/Line in 2004.

Rail services to Leongatha ceased on 24 July 1993, Bairnsdale, Cobram and Dimboola on 21 August 1993, Ararat on 27 May 1994 and Mildura on 13 September 1994.[11][12]

In 1995, the freight and passenger rail divisions of V/Line were divided, with a new red, blue and white V/Line Passenger livery unveiled.[13] This split was finalised on 1 July 1997 when separate management was brought in.[14] On 1 July 1998, operation of the Stony Point line passed to Bayside Trains. V/Line continues to hire rolling stock to Metro Trains Melbourne to operate the service.[15]

Privatisation[edit]

Freight Victoria[edit]

V/Line Freight was sold to a consortium of RailAmerica, Fluor Daniel, Macquarie Bank and A Goninan & Co and rebranded as Freight Victoria effective from 1 May 1999.[16][17][18] The sale included a 45-year lease of most regional track (passenger and freight), with responsibilities for track, signalling and level crossings, with access to passenger sections of track granted to V/Line Passenger.[19]

After being renamed Freight Australia in March 2000, it was sold to Pacific National in August 2004.[20][21] In May 2007 Pacific National sold the rail lease of the network back to VicTrack.[22]

National Express[edit]

On 29 August 1999, National Express took control of V/Line Passenger having won a 10 year concession after beating FirstGroup, Freight Victoria, GB Railways, Prism Rail and Stagecoach.[23] National Express also operated the M>Tram and M>Train franchises in Melbourne.[24][25][26] It included all country rail operations in Victoria, with the exception of the Shepparton and Warrnambool services previously franchised in 1993.[27]

National Express inherited a fleet of A, N, P and Y class locomotives, H, N, S and Z type carriages and Sprinter diesel multiple units. As a franchise commitment, 29 two-car Vlocitys were ordered from Bombardier Transportation.[28]

In December 2002, National Express handed in its Victorian rail and tram franchises having been unable to renegotiate financial terms with the State Government.[29][30][31][32] KPMG were appointed to operate the business on behalf of the State Government.[33][34]

As a statutory corporation[edit]

Full control of V/Line was taken on 1 October 2003 by changing the shareholding of V/Line, making the government the sole shareholder via a recently created statutory corporation, V/Line Passenger Corporation.[1][35] V/Line operates under a franchise agreement entered into with the Director of Public Transport. The Director also sub leases tracks and other infrastructure which the Director holds under lease from VicTrack, the agency which owns Victoria's rail-related land and infrastructure.

In 2000, the Regional Fast Rail project was launched to upgrade the tracks linking Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne. The project, which also included an extra 10 Vlocitys and an expanded timetable of rail services, commenced full operations from December 2005.[36]

The services to Bairnsdale and Ararat were restored in May and July 2004 respectively.[35][37][38] In December 2008, as part of the Victorian Transport Plan, the state government announced that V/Line rail passenger services would be extended from Ballarat to Maryborough at a cost of $50 million, commencing in July 2010.[39][40] The first passenger train in 15 years arrived at Maryborough on 24 July 2010.[41] V/Line also resumed operating the Shepparton and Warrnambool services in 2004 when contacts with Hoys Roadliners and West Coast Railway expired.[42]

In November 2006 Pacific National, who had purchased Freight Australia, entered into an agreement to sell the remainder of its Victorian rail lease of the network back to VicTrack.[22] The sale was completed on 7 May 2007, with V/Line becoming the track manager of the Victorian intrastate network.[43]

In May 2008 it was announced that part of the V/Line fleet would be converted to standard gauge to operate an upgraded Albury line service.[44] In December 2008 V/Line ended the sale of alcoholic beverages aboard long-distance trains, after almost a century of the practice.[45]

In 2015/16, the subsidy per passenger trip was $22.12.[2]

The Transport Integration Act 2010 renamed the V/Line Passenger Corporation as V/Line Corporation.[46] The Act also gave V/Line a new statutory charter. As part of these changes, the corporation's responsibilities were explicitly expanded to cover both rail passenger and rail freight services.[47] The Act received the Royal assent on 2 March 2010 and came into effect on 1 July 2010.[48]

In January 2016, V/Line's VLocity rolling stock was identified to be suffering from abnormal wheel wear,[49] in addition to the fleet being banned from the Metropolitan track lease by the suburban rail operator, Metro Trains Melbourne, after failing to activate a level crossing in Dandenong,[50][51] in turn causing as many as 70 services a day to be cancelled.[52] This resulted in the resignation of then CEO Theo Taifalos, sixteen days free travel being provided to passengers, and an independent inquiry being ordered by Transport Minister Jacinta Allan into the operational capacity of V/Line.[52][53]

Services[edit]

V/Line operates rail services to the regional cities of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon as well as Ararat, Maryborough, Echuca, Swan Hill, Albury, Bairnsdale, Warrnambool and Shepparton. In addition, V/Line road coaches connect with many rail services at major stations to serve towns away from the main rail network operating as far as Adelaide and Canberra.[54]

Rail services are grouped into two types. As part of the introduction of the Myki smartcard in 2013, and to provide consistent communication to both staff and customers, what were formerly called "Interurban" services became "Commuter" services, and what were formerly called "Intercity" services became "Long Distance" services. Commuter services operate over shorter distances and more frequently than Long Distance services, and the latter usually provide some first-class accommodation, as well as snack bar facilities.

All rail services depart from Southern Cross station in Melbourne on the following lines with the exception of one Traralgon service which departs/ terminates at Flinders Street

V/line also runs numerous intrastate and interstate road coach services that may run wholly as a coach service or operate as a coach connecting with a rail service.

Interstate road coach service operated by V/line are:

Ticketing[edit]

V/Line thermally printed ticket
V/line Reserved Seating Ticket

V/Line currently uses the myki ticketing system on short distance train services, in addition to machine printed paper tickets, issued from staffed V/Line stations, selected Metro suburban premium stations, V/Line ticket agents, online or by phone. Passengers boarding services at unmanned stations or roadside coach stops can purchase tickets from the train conductor or coach driver.

Tickets have the origin and destination printed upon them, making them point to point, but the fare itself is based on charging zones.[55] Changes were made to the fare system, to integrate it with the suburban Metcard system in preparation for the introduction of the Myki smartcard system to cover the entire state.[56]

Ticket types available include single, return, and a range of periodical tickets.[57] Services are classified as peak and off-peak, with discounts available for tickets valid in off-peak times only.[57] V/Line operates a limited number of trains with first class seating which requires the payment of an upgrade fee on top of the standard economy fare.[58] From June 2013 the Myki smartcard system began to be rolled out on the V/Line network.[59]

Most V/Line services operate on a non-allocated seating basis, but all intercity (long distance) rail services and some coach services require seat reservations.[60]

Fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Gauge Top speed
(km/h)
Built Number Notes
VLocity Three-car-VLocity-VL38.jpg Diesel multiple unit Broad 160 2004–present 172 54 3-car sets, 12 under construction
N class Vline-n469-sss.jpg Diesel electric locomotive Broad, Standard 130 1985-1987 25
Sprinter 7007 southern cross 12 sep 07.JPG Diesel multiple unit Broad 130 1993-1995 21
A class New VLine Livery A66.JPG Diesel electric locomotive Broad 133 1984-1985 11 10 stored
P class New VLine Livery P11.JPG Diesel electric locomotive Broad, Standard 100 1984-1985 8 1 stored
Y class Y129 VLine.jpg Diesel electric locomotive Broad 65 1965-1968 4 Shunters at Southern Cross, Geelong and Newport Workshops
H type carriages Line H set VSH28.JPG Passenger carriage Broad 115 1984-1990 51 13 sets, 1 car stored
N type carriages Vline n class train at lara victoria.jpg Passenger carriage Broad, Standard 115 1981-1984 56 19 sets, 1 car stored (accident damage)
Z type carriages Vline-bcz257-carriage.jpg Passenger carriage Broad 115 1957-1966 20 Incorporated into N sets, 1 stored (accident damage)
D van D-van-trailing-vline.jpg Parcels/luggage van Broad 115 1983 7 4 stored
PCJ van PCO-being-shunted-vline.jpg Head end power/luggage van Standard 115 1970 3
PH van A class hauled train.jpg Head end power van Broad 115 1984, 2009 4


Road coaches:

V/Line liveried coach

Road coaches are provided by 23 private companies including Dineen Group, Donric Group, Dyson Group, Firefly Express and Panorama Coaches, who are contracted by the Department of Transport to operate services for V/Line. These coaches are painted in V/Line livery.[61][62]

Network access[edit]

V/Line also manages and maintains all non-interstate rural rail track in Victoria, including lines that do not see passenger services.[63] The lease was previously held by Pacific National, who entered into an agreement to sell it back to the Victorian Government in November 2006,[22] with the sale completed in May 2007 with V/Line appointed to manage it.[64]

Branding[edit]

Initial 1983 logo

The initial V/Line visual identity was unveiled in August 1983, with an orange and grey livery for locomotives and passenger rolling stock,[4] along with a white and green V/Line logo with a "stylised capital lettered logo with the V and the L split by a deep slashing stroke".[65] Work on the initial V/Line identity started in May 1983, with freight wagons being released without logos pending the launch. Before that time, a stylised VR logo was carried by rolling stock that had been received the orange and silver VicRail 'teacup' livery since 1981.[4] Carriages in the 'teacup' livery later had the logos removed and replaced by V/Line ones.[66]

This remained until 1993 when the Sprinter trains were delivered in the teal and yellow suburban 'The Met' brand colours, but with both The Met and V/Line logos.[7] In 1995, the freight and passenger rail divisions of V/Line were divided, with locomotives in the freight fleet retaining the orange and grey livery with 'V/Line Freight' logos, while passenger carriages and locomotive received the red blue and white 'V/Line Passenger' livery which remains on some of the fleet today.[13] It was also at that time that the V/Line logo was altered, with serifs added to the lettering, and the "deep slashing stroke" was altered to a curved blue line. After National Express took over V/Line, the logo was again altered in 2000, with mixed-case lettering and a curving blue line underneath.[66] In 2006, it was again altered, with the removal of the blue line underneath and addition of a purple line.[67]

The VLocity railcars were delivered from 2005 in a new livery of stainless steel with purple and green highlights. In 2007, a new livery was unveiled, consisting of a grey carbody with red, white and purple stripes.[68] Rolling stock in different variants of the livery was released throughout that year, with a consistent version not appearing until 2008, along with a number of repainted locomotives.

In 2013, the Public Transport Victoria purple and white diamonds livery was adopted. It had only been applied to V/Locitys and road coaches with locomotives and other rolling stock continuing to have the previous livery applied. In early 2017, N457 was painted to a new PTV livery of Purple and Yellow and Set SN 8 painted to match the V/Locity fleet.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "V/Line Background". www.vline.com.au. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  2. ^ a b Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2016 V/Line
  3. ^ "Public Record Office Victoria online catalogue". access.prov.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  4. ^ a b c Railmac Publications (1992). Australian Fleetbooks: V/Line locomotives. Kitchner Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-949817-76-7. 
  5. ^ "Index Page". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society. September 1983. p. 227. 
  6. ^ "Public Record Office Victoria online catalogue". access.prov.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  7. ^ a b "V/LineCars.com - Sprinters". www.vlinecars.com. Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  8. ^ Hoys Roadlines Cobram-Shepparton Services Agreement Government of Victoria
  9. ^ "Sprinters launched as V/Line franchises let" Railway Gazette International June 1993 page 367
  10. ^ Agreement for the Supply of Passenger Train Services between Warrnambool and Melbourne Government of Victoria
  11. ^ Chris Banger (March 1997). "Rail Passenger Service Withdrawals Since 1960". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). pp. 77–82. 
  12. ^ "When the lights went out in Victoria" Railway Digest July 2013 pages 44-47
  13. ^ a b "News". Newsrail. Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division). November 2005. 
  14. ^ Peter Attenborough (June 2004). "Freight Australia". Australian Model Railway Magazine. pp. 24–27. 
  15. ^ "Victorian Rail Transport Businesses Formerly Established" Railway Digest September 1998 page 15
  16. ^ RailAmerica Backed Freight Victoria Consortium Wins Australian V/Line Freight Bid Business Wire 22 February 1999
  17. ^ Rail giants to battle for Freight Australia The Age 1 November 2003
  18. ^ "Freight Victoria Bid Wins V/Line Freight" Railway Digest March 1999 page 9
  19. ^ Railamerica Wins In Australia - Freight Victoria consortium led by RailAmerica Inc. acquires V/Line Freight Railway Age March 1999
  20. ^ "New Colours" Railway Digest April 2000 page 39
  21. ^ Victorian Government grants consent to Pacific National acquisition of Freight Australia Toll Group 16 August 2004
  22. ^ a b c "Toll sells rail lease". Canberra Times. 2 November 2006. p. 17. 
  23. ^ First Melbourne franchise Railway Gazette International July 1999
  24. ^ National Express Group Awarded Three Franchises National Express June 1999
  25. ^ "NEG conquers Oz" Rail Magazine issue 363 11 August 1999 page 11
  26. ^ National Express takes root in Melbourne Railway Gazette International October 2000
  27. ^ Peter Attenborough (June 2006). "V/Line Passenger". Australian Model Railway Magazine. pp. 26–29. 
  28. ^ "All change for private trains and trams" Railway Digest August 1999 page 24
  29. ^ National Express walks out of Australian rail service The Daily Telegraph (London) 17 December 2002
  30. ^ "Privatisation takes a tumble in Victoria" Railway Gazette International February 2003 page 61
  31. ^ Richard Web (14 March 2004). "The long goodbye". The Age. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  32. ^ Nat Express pull back Down Under The Daily Telegraph (London) 3 September 2004
  33. ^ Receivers take over train, tram group The Age 24 December 2002
  34. ^ Victorian passenger services get new managers Rail Express 28 January 2003
  35. ^ a b Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2004 V/Line
  36. ^ "Fast Rail bids" Railway Gazette International December 2002 page 727
  37. ^ Liz Gooch (10 July 2004). "Ararat sleepers awake to new sound - the train". The Age. www.theage.com.au. Retrieved 2010-09-04. 
  38. ^ "Country comeback" Railway Gazette International August 2004 page 458
  39. ^ "Maryborough Rail Extension Projects". Victorian Transport Plan. www4.transport.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  40. ^ "Maryborough Rail Services". Victorian Transport Plan. www.transport.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  41. ^ "Maryborough gets its train back". Transport Projects eNews August 2010. Department of Transport. Retrieved 2013-07-08. 
  42. ^ "Intelligence" Railway Gazette International October 2004 page 666
  43. ^ "Media Release: Rail Buy Back Deal Complete". Minister for Public Transport. www.legislation.vic.gov.au. 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  44. ^ "Premier of Victoria, Australia - Federal-State Co-operation Delivers Major Rail Project". www.premier.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  45. ^ Kate Lahey (23 December 2008). "No more making a V/Line for the bar". The Age. theage.com.au. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  46. ^ "Transport Integration Act 2010 (No 6 of 2010) - Section 128 V/Line Corporation". www.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  47. ^ "Transport Integration Act 2010 (No 6 of 2010) - Section 131 Object of V/Line Corporation". www.austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  48. ^ "New Transport Framework For Victoria". Mondaq Business Briefing. www.thefreelibrary.com. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-04. 
  49. ^ Carey, Adam (2016-01-14). "V/Line trains forced out of service by mysterious wheel fault". The Age. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  50. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/boom-gate-safety-issues-with-vline-vlocity-trains-known-for-more-than-two-years-20160119-gm9lkj.html
  51. ^ http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/wheel-issue-heat-delays-regional-commuters-on-vline-trains/news-story/aba6a48efb70866db71807356fe0aef4
  52. ^ a b "Victorians afforded free regional rail travel after week of V/Line delays". ABC News. 2016-01-20. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  53. ^ "V/Line chief Theo Taifalos resigns after long delays, free travel extended into February". ABC News. 2016-01-28. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  54. ^ Timetables V/Line
  55. ^ remove outdated Metlink info
  56. ^ "V/Line - V/Line & Metlink ticket integration". www.vline.com.au. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  57. ^ a b "V/Line - Fares - Ticket Types & Conditions". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  58. ^ "V/Line ~ First Class". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  59. ^ myki to start on V/Line commuter services Public Transport Victoria 11 June 2013
  60. ^ "V/Line - Reservations". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  61. ^ "V/Line - Our Fleet". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  62. ^ Coach call V/Line 23 November 2015
  63. ^ "Introduction to RNA". V/Line ~ Network Access. www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  64. ^ "Rail Buy Back Deal Complete". Minister for Public Transport (Media Release). 7 May 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  65. ^ Norm Bray & Peter J Vincent (2006). Bogie Freight Wagons of Victoria. Brief History Books. p. 14. ISBN 0-9775056-0-X. 
  66. ^ a b "V/LineCars.com - Carriage Liveries". vlinecars.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  67. ^ "V/LineCars.com News - 22nd August 2006 - New V/Line Logo". www.vlinecars.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 
  68. ^ "V/LineCars.com - Carriage and Sprinter Refurbishment Program & New V/Line Livery - Ministerial & Media Launch". www.vlinecars.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-16. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to V/Line at Wikimedia Commons
  • V/Line
  • V/LineCars.com - Comprehensive V/Line Carriages Information & Enthusiast website
  • Vicsig.net - Victorian passenger rolling stock
Preceded by
VicRail
Country rail in Victoria
1983 - present
Succeeded by
Incumbent operator