Ballarat line punctuality off the rails

Train punctuality on V/Line’s Ballarat line has nosedived, with May’s figures one of the worst on record.

Just 79.8 per cent of services arrived on time during the month, well below the V/Line target of 92 per cent and continuing the trend downwards since December’s 91.2 per cent.

V/Line chief executive James Pinder said increased patronage on the line –which includes Sunshine, Ardeer, Deer Park and Caroline Springs stations – was to blame for the poor results as trains had to linger at stations longer.

There was an additional 86,112 trips compared with May 2016.

“There were more than 338,000 trips in May last year so there is huge growth along the Ballarat corridor,” Mr Pinder said.

“V/Line will continue to do everything we can to improve on-time running including encouraging passengers to spread out along the platform and use all available doors.”

Reliability on the line dropped from 98.7 per cent to 97.6 across May, which is still above the stated goal of 96 per cent.

Mr Pinder said carriages would be added to Ballarat services to increase punctuality, while more services would be added to the timetable from July.

An extra 18 new weekday and weekend services will be added from August 27.