Tourism in regional Victoria will get a boost now that more bikes can be fitted on the new generation of long haul Vlocity trains.
Nine of the new three carriage trains have already entered service.
There are nine formal bike spaces allocated on each train, with the six wheelchair spaces, additional luggage space, and flexible space due to some flip-up seats in the dining car.
Vlocity trains were originally designed in the era when bikes were an afterthought.
The few bike spaces that did exist were often filled with oversized suitcases and riders hoping to return from a cycling weekend in the country would be blocked from getting on the train to take them home.
The inclusion of the dining car in the new long hail version provided the opportunity to re-think the internal configuration.
Bicycle Network provided input into the new train design, which is a huge improvement, and if managed properly by V/Line operational staff, should be popular with bike tourists.
The new models have seating for 222 passengers in each train, with tray tables available on more seats than previous VLocity models. All the new trains will include quiet carriages, two onboard toilets, and mobile signal boosters.
The trains were manufactured locally in Dandenong, supporting 100 direct jobs at the Bombardier factory and hundreds more throughout the supply chain.
The trains will operate on the standard gauge track on the North East Line.
Increasing the number of trains available has given V/Line greater flexibility to perform maintenance on other trains without disrupting services and has reduced the risk of trains being replaced by coaches or running with fewer carriages.
The new trains have been added to V/Line’s current pool of Vlocity trains and are initially being rotated onto existing scheduled services.
The growing Vlocity fleet will eventually enable V/Line to add more services as part of a future timetable change.
As part of the 2019/20 Victorian State Budget commitment of 18 new, three-carriage VLocity trains, construction has started on Victoria’s first two standard gauge VLocity trains which will run on the Albury line, along with another four broad gauge trains.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said: “It’s great news for regional Victoria that these new trains are on the network, to ensure we can deliver reliable services for passengers.”
“These new trains combine the things passengers love about the existing Vlocity fleet with state-of-the-art technology to make journeys even more enjoyable.”
Passengers on the North East Line will also soon enjoy more reliable and comfortable journeys thanks to a massive program of accelerated works undertaken in recent months, the Deputy Prime Minister and Victorian Minister for Transport announced today.
Coaches have been replacing trains on the line since the New South Wales and Victoria border was closed in early July, allowing the North East Rail Line Upgrade to be fast-tracked.
Passenger trains will return to the improved line on Tuesday 1 December after the border reopens and the works are expected to be finished well ahead of time in mid-2021.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the work would make journeys on the line more comfortable and reliable and passengers would see further benefits when VLocity trains start travelling on the line.
"The Victorian Government is investing in more comfortable VLocity trains, which will run on the line for the first time once our massive upgrade is complete and the trains have been tested to guarantee safety for all passengers,” Minister Allan said.
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