Shire calls for rethink on train catering

Published on 30 September 2022

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash.jpg

Corangamite Shire Council has called for the State Government to consider all alternatives to ensure catering is available for passengers when VLocity Trains are deployed on the Warrnambool line. Mayor Ruth Gstrein moved a motion at the September Council meeting in Skipton.

Councillors voted to

  • Thank the State Government for its investment in the Warrnambool to Melbourne railway line to enable the use of VLocity trains;
  • Express concern that the catering service currently offered on V/Line services will be discontinued with the implementation of VLocity trains; and
  • Instruct the CEO to write to the Minister for Public Transport advocating for the retention of the catering service into the future.

“I have been lobbied by a group of residents in Terang who are very concerned about the withdrawal of catering services from VLocity trains from Warrnambool to Melbourne,” Cr Gstrein said.

“We can’t forget that this train services passengers from Mt Gambier and Portland who come through by bus to Warrnambool before they board the train.

“We have many people in Corangamite who rely on the rail service to get to Geelong and Melbourne for medical treatment, education, social services and work,” Cr Gstrein said.

“To invest millions of dollars in track upgrades and new rolling stock, then reduce the level of service to passengers, seems like a backward step.”

Cr Gstrein said some regional residents also had transport challenges due to age, disability or economic position.

“We’ve been advocating for VLocity trains for a number of years so it’s fantastic to see them coming on board, particularly around issues for people with limited mobility. They haven’t been able to access the train services at all times because on occasion the cars with the all-abilities access toilets aren’t available.

“On that side of things VLocity trains are going to be of great benefit, however it is coming at the cost of losing some catering services.

“I like to think the State Government is considering how they can address this issue whether its on-station snack bars or machines on trains… I know that to put in a snack bar is going to take up a number of seats but I think it really is an important thing country people shouldn’t have to miss out on.”