North-east passengers will be without train services during the long weekend as tracks improvements take place along the line.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will undertake bridge improvement works, which will result in V/Line replacing the majority of trains with coach services for the duration of the long weekend.
Member for Euroa and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Steph Ryan said the works were frustrating for travellers on the long weekend.
‘‘I have had regular discussions with the Federal Transport Minister Darren Chester to reiterate that improvements are needed on the line,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Some of that work is occurring to improve reliability.
‘‘The more pressing issue is the age of the trains on the line and the Andrews Government’s refusal to replace them.’’
Ms Ryan said Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan had done nothing for the north-east line, despite continuing to talk about improving public transport for regional Victoria.
The Andrews Government was taking north-east line passengers for fools after the recent reveal of new trains was nothing more than a new coat of paint, Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Labor’s first glimpse may as well read ‘illusion’,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘These trains are the same old 1960s clunkers we’ve been putting up with for years with a new coat of paint.
‘‘Passengers on the north-east line deserve more than this disrespectful and perfunctory token.’’
One Benalla resident who is a user of the line could not have been more disappointed with the reveal saying: ‘‘The carriages look exactly the same with different upholstery.
‘‘The trains will be no faster or reliable and with one fewer carriage will be more crowded.’’
Ms Ryan said the Andrews Government should invest in new rolling stock for the line instead of undertaking cosmetic fixes to 60-year-old trains.
‘‘We need a train service to and from Melbourne with rolling stock that is reliable and modern,’’ she said.