V-LINE has admitted the Colac train was overcrowded last week, but says it has no extra carriages to improve the service.
A V-Line spokeswoman said patronage figures showed two out of eight services from Southern Cross to Warrnambool were at capacity “so far this week” when the Colac Herald raised concerns last Thursday.
Train travellers told the Colac Herald a Wednesday train travelling through Colac from Melbourne was standing room only with passengers forced to sit on the floor and stand in doorways.
The spokeswoman said V-Line apologised to customers for the discomfort on the busier services.
“We expect this is due to higher than normal customer numbers travelling to and from Melbourne for the school holidays,” she said.
“We currently do not have any spare carriages to add to these services, as all available rolling stock is being used across the network.”
State opposition leader Matthew Guy urged travellers to sign an online petition getraillinkright.com.au calling for an extra service on the line at.
Trains advocate and Colac Otway Shire councillor Brain Crook said adding an extra train would help improve the service and tackle overcrowding issues.
“There could be an extra service added to the line tomorrow, getting the fifth service would mean more work, but we’d certainly welcome getting that fourth train,” Cr Crook said.
“Getting a fifth service would mean adding a passing loop up near Camperdown and the last one that was added near Warrion cost about $10 million, so that will be harder,” he said.
“In the short-term for a fourth train service and then if that happens hopefully it will be supported and then we can start pushing very hard for the fifth.”
Cr Crook said south-west Victorian travellers would also benefit from extra bus services.
“The issue for the south-west is other places are supplemented by buses and we are not,” he said.
“In our neck of the woods people turn out in numbers but our public transport service is not up to standard.”