Southern Region - Due to delays as a result of substantial speed restrictions being applied by both the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the independent regulator on ARTC track in Victoria, CountryLink advises that all services between Albury and Melbourne will be replaced by road coaches commencing from Sunday 8 August 2010 until further notice. CountryLink apologises for any inconvenience.
Southern region - Due to amended timetables all Sydney - Melbourne - Sydney XPT services will experience delays of 20 - 40 minutes.Please visit the Trackwork for more details. (From Sunday 8 August 2010 until further notice the XPT service will be replaced by a road coach service Albury - Melbourne - Albury).
The explanation contained in The Age's report (below) blames Victoria for laying tracks in the middle of a drought and seemingly not allowing for wet conditions (reactive clay soils swell when wet).
The Age's report from 9 August.
Victoria-NSW train travel suspended: CountryLink
August 9, 2010 - 2:57PM
Train travel from NSW to Victoria has been suspended because of safety concerns.
The decision was made yesterday afternoon after the NSW-based CountryLink transport service became worried about safety on rail lines between Albury and Melbourne.
Regional centres such as Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga along with smaller towns including Wangaratta, Cootamundra and Yass will be affected by the decision.
Speed limits on the lines, normally above 100km/h, have been reduced to 80km/h.
"This arrangement will continue until further notice," CountryLink said in a statement.
Safety has been jeopardised by the decision to lay concrete sleepers during a time of drought and not allow for rains, sources familiar with the issue told AAP.
One person said the safety worries would soon affect NSW tracks from Macarthur, on the southern outskirts of Sydney, through to Albury."
This is a 3rd world situation, which is unbelievable in 2010.
And in the context of a Federal Election, we have heard not a peep out of any politicians on this issue. Nothing!