Pakenham commuters to be allowed back on V/Line
 Baw Baw News  

By // 19:33, Monday 14 December 2015

warragul station train warragul citizen by william pj kulich

GIPPSLAND // PAKENHAM passengers will be allowed to board V/Line rail services again from the start of next year.

First published in the 11 December 2015 print edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. All dates relative to then.

A timetable change in June saw Pakenham marked as a drop off only service for city-bound trains and pick up only for Gippsland-bound trains.


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At the time, a Public Transport Victoria spokesperson said the changes would make the regional network’s rules consistent.

“From Sunday 21 June 2015, customers using Sunbury and Pakenham stations will be required to board Metro services when travelling to and from the city,” a PTV spokesperson said.

“This has long been the case for people using stations such as Sunshine, Broadmeadows and Dandenong.”

Overcrowding on Gippsland line services frequently sees passengers standing between carriages and down aisles on many evening services. Metro passengers taking seats for much of the journey have often been blamed for exacerbating the line’s overcrowding problem.

A Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen investigation early this year found Pakenham line commuters also pay less for travel in zones 1 and 2 on V/Line trains than regional passengers do.

Last week public transport minister Jacinta Allan told the Pakenham Gazette the changes would be reversed from the start of next year with the exception of the 16:16 and 17:37 peak hour services.

“Today’s announcement strikes the right balance,” she said.

“It means Gippsland passengers can get the train home at the busiest times, while giving Pakenham passengers access to the services they want, when there is room.”

The Pakenham passenger issue is divisive. When news of the original change was broken on 1 June at warragulcitizen.com, the article received hundreds of comments and remains WBBC’s most viewed story online for 2015.


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A WBBC web poll asked locals if they supported the change. Of 1,093 voter, 73 per cent of respondents said they agreed or largely agreed with preventing Pakenham passengers boarding.

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7 responses to “Pakenham commuters to be allowed back on V/Line”

  1. Darryl says:

    What a ridiculous reversal. I have been enjoying the ride home on VLine for the last few months. Obviously these “Ministers” dont use publc transport themselves or have any clue what the conditions are really like. If Pakenham passengers use VLine, make them pay the same as us – or better still, reduce our fares to align us.

  2. Lorris Jones says:

    Then the MYKI fare needs to be adjusted so that all passengers pay the same fare between Pakenham and Melbourne!
    It is also questionable that room exists on other services with the growing regional population. This is a short sighted decision aimed at electoral popularity in the Pakenham area which will need to be changed again in the near future. It is just wrong that long distance travellers have to stand from Melbourne to Pakenham just so that Pakenham commuters can have the comfort of a Vline train designed for longer distances yet pay a Metro distance fare.

  3. Jan Stuut says:

    This is a purely political decision. A V line service is sometimes a metro service as well but not always. I don’t mind Packenham commuters getting a reasonable limited express service provided the trains can accommodate the extra passengers.The alternative of a tedious stopping all stations service is something I would not wish on anybody.Why not classify Pakenham a V line station its not exactly metropolitan Melbourne. Thenbuild a dedicated V line corridore to separate Metro and V line rail lines for faster limited express to town. Connect the South Gippsland bus services at Pakenham and Gippslanders will have a decent punctual service. Anything else is short sighted and will have us discussing this for years to come. Whilst we plod along at the stopping all stations pace or sit in traffic in a bus on the Monash freeway our plans for the day stuffed…. again.

  4. John says:

    This is straight out of an episode of “Yes Minister”. How did we try to stop outbound Pakenham passengers from taking the seats of VLine passengers who are paying a higher fare? We marked the timetable with a little “p” for “pick up only” and they wouldn’t dare to exit the train at Pakenham. Good luck trying to stop them. It made zero difference. It’s laughable. The only way to manage the issue is to apply the practice of the 16:58 train out of Southern Cross which does not stop at Pakenham.

  5. Fox Simmonds says:

    Good. This evens out the passengers on the trains. I’ve gotten a metro train before when v/line broke down. It’s like sardines in there. Also it’s not that easy to adjust the fare without changing the zone allocation.
    Sit down. Shut up. Enjoy your ride. Quit whining about the politics of trains. Ever since I moved out rural I’ve noticed these people have some assumed sense of self entitlement. It’s called common courtesy. Be kind to the Pakky passengers. They are people too. Just not as stuck up.

  6. Raymond says:

    John – that pain-in-the-neck train service that was a real annoyance for me when I was travelling from Hallam where I worked, back home to the country at the end of the day.

    Because of this, the best option was to catch a Metro train from Hallam to Pakenham, a bus service from Pakenham to Garfield, then pick up the V/Line service at its next stop, Garfield. A slow and tedious way to get home for a country commuter on a normal journey of less than an hour. If a connection was disrupted, it was an even longer and frustrating trip home. To rub it in further, waiting at Pakenham station on a cold and dark evening because the Metro train was delayed, causing me to miss the connecting bus service, then watching the V/Line service I was meant to be on whistle straight past without stopping was enough for anyone to see red.

    It felt like I was being unfairly treated as a Metro customer, even though I was from the country. Thankfully I don’t need to do this anymore.

  7. Simon says:

    John, you forget that many of us actually travel from Gippsland to Pakenham and back – removing the Pakenham stop disenfranchises travellers like us.

    On Monday I finish work in Berwick at 5 and start another job in Warragul at 7. Because that crucial afternoon train does not stop at Pakenham, I am forced to drive.
    (Which is fine, but some people don’t have that option, and sometimes [like the first three days of this week] I don’t have that option either.)

    On Fridays I start work in Pakenham at 7:40 (in a part of Pakenham that is an hour’s walk from the station). The 6:35 train gets in too late to connect with the bus or to allow walking time, and the train before that doesn’t stop at Pakenham – which means I either get the ridiculously early train (after getting home on the last train on Thursday night), or have to drive.

    Not all of us on the Gippsland trains are heading to central Melbourne. We deserve a service too.

    Worth noting that my work travel often requires me to change at Pakenham to catch the Metro service to Berwick or Beaconsfield. No one ever complains about the V/Line passenger on ‘their’ train.