REGIONAL rail operator V/Line is testing mobile signal strength in VLocity train carriages to find blackspots on commuter lines, including the Traralgon line.
Pictured: a monitoring station operator operating equipment on a VLocity train. Picture via V/Line.
The tests have been designed to determine the extent and location of mobile reception blackspots.
This round of testing is taking place despite V/Line having already spoken to telecommunication companies to identify where the blackspots are.
Poor mobile reception in the new trains is a well-known issue for commuters, and a V/Line investigation obtained by Greens MLC Greg Barber under Freedom of Information last year showed the rail operator did not think a solution would come easily.
V/Line has previously trialled attaching an antenna to a VLocity carriage in an attempt to improve reception.
Data collected through the tests will be used by V/Line and governments when examining ways to improve reception in blackspots.
The speed of response has been unsatisfactory for Mr Barber, who has previously slammed state and federal governments, Telstra and V/Line for not pushing harder for a solution.
Adding a WiFi service to trains has been suggested as a short-term fix for poor reception and as a way to improve patronage, but V/Line told a customer consultation in Ballarat last year there were no plans to implement such a service.
Monitoring stations will be on selected trains over the next few weeks and V/Line has asked commuters to not disturb the operators.
How good is your mobile phone reception on Traralgon line trains? Let us know below.
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