During hotter months – usually November to March – heat speed restrictions may be introduced on some train services.
What is a heat speed restriction?A heat speed restriction is when our trains run at slower speeds so they can continue to operate safely.
When trains slow downV/Line slows trains when the temperature is forecast to reach 36 degrees celcius.
When this happens, speed restrictions are introduced between midday and 20:00.
Generally trains to and from Swan Hill, Bendigo and Shepparton are most affected. Even then speed restrictions have in the past only affected 10 per cent of all trains running.
Why are they needed?Steel expands in extreme heat and is an issue for rail operators around the world. On days above 36 degrees, the track may expand and become less stable. As a result, trains run at slower speeds to ensure a safe journey.
Why do some trains get replaced with a bus?During hot afternoons trains generally start their trip on time, but it can arrive up to 30 minutes late when reaching its destination.
To allow evening peak trains to depart Melbourne on time some early afternoon trains can be replaced with a bus . This ensures there are enough trains and carriages in Melbourne in time for the afternoon peak when the most people are travelling.
Impact on timetablesMorning peak trains are generally unaffected. From midday some trains can run up to 30 minutes slower and a small number might be fully or partially replaced with buses.
Why not just run a summer timetable?To run a summer timetable would mean all trains would be slowed. Generally heat speed restrictions only affect a small number of trains across the entire network (between 10 to 30 per cent) and these are predominantly in the North and North East of Victoria.
The areas most affected by heat speed restrictions include Swan Hill, Echuca, Bendigo, Albury / Wodonga and Shepparton. Other parts of Victoria will generally only have a handful of days where trains are slowed due to heat.
Be preparedKeep an eye on the weather forecasts. If the weather is tipped to be above 36 degrees where you travel, allow extra time to reach your destination.
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