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Y E V R U S E C I O V R U O Y 8 1 THE 20



Left to right, Don Pietrapertosa, Zack Hall and James Brown. Inset: Kristin Paine

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• New-look carriage set • Your Voice has been extended • Karl strives to improve performance • Recognising excellence • Biggest morning tea

Performance surge

Almost all lines on the V/Line network saw an increase in on-time performance in April, which was an outstanding result for the business. Across the network, punctuality jumped more than five percentage points to 86.2 per cent last month and the Warrnambool line was the standout, recording its highest result in more than six years. The line exceeded the punctuality target, with 92.9 per cent of services arriving at their destination on time for the month. Another top performer was the Geelong line, jumping more than three percentage points to its highest level since October 2016 with 91.5 per cent. On-time performance on the Ballarat

line improved eight percentage points to its highest level since November last year and the Seymour line recorded its highest punctuality result in six months. CEO James Pinder said a significant amount of work had gone into achieving last month’s results and encouraged everyone to keep up the great work. “So much hard work and effort has gone into these results and I want to congratulate everyone for making performance a focus,” he said. “It’s really important we continue to make improvements because we want

to be achieving these high results consistently for the months ahead.” Some of the reasons behind the improved performance include improving the reliability of the fleet, stepping up the placement of reactive crews and proactive maintenance on critical assets. Operationally, station staff, conductors, shunters, yard masters and drivers also continue to place daily focus on ensuring trains are ready to depart on time and help customers board as quickly and safely as possible.

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Seymour conductor Peter ‘Foss’ Andriessen in the new-look standard gauge train

New-look carriage set

Another new-look standard-gauge carriage set is now operating on the Albury line. SN1 has undergone a refurbishment with new livery installed, as well as new seats, carpets and curtains. New magnetic door locks have also been installed to improve reliability and hand rails at the café bar to improve safety for passengers. This is the third standard-gauge carriage set on the Albury to be refurbished, with the final one to be done over the coming weeks.

Restoring non-operational signals

Non-operational signals, dating back more than a century, have been relocated from the V/Line network in the hope of restoring their historical significance. V/Line removed the nine non-operational semaphore signals in Ballarat at the end of April and transported them to the Bullarto Railway Station, which is part of the Daylesford Spa Country Railway. The signals date back to at least 1913 and have been nonoperational for about 25 years. Rail Interface Advisor Phillip Jeeves said Heritage Victoria had confirmed the signals were not heritage listed and V/Line hoped they would be restored. “PTV will manage an EOI process and it is anticipated that there will significant interest from railway museums and tourist railways. “By making them available to heritage organisations, our history will be preserved at another location,” he said.

The refurbished carriages on their maiden journey to Albury.


“My thanks goes to PC Mobile and Neil Krutli and their respective teams for a great job.”

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Your Voice has been extended

The 2018 Your Voice survey has been extended until 31 May. Thank you to everyone who has already completed the survey and in an effort to ensure everyone has the opportunity to have their say, the survey has been extended by a week.

Service Delivery is only at 15 per cent, Customer is 32 per cent and Strategy and Program is 39 per cent of staff having completed the survey.

James Pinder said it was really important every staff member had their say and completed the survey.

“These areas of the business are trailing behind and we don’t want them to miss out on being able to make a difference,” James said.

“Without letting us know what you think, we won’t be able to make the improvements you want,” he said.

The survey is only 25 questions so it will take less than 10 minutes and for every survey completed, V/Line will donate $5 to the CFA.

“We need your help to better inform our future decisions and the more staff that participate, the more data we have to make the improvements.” Only 30 per cent of staff have completed the survey, with the highest completion rate coming from Business Services, EGR, HSE, People and Corporate Affairs.

This survey is confidential and now closes on Thursday 31 May. Please check your inbox for an email from Insync to complete the survey online or on your mobile tablet.

Seeing Ballan through virtual reality

As part of a Ballan Station Upgrade review, V/Line staff had the opportunity to walk through the new proposed layout of the station via virtual reality. The technology was provided by SMEC, which is a member of the Ballarat Line Upgrade Alliance that allows the user to visualise how the station will look once it’s built.

view of the design in a virtual world, the ability to walk around the entire station, set different heights to identify accessibility issues and identify clashes between different design packages.

Ballarat Line Upgrade Project Manager Matt Bunney said the key benefit of the technology was that it provided a different method of visualisation compared with technical drawings.

“The technology provides a way to improve the quality of design, have more effective engagement with stakeholders and reduce the instances of issues arising on site,” he said.

“If you have ever built a house, you may have experienced the moment when you didn’t notice a particular design element on the paper drawings but then noticed after construction when it was too late.

Matt said the project is also considering the opportunity to engage the general public down the track.

“The software allows the user to walk through the design, as if it was already built to identify these issues early in the design process. Some of the features include a 3D

“It can be a great way to get the community’s feedback and to help reinforce that although there will be some disruptions during construction, the end outcome will be worth it.”

Regional Manager Dallas Martin trials the technology.


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Karl strives to improve performance Southern Cross Station Control Room Operator Karl White has completed a detailed performance investigation of operations between Southern Cross and Footscray, identifying several areas of improvement. Over the past month, Karl said he had been reviewing minute-by-minute operations at Southern Cross, focusing on the afternoon peak. “What I’ve been looking for are quick wins, which will help simplify and speed up our operations,” he said. “We immediately identified an inconsistency with the PIDs at Footscray, which was causing customer confusion when changes were made to the train-running order from Southern Cross.

Karl White has identified operational improvement measures between Southern Cross and Footscray stations

“A relatively simple software fix was made within two days and now the PIDs consistently identify the next train before it approaches the platform, which provides staff with more time to make announcements. Karl is also reviewing platform markers to ensure they are clear enough after a

driver of a three-car VLocity stopped at the marker for a six-car VLocity. Starting this week, Karl is trialling the deployment of AOs to Footscray Station to support dwell times in the evening peak. “Customers travelling to Tarneit often crowd the rear doors of most trains, given the location of the station exit to the carpark at Tarneit. “The team of AOs will be actively encouraging customers to use all available doors when boarding at Footscray,” he said. “We will now start carefully reviewing dwell times to assess whether having a crew on the ground makes a difference for customers boarding quickly and safely.” Karl hopes to share the results of the trial in a future edition of V/News.

Ballarat GovHub planning

The Ballarat line is set to receive a boost following a recent announcement of a $100 million GovHub development, which will house up to 1000 government employees. Located on the Civic Hall site and only a short walk from Ballarat Station, GovHub will boast an active ground floor space incorporating the bricks and masonry theme of the Civic Hall precinct, a reconstructed lower hall space for multi-purpose use, a glass conservatory linking the Civic Hall to GovHub, five storeys of office space and basement car parking. The Ballarat line can expect an increase in business commuters travelling between Melbourne and Ballarat for meetings at GovHub. Construction works are expected to start in September 2018.


The Ballarat Civic Hall site will be transformed into GovHub, providing an economic boost for Ballarat and increasing patronage for V/Line.

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Bendigo line improvement works

V/Line crews were out in force on the Bendigo line last weekend, completing maintenance works. The package of works included track resurfacing between Gisborne and Sunbury, Kyneton and Taradale, vegetation and mudhole removal between Kyneton and Castlemaine, as well as inspections along the line. The works are important for the ongoing upkeep of the line to ensure we continue to offer customers a safe and reliable journey.

A first for Mildura

V/Line staff from across the business have volunteered their time to visit Mildura Senior College to help mentor students. This is the first time V/Line has participated in Beacon sessions in Mildura and the school was keen to have all of its students participate in the program.

“It was great to have staff from various parts of the business involved because it showed how diverse and varied V/Line’s workforce is,” she said.

Community Engagement Officer Tessa Vrettas said the sessions were larger than usual but having enough staff enabled the program to run smoothly and provided students with plenty of support.

“Students demonstrated some great leadership qualities, with a number of students standing out as potential future employees of V/Line.”

V/Line staff join students for a Beacon session in Mildura.


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Recognising outstanding efforts Staff who have gone above and beyond in their roles were recognised at a morning tea last week.

Brett Arnett (left) and Chris Huthnance (right)

Simon Agius (right)

Network Planning Officer Gae Tata and Acting Area Services Manager Eastern George Kircos (absent) were recognised for their work on the temporary coach timetable during works on the Gippsland line, which required a lot of hours and attention to detail on top of their day-to-day duties.

working night shift ahead of occupations.

Heavy Rail Plant Operator Brett Arnett was recognised for working hard towards compliance and planning within the V/One system, as well as being on-site to organise rail scrap collections from Bendigo to Kerang.

George Kostolias, Andrew Tiedemann, Des Koroneos, Sean King, Scott Quirke, Ewan Lovett and Priyantha Rathnayake from the finance team were nominated for their hard work and tireless efforts in helping V/Line secure an increase in its subsidy in the recent State Budget

Track Inspector Chris Huthnance was nominated for completing track patrols between Bendigo to Sunbury in the early hours of the morning, attending call outs outside of working hours and

System Administrative Officer Simon Agius was recognised for stepping up and taking on more than expected to ensure his team continued to provide support to the business while going through an extremely busy period.

If there is someone you think should be recognised for going above and beyond, please email

Finance team from left Ewan Lovett, George Kostolias, Des Koroneos Andrew Tiedemann, Priyantha Rathnayake and Scott Quirke.

Gae Tata (middle)

ICSS success

V/Line has successfully maintained its International Customer Service Standard (ICSS) certification for another year after completing our first health check. A number of strengths were identified as part of the assessment that reflect a focus on continuous improvement and engagement across the business. Some of the strengths included the Operational Visibility Boards, our strong relationship with a regional community base, suppliers, stakeholders and alliance partners, the introduction of Incident Response Vehicles, the staff recognition


program, Be Our Best initiative, project launch to improve mobile phone coverage on the network and the launch of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Customer Improvements and Training Manager Jodie Parker said the ICSS certification was a great achievement and showed the dedication of staff to maintain our customer service standards.

“The health check is a great opportunity for us to look back and reflect on all the great achievements in the past year, it always takes me by surprise how much has been achieved,� she said. There were also some opportunities identified for V/Line around the enormous growth of the network and the business.

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Fighting fit

Shepparton Conductor Sandeep Singh has won the ANB Victorian Regional Title in Wodonga and Mr Melbourne Fitness Model. Sandeep said he had always been passionate about health and fitness and last month, participated in his first ANB Victorian regional competition and won the regional title. A dad of two children, Sandeep said coming from a poor socioeconomic background in India, working 20-hour days and earning very little, he took it upon himself to make a change. “A change in mind set and commitment to achieve the goal of a better lifestyle for all, has taught me what I am capable of and what difference hard work and a little bit of perspective can make to someone’s life,” he said. “I’ve been training for over five years. Now living in Australia where I have a family of my own, working full-time shift work, I began competition training in December.

After winning the regional title, Sandeep entered the Melbourne competition, taking out the title of Mr Melbourne Fitness Model. “This is just another small step in my journey and shows hard work pays off.” Sandeep’s next competition is in Brisbane where he will represent Victoria. Looking ahead, Sandeep wants to study nutrition and hopes to be an example for others. “If I can do it as a family man with a full-time job, then anyone can do it.” If you want to support Sandeep you can like his Facebook or Instagram page.

“Winning my first ANB Victorian Regional Title, I now know that anything is possible.”

Field of Women V/Line is supporting the 2018 Field of Women event by offering free return travel to participants. The Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is holding the fifth annual Field of Women event at the Melbourne versus Sydney AFL match on Sunday 12 August, in support of Australians affected by breast cancer. The event will see more than 18,000 people converge on the oval of the MCG to represent the number of Australians who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Free travel is available on V/Line train and coaches for all Field of Women ticket holders, including registrants for the Plan B Survivorship Conference. Proceeds from Field of Women ticket sales will help BCNA continue its vital work in providing resources, programs and services to Australians affected by breast cancer. To further support the cause, V/Line also held pink bun morning teas across various areas of the business because 100 per cent of sales from the buns goes directly to the BCNA. If you missed out on a pink bun or would like to donate directly, you can do so by following this link If you would like to participate in the 2018 Field of Women event, you can purchase your tickets here

We have reached 500 on Yammer

The 500th staff member to sign up to Yammer is Regional Driver Supervisor - Geelong Adrian Mooney. Yammer is our enterprise social network which enables instant communication across the business. To ensure you are kept updated with the latest information and developments about V/Line, click here to find out how to sign up.


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Biggest morning tea V/Line staff have raised more than $580, as part of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at the Docklands office this week. V/Line has agreed to match the fundraising effort, taking the total to more than $1160 for the Cancer Council. A big thank you goes to everyone who donated to the cause and those who donated goodies for the delicious spread.

Sloane is an eight-month old Doberman puppy, who loves chewing up blankets. She is a sweetheart and misses her owner and V/Line lawyer Lori Burns, when she commutes each day on the V/Line service from Ballarat to the Docklands office.

Compliment of the week

This week’s compliment is from a customer, who was impressed with the improved mobile phone coverage onboard a VLocity train. I can tell you now that it worked for me. I really struggle getting reception while on the train from Lara to Melbourne and once the booster was activated, I had 4G reception.

Thank you for thinking of this and please keep it up. Hopefully you will be able to roll it out on all services.

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E R ' E W ALL L L I ST S R EA For every completed survey




Help us make V/Line a great place to work

We need to hear from you. Your responses are 100 per cent confidential, it will take less than 10 minutes of your time. Complete the survey online or grab a copy from your manager. Survey closes on 31 May 2018.

V/News issue 118 - 18 May 2018  

V/News issue 118 - 18 May 2018

V/News issue 118 - 18 May 2018  

V/News issue 118 - 18 May 2018