Freight trains feel the heat

By Country News

The hot weather that hit the region in January had minor impacts on freight train timelines.

Country News spoke to both V/Line and Pacific National, whose spokespeople said the heat had slowed down services across Victoria

‘‘The hot weather in Victoria has a continuing impact on a number of Pacific National freight train services with speed restrictions being applied,’’ a Pacific National spokesperson said.

‘‘Yesterday (January 24) Pacific National trains were restricted to 40km/h between Wodonga and Albury for a period of two hours. This has impacted Pacific National steel and intermodal services.’’

Pacific National services between January 14 and 24 saw only two of the 10 days not affected by heat restrictions.

V/Line freight trains slowed down between noon and 8pm on days of extreme heat as a safety precaution.

‘‘V/Line is working closely with freight operators to keep freight moving as safely and efficiently as possible during the extreme heat in northern Victoria,’’ a V/Line spokesperson said.

V/Line’s heat timetable applies when temperatures rise about 36°C as a result of increased stress and temperature loads placed on the steel tracks.

January continued to be a sweltering month across the Goulburn Valley with five of the top nine temperatures recorded in Victoria occurring in towns in the north-east.