However with the popularity of the free travel offer continuing to grow people planning long distance trips with V/Line are encouraged to check timetables and book now to avoid disappointment he said.
“With regular train and bus services on offer, and the increasing cost of living, we have seen more and more regional Victorians use free V/Line travel to spend Christmas with family and friends,” Mr Mulder said.
“People travelling on long distance trains to Warrnambool, Ararat, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton and Albury should make seat reservations now.”
To cope with increased demand extra carriages will be added to morning trains leaving Melbourne to Swan Hill and Warrnambool V/Line Chief Executive Officer Rob Barnett said.
“We will increase the size of the trains going to Warrnambool and Swan Hill from five to eight carriages where possible,” Mr Barnett said.
“Unfortunately extra carriages can’t be added to Albury trains as the line is standard gauge. All other carriages we have run on our broad gauge tracks and can’t be easily converted.”
Every available carriage will be added to services but seats are expected to fill on trains arriving at their destinations around lunch-time.
“If you are travelling to or from Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour or Traralgon bookings aren’t required but try to catch an early morning train to avoid disappointment,” Mr Barnett said.
“Seats to short distance locations are offered on a first-come first serve basis and if trains do fill we will be unable to offer buses as a second option.”
On Christmas Day V/Line trains and most buses will run to a Sunday timetable.
On New Year’s Eve free travel with V/Line will be offered on buses or trains arriving at or departing from their destination between 6pm and the first timetabled service leaving Melbourne on 1 January 2012.
Also in Australia today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Melbourne.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Melbourne.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.