PUNCTUALITY improved on the Swan Hill passenger train service last month, but remains below V/Line's performance target.
The latest Swan Hill line performance figures show 88.5 per cent of services arrived at their destination on time in January and 99.5 per cent of services were delivered.
In comparison, just 61.3 per cent of services were on time in December. During the same period last year, services were punctual 70.9 per cent of the time.
With Victoria recording one of its warmest January's on record, the hot weather was a major contributor to overall performance not being higher last month.
V/Line chief executive officer James Pinder said as a safety precaution, when the temperature reached 36 degrees trains slow down to 90km/h and some services were replaced by coaches for either part or the entire journey.
"Safety is always our number one priority so heat speed restrictions are enforced on really hot days because the steel tracks expand in the heat," Mr Pinder said.
"We always try to do everything we can to minimise disruptions to passengers during the summer months and continue to remind passengers to plan ahead and allow extra travel time."
Other reasons for delays last month was the additional time trains were required to stop at station to allow passengers to board and depart services, as well as V/Line services being held up in the shared section of the metropolitan network.
V/Line's performance is measured every month and compensation is offered when the regional rail operator doesn't meet targets.
Two performance measures are used — on time running performance (punctuality) and services delivered performance (reliability).
The reliability target is for at least 96 per cent of scheduled services to run and the punctuality target is 92 per cent.
Across the V/Line network, 80.2 per cent of services arrived at their destination on time in January.
For reliability, 94.3 per cent of services were delivered for the month network-wide.