A NATIVE grass is to blame for late trains on the Ballarat line last month.
The regional train operator V/Line is consulting with the Department of Sustainability and Environment about how to control the spread of the grass, which it said made 144 Ballarat trains late last month.
V/Line general manager Geoff Arthur said heavy rain in March had contributed to the outbreak of ''rigid panic'', a grass growing on properties neighbouring train tracks in Parwan, near Melton.
The grass, Mr Arthur said, had blown onto the tracks, affecting signalling systems. Last month 40 per cent of services on the line ran late.