Sunday, July 24, 2005

The calm of a Zen-Master.

Ok, so it is Sunday now and I will write about Friday night's journey home.

Generally I like to look on the positive side of life most of the time, this website is a "whinge" site I know, but I like to think most of my "blogs" are on the slightly humorous.

So, I headed for the 4.55pm train as per usual. I was alone tonight, as "Da Writer" (my normal travelling companion) had driven up as he was going to the other side of Melbourne for the weekend.

This past week, the 4.55pm Geelong train had been departing from platform 14, so the regular walk down Collins St had changed to a walk down Bourke St & entry via the Telstra Dome walkway end of the station.

As I came down onto the platform, I observed that there was quite a few more people on the platform than normal. I had to literally elbow my way through the crowd to get to the far end of the platform (as 1st Class carriage pulls up at the back).

4.55pm rolls around and no train (usually arrives before then), indeed the Connex Williamstown train hadn't even come through.

A rather harried announcement came over advising that the 4.55pm was going to be extended through to Sth Geelong ... which gave me the clue that the 4.40pm service must have been cancelled & this explained the crush of bodies on the platform.

5.00pm ... the platform announcer comes over the loudspeaker, his indian accent thick & sounding terribly stressed "The 4.55pm V/line service is now approaching" ... indeed it did seem that way, however the train approaching only had 3 carriages. People pushed forward attempting to board, a rather irate V/line conductor prevented some people from getting in the back carriage. I stepped back, as I had noticed people were already in the train as it arrived, which indicated to me that this was most likely *NOT* a service to Geelong but another country service.

This suspicion was confirmed when the loudspeaker crackled into life again and the indian accent sounded urgent instructions to stand away from the carriages as this was the NOT the 4.55pm service to Sth Geelong.

At this stage I saw an ex-workmate from a few years back and we retreated further down the platform & resigned ourselves to wait for the eventual arrival of our train.

It did arrive, around 5.15pm or so. My ex-colleague and I made sure we got on relatively quickly & secured a seat in 1st Class, as expected that carriage also filled up quickly, probably with alot of economy class people as in circumstances like this the conductors never check tickets.

We stopped at Nth Melb, but people who got on there pretty much got off the train again, there was just no seats & literally no standing room in between carriages.

Yet another V/Line debacle!

The arrival time at Geelong was around 6.20pm, only about 25 minutes late.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sympathies to you. That's appalling but typical Vline. I caught the 5.29 which arrived late into Geelong station (I think 15 mins but I can't be sure.I was just glad to get back to Geelong in the end). Vline apologised but never explained the reason of course. Now I know, especially if 5.13 train was close behind the 4.55 and they had to unload all those passengers.

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