The adventures of Bus-Man & his off-sider Tram-Boy
After a long weekend, it was back to buses for a few weeks whilst more 'upgrades' are made to the Geelong line. I wonder if this means we might have the V'locity trains running before the end of this year? Certainly they seem capable of it, as evidenced by one sitting at Geelong Station for a few days this week!
One thing V/Line have got running smoothly is the replacement bus services. In fact, I've heard some commuters voice the opinion that they run a better bus service between Geelong & Melbourne than a train service.
Unfortunately for those of us with 'first class' tickets, we lose out a bit at these times. I'm not really complaining as my ticket ran out on the 15th, and I've been in Melbourne since then and catching a Yarra Tram to and from work.
Yep, I'm the stupid guy who can't put his ticket in the right way to be validated!
I had to assume that the tram breaking down on the way home on Thursday night was the Universe's subtle attempt at humour. Thankfully there was another one just behind it, so it was no real problem.
No Trains & Farewell V/Line
Last week passed more or less uneventfully. As previously mentioned, the 4.55pm is quite a reliable train & the 5.28am usually gets us through no problems. Apart from the previous Monday on the 6.05am (30 minutes at Werribee) We were on time.
This week it is back to buses for at least a month.
However the buses will only be for this week for me, as next week I'll be venturing to work via Yarra Trams, so it could be fairly quiet on the blog front, although I'll post as I'll probably have a bit more time up my sleeve, being only 15-20 minutes away from work rather than 1hr 20mins or so as I am now.
In an effort to beat any repeat of yesterday's rolling stoppages of signals by Connex workers, I managed to get moving to catch the first train from Geelong (5.28am).
Apart from a complete stop near "Aircraft" (which is near Laverton if you needed to know) that resulted in us being around 10 minutes late to Spencer, there were no real delays this morning.
One thing I will mention is just how crowded the Collins/Spencer intersection is getting at hometime, since they've closed the subway entrances to Spencer St station. Hopefully the closure is only temporary, otherwise there is always going to be bottlenecks there.
I hate crowds mostly, people never walk at pace I'm accustomed to, or bumble along meandering all over the place so it's difficult to get past them, or my favorite pet peeve, don't keep to the left on sidewalks!
(ok I'm grumpy this morning, no coffee yet.)
A Monday thank you to Connex ....
Monday morning .... 6.05am service, arriving at Spencer St at past 7.30am.
Yep, another great start to the week. However this time I cannot be whinging about V/Line as they are as much a victim as me in this instance.The reason for the delay today was due to an industrial dispute between Connex & it's staff, which resulted in rolling stoppages for 30 minutes on each line.
Unfortunately it happened to hit the line Geelong trains come into the city on, so we arrived at Werribee and didn't move for about 30 mins.
At least our conductor told us fairly promptly, although when we hadn't moved off straight away, I had an inkling what the issue was, having caught the news at home.
Good ol' Connex. Obviously their dispute management skills need a bit of polishing up. Whether it was a delibrate act or pure accident that two opposing parties involved in a workplace harrassment case get rostered on together again who can tell. However why should we be the victims in all this?
Society is to blame!
Another good excuse for a dedicated express track for country trains straight into Spencer (and something which will never happen due tothe cost & practicality of it.)
I wonder how Connex will react if I send them an invoice payable to the company I work for the time I am late this morning?
Now there's an idea :)Update: 4.55pm was about 5 minutes late, we seemed to really slow down just before Nth Geelong (which is where I suspect alot of the track work will take place in the next few weeks), and annoyingly a complete stop just outside Geelong Station for a minute or two, nothing more frustrating when you are *almost* home! :)
The week in review
Well, I had my 5 seconds of fame (or is that infamy?) courtesy of an article in the Age, which mostly talked about connexwhinger, however my blog was linked at the end. Copped a bit of flak from some guy who was also linked in the article, obviously he doesn't like people like connexwhinger expressing their opinion.
Whilst he raised some salient & interesting points (re: Kennett-era), agentfareevader I have to say to you that entitled to your own opinion as you are, remember not all opinions are worth listening to & frankly, unless you've travelled on the Geelong>Melbourne line as a commuter for the past few years, you are sadly mistaken if you think you are remotely qualify as having an opinion on the quality or reliability of the service. And as for saying "my inside contacts say it is getting better" ... pull the other one mate, it plays jingle bells.
Apart from a rather amusing "back up the train" incident on the 6.05am service on Monday morning (when we had obviously been routed to the wrong platform at spencer st) and the obligatory 10-15 minute lateness on two days this week, the 6.05am service was surprisingly nearly on time. 4.55pm ran OK & the Tuesday when I caught the 6.28pm, again on time around 'bouts.
It was with resignation that I read the notice I found on my seat on Thursday morning, yet more line closures for several weeks & back to buses from Geelong to Melbourne ... I mean, come on! Seriously, how many times do you have to close the track? This is the third time & in total probably over 3 months worth of closures in the past 18 months. Why can't all the work be scheduled to be done all at once?
Regardless, at least it will only impact me for a few days from the 11th of June, as hopefully by the 20th I'll be staying in Pt Melbourne & experiencing something new, regular travelling by Yarra Trams to the CBD for around 6 weeks. Hmmm so the blog will have to temporarily be called "yarratramwhinger" ??? ;-)