Monday, February 27, 2006

Could I run a better train service?

I thought a comment on my previous blog entry deserved a full reply here.

'Anonymous' wrote " Look you guys that are having a go at Vline, do you think that you could make trains run on time?" (check the comments on 3rd Day Lucky blog for where this came from).

Mr Anonymous, nowhere have I said that I'm eddie the train expert. But at times you don't have to be an expert to comment on the blatant inefficiencies of a service that I'm paying a premium price for. It is my right as a consumer, I and many hundred or thousands of Geelong commuters simply are not getting a reasonable AND reliable service.

Example: Today the 4.40pm (which is supposed to run as an 'express' service between Nth Melb & Nth Geelong) stopped for no apparent reason (nor was one announced) at Little River.

I've often thought (given the incredible overcrowding on the 4.40pm) that V/Line could run a service at 4.20 or thereabouts, being between the 4.07pm and 4.40pm and it may just alleviate some of the congestion, especially when one of the services is cancelled (invariably the 4.40pm).

Another example, is the comments reflected by senior v/line management not even knowing that they ran a 1st class service between Geelong & Melbourne. In relation to this, many services run a goods van OR the 1st class carriage has a goods area (where the conductor sits) so passengers with larger freight items can carry book them in.

With the introduction of the V'locity trains during peak hour times, not only is it the 1st class passengers who are at a disadvantage, but anyone who wants to transport larger freight items (such as bikes, pets or bigger loads of suitcases). A recent example is the guy who had to catch a taxi from Geelong back to Werribee after taking his pet to a vet in Geelong, because there were no more services stopping at Werribee that was able to transport his pet for him. (Thanks to 'da writa' for informing of that tid-bit from his local paper).

So all these millions of dollars spent, there is less service than when I started travelling over 4 years.

I don't blame the grunts on the front line (for example the conductors or service people or the drivers) but I do blame the head up their arse senior managers who clearly don't understand or care about the travelling public being inconvenienced by their inept and illogical decisions.

Someone wake me up when the V'locity trains actually break the speed record between Melbourne and Geelong .... as far as I understand (and I stand to be heartily corrected) it is still held by a Steam Engine & set in the 1950's ......... running the V'locity's on stop all stations aint gonna break that anytime soon .....

Could I run a better Train Service?? Well, maybe, I'd certainly give it a try, couldn't be worse than the present managers.

However, the solution is not a cheap one. Nobody in government wants to commit to the billions of dollars we should be spending on public transport infrastructure 'cos simply, there aint the votes in it. Easier to whack a car-park tax in the CBD or put speed cameras (oh sorry .. ROAD SAFETY) cameras and watch the dollars roll in.


Here's a more personal response to the above comment from "anonymous" from a long time commuter, he asked me to post here especially for him.

Dear anonymous,

The bloody railways are supposed to make the trains run on time.

That is their sole purpose.

We pay them large amounts of money for them to keep to the schedules they have posted. And I remember a happy time when they used to do it.

We ask nothing more nothing less than they do what they say the will do - timetables.

If they can't keep the schedules, then change the bloody timetables to reflect reality. It ain't rocket science.

They used to do it before Mr Kennett sold the railways to some people who thought the point of railways was to make money.

The point of railways is to move people from one place to another at the time you say you will do it in return for money - timetables. I don't care about the age of the equipment. I don't care about the condition of the stations. Just get me to my destination at the time you said you would.

The whole bloody point of the railways is to run on TIME!

Mussolini could do it. Is it beyond our current batch of failed school teachers and public servants?


Which is why I moved to Melbourne.

Hello to all my fans.

Da Writa!


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