Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Free trip to Eastern Victoria!

Bit on the tired side today, stayed up past my bedtime. Thankfully the train was deserted this morning, so had a seat to myself & no annoying morning "chatters" around me either. I don't remember much of the journey, and woke up with a start as we approached 'southern cross' station. Nearly earnt myself a trip into the countryside!

We were on time this morning (for the 6.20am), not quite as early as yesterday, but as usual just proves the majority of mornings seem to run smoothly. Just the evenings are a fiasco, although last night was not too bad, with the 16.40 departing ONLY 5 minutes late (as noted by a feedback comment on the previous blog entry ... and 'Sain person' put your glasses on mate).

Let's see if the 16.40 is actually AT the platform when I get down there tonight.

16.40 was there! Left a tad late due to "signalling issues in the spencer st area".

Nth Melb 1st class was packed, people sitting in the aisles, and in conductor's van. Apparently the 16.07 failed to stop at Nth Melb ... ooops. Reasonably on time. Car park shenanigans as usual at Geelong (another whole topic I could discuss!)


Anonymous cooper said...

The 16.40 being 5 mins late was actually 10 mins early in comparison to every service last week. A friend of mine gets on at North Melbourne and has had to stand since the Commonwealth Games started. You would think with all these high tech Velocity trains there would be some spare Carriages lying around. Maybe V/Line should add 1 or 2 onto the train.

They couldn’t do that though, that would involve effort and probally delay us another 2 hours.

21/3/06 8:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought that I would share an email I have sent to various pollies about the current "service" being provided to Bendigo commuter:

As a regular commuter from Castlemaine to Melbourne, when the plans for the Bendigo line upgrade were announced some 2 years ago we were horrified to learn that the second track north of Kyneton was to be removed, and instead "passing loops" would be put in place. The concerns we had were to do with having to wait for trains to come out of the single section of track if there was a delay to one of the services.

Well it appears that our concerns were well founded. Since the return of trains after the works, the 17.33 service from Southern Cross Station has been dogged with delays. These delays are caused by various things, the main ones being that the carriages do not arrive at the platform at Southern Cross Station until late, and then even if they are at the platform, there is no locomotive available. I am not sure how and why this is happening (and V/line either don't seem to know or don't want to tell us why). The excuse before the upgrade works were started was a lack of rolling stock. Now with the new V/locity trains in service, surely a lack of rolling stock cannot be the reason.

Generally when this happens we leave Southern Cross Station approximately 20 minutes late. We then get stuck behind suburban services, which can delay us even more. By the time we get to Kyneton we are usually 20 minutes late. Then to add insult to injury, we have wait at Kyneton for the Melbourne bound service to come out of the single track. Sometimes this delay can be for up to 10 minutes. If the second track was still in place, this further delay would not occur. Generally, we arrive in Castlemaine approximately 25-30 minutes late. And this is happening nearly every night! Regular delays are also being experienced on the services before and after the 17.33.

In October 2004 Mr Batchelor stated

“Modern single track railways have worked successfully around the world for years and I have no doubt the Kyneton to Bendigo section of the line will work well too given the world-class investment we are making in modern track, new signalling and state-of-the-art trains.”

Well Mr Batchelor, we are still waiting to see this!

The single track may work well during non-peak times, however it is not working well for those peak services.

We all understand the strain that is being placed on public transport during the Commonwealth Games, but these problems were occurring prior to the Games.

We are all grateful of the money being spent on the system, however to hear regular commuters 'wanting the express bus services returned' due to the unreliability of the current V/line service is concerning.

Please Mr Bachelor, give us what we have always wanted - a regular, reliable service.

21/3/06 3:46 pm  
Anonymous cooper said...

I have made this point before but I thought it would be good to do it again.

Over the course of the 'improvements' V/Line made to our tracks we had to catch buses. I am also sure and I am sure anonymous from Bendigo had to do the same. Think of this.

Vline orders 10 busses from a perticular bus company for the 4.40 service to Geelong. 0ut or the 10 only 8 show up, 4 of them are late and one of them goes the wrong way to Geelong causing that bus to be 20 mins later than the others.

This happens 3 out of the 5 days of the week. Do you think Vline would use that bus companies service again or go to another more reliable company ???

The busses run on time becasue they have to otherwise they would loose their contract. Vline can do what they want as they are a monopoly and in terms of public transport we HAVE to use them AND pay 3 grand a year for the privilage.

There is no reason whatsoever for Vline to improve as in their eyes they dont need to. There is no way to make them liable for their actions and this is not right.

22/3/06 11:41 am  

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