Thursday, April 26, 2007

Vline screws up YET AGAIN!

Once again my previous posts naming the V'locity trains as White Elephants are proved true once more. Yet another debacle on the 4.40pm service saw it delayed until aroun 5.10pm & leaving with barely anybody on it ... as most people had crammed onto the 4.55pm service or given up and gone to the 5.13pm service (like me) ...

Meanwhile due to the late late late departure of the 4.40pm, the 5.13pm got delayed & sat at the "Telstra Stop" (ie in the yards opposite the Telstra Dome) due to some signal issue for around 3 minutes .... cumulatively this added up so by the time we got to Geelong station, the 5.13pm was nearly 20 minutes late from the time it *can* arrive at Geelong (around 6.08pm on a good run ... 5 mins earlier than the scheduled 6.13pm)

So what was the wash up of tonight? 4.55pm over-crowded and LATE .... 4.40pm run over 30 mins LATE ... 5.13pm nearly 20 minutes LATE and as for the 5.29pm who knows what time it got it ... but no doubt very LATE as well, as it didn't pass us (I don't think). So four trains screwed up and hundreds of rather annoyed people ...

All this after the much trumpeted journey of Vline Senior Management on the 4.40pm on Monday night (which of course ran great ... at least they can get it right when the big bosses travel .... to bad the said big bosses were not able to walk through the whole length of the train to talk to all passengers. .... because as we all know the White Elephant V'locity's are three sets of two "linked" carriages .... too bad they couldn't find three senior managers to go in the three separate sets ....

And too bad there was no Senior Vline Managers on any of tonight's services??

Ahh Vline, you make it too easy to write this blog ... woeful service at least several times a week!

Another small whinge ... a guy who sat beside in First Class tonight was obviously one of the "free-loader" types (I think he was a National Rail or something on his shirt) I really object to these types NOT showing any ID to the conductor. Maybe I should get a shirt with some logo that looks like either Yarra Trams or Connex or National Rail or something and travel for FREE too??

Don't mention FAT people to me either ... I had a contender for next year's THE BIGGEST LOSER sit next to me this morning. I don't mind so much, but when you can't even be bothered to SMELL half decent in the morning and then try to take over half of my seat too when you sit down, do you wonder why I make your journey HELL by delibrately elbowing you in the ribs & bouncing up and down on the seat when you fall asleep and snore right in my ear you fat ignorant bastard??

Yes ... the vlinewhinger had a great set of train journeys today! I must have pissed off the gods of travel .... time to go sacrifice a goat or two & burn the entrails to appease them!

p.s. I feel sorry for the conductors I really do ... they obviously are not really kept informed, and do their best, many thanks to both the 4.40pm and 5.13pm conductors for keeping us informed as much as possible & being apologetic for the bad service, small things like that (however token) IS appreciated.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An okay week ....

Well last week was a fairly quiet week for whinging, most trains I caught were on time, aside from one of the morning services, which was due to the now semi-regular stop just before North Melbourne in the mornings.

I caught the 6.00am from Geelong most days, and the 17.13 twice and 16.40 twice. Happily both the afternoon trains were actually on (or near on-time) and were actually at the platform to board before departing on time.

There also seemed to be a lack of the "pause" in the yards after leaving Spencer Street Station. Although I think it did happen on Thursday night, but we made the time up.

Not wanting to jinx myself for the coming week, but as most people would be back from any Easter Holidays, I reckon it will all fall apart for V/Line this week! I really hope I'm wrong!

The train troubles seemed to happen for work colleagues though on Connex, with the Hurstbridge (I think) line being stopped due to some nutter wandering on the tracks.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Interesting Article

I'm still around!

One positive to mention is I'm a big fan of the lower fare prices and the handy dandy 1st Class upgrade voucher system that has been introduced.

Unfortunately the reliability of V/line has decreased to the point where I fully expect at least 3 times a week to be significantly late either in the mornings or the evenings (or have a train totally cancelled at least once a week). I've built that into my expectations, hence my lack of regular vitirol being expounded on this page.

There was an interesting article in the Age today:

"Train Speed limits cause big delays"

The article explains how most of V/line's issues and poor performance stem from the suburban network bottlenecks and also the braking problems that Connex had recently.

Sorry, that bullshit doesn't wash with me as most of the issues experienced are as basic as locomotives or carriages not even being available on the platforms when required. Never mind about being stuck behind suburban trains or faulty signals or whatever other excuses they come up with but the underlying point seems to be the total lack of ability to get rolling stock on the platforms to take passengers to destinations.

It's not rocket science. They know what trains are needed and when. If the shit hits the fan then there should be plans to deal with it and keep travellers informed. Half the time the lovely customer service people themselves have no clue what is going on, so somewhere the chains of communication do not exist or people simply don't give a shit.

Come on V/line, get rid of the dead wood in your organisation, get some decent managers in there and start running a decent train service sometime soon.