Am I ignorant or have things changed?
I caught the tram to Balaclava and picked up a couple of things and ordered a shiny new machine, no not a bicycle. I caught the train to Richmond and stepped off to change to a train to Parliament Station. Hmmm, indicator board is not showing any trains going direct to Parliament. Odd!
Check for next train to Flinders Street and change platforms. Is it just a Flinders Street train or will it go all the way around the loop? I checked the display board at Flinders Street and it indicated that it was. I needed to go to Brunswick Street, and so could have gotten off and walked to the Collins Street tram, but it was a warm day. Better to stay on the nice cool train. The rest of the outing was uneventful.
Now I recall when we used to live in East Malvern and caught the train from Darling Station, the Glen Waverley trains used to change directions in the Loop. Maybe they still do. Whether they still do or not is not really the point, but is my memory defective? Didn't some trains run one way on the loop and some the other, so that you could change trains at Richmond and go either way around the loop? Now in the afternoons onwards, all trains through Richmond go clockwise? I am sure there is a reason, but it is not very helpful to me.
I will just take this opportunity to forecast that Yarra Trams will retain the franchise to run Melbourne's trams, but the train company Connex is a publicly poison name to the state government. Maybe Connex hasn't done a great job, but most of the blame must surely be sheeted home to the state government. Connex can operate with what they are given.
Interesting to hear on the news that Connex are reluctant to pay an end of year bonus to their staff. Well, why would they if they won't be around. Matters little really, a new company will arrive with razzamatazz, but your train will still either be cancelled or late and certainly overcrowded. It will take a long time before the trains can be sorted out and a lot of political will. Perhaps a glance at what Nifty Nev did in NSW in the early eighties might be helpful.