Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Opposition Misses the Train

Finally Melbourne is getting some new trains. Read a sensible and informative post on the matter at Daniel Bowen's website. My post is anything but.

We have four different types of trains on Melbourne's system and once the new lot arrives, perhaps five, although some very much older ones should and probably will be retired. These are not just different models, they are totally different made by different manufacturers.

Now people are getting into a bother about the new trains being restricted to certain lines. I see it as sensible that they run on same lines as the same brand of older trains. The government agrees and it will make maintenance simpler than if they were spread over the system.

Now, why have we got so many different types of trains? Because back the 1990s when the train system was being privatised, it was divided into two separate companies. Each company went out and bought their own trains, one lot bought from Germany and the other lot bought from France.

Now having trains so different from different countries does not make much sense to me and it has been shown to behind operational problems many times.

And yet State Opposition Transport Spokesperson Terry Mulder could be seen on tv news last night jumping up and down about an incompetent government and Transport Minister for only proposing to run the trains on the lines that the trains by the same manufacturer run on.

Mr Mulder, there is an awful lot you could be criticising the State Government over but in this case I suggest you have a word to one of your parliamentary collegues and ask why we have the absurd situation of having two different train types, bought around the same time. Yep, that is right, it happened under the previous State Liberal Government, the party you are now a transport spokesperson for. Idiot.

Mulder, I have held off so far, but next time you try to blame the government for something your party was responsible for, essentially because of privatisation, and you have done it before, I will write another post, and then another.


  1. The 38 new X'Trapolis trains will for all intents and purposes be the same as the ones we already have (though I think the internal layout may be a bit different). So we'll still have four types.

    After that, it'll be something different again.

    Under the first privatisation set up by the Kennett government, the Comeng trains were split between the two operators, and made incompatible with each other. It took a bunch more work to get them back from that.

  2. Ah yeah, slipped my mind, the two different Comeng trains......what a mess.

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  4. Just today, the NSW Minister for Transport announced the arrival of the first prototypes of 'new generation' carriages of Sydney's new trains for fit out and testing prior to the introduction of the first of 626 carriages late in 2010.

    The media release mentions the employment opportunities for their assembly and maintenance in NSW.

    There is no mention in the Minister's release that the pre-fit out carriages have been made and shipped in from China.

    Hopefully these 'new generation' carriages will not be too powerful for the electricity system like the previous 'new generation' carriages proved to be which has prevented their use other than in limited circumstances.

  5. Anonymous11:42 pm

    And are these new carriages going to be able to cope with the steep gradiant on the new Epping to Chatswood line Victor?

    See our pollies can stuff up big time too, Andrew.

  6. Jayne, for a posh type, Teddy doesn't have a great voice for radio does he.

    Victor, I was talking about privatisation of our system and then you spoil my point with government owned transport being incompetent too.

    Anon, there is a long and proud history of Sydney public transport vehicles having difficulty with gradients and still it goes on.