I was going to write about how terribly disadvantaged a friend is by the new train timetables that began today. But then when I checked, I don't seem to be able to defend him. He moaned on and on about it on Saturday when we last saw him. I thought before I lambasted the train company for their new timetables on his behalf, I ought to take a look myself. I did.
I know he travels on the Dandenong train line. I am old, and I know it as the Dandenong line with only a few trains going further on to the GMH railway station. Even when suburban trains were extended further out to service the area where Mother's lives, she preferred the country train and more than once got into trouble from the conductor for using it when she wasn't supposed to. Already back then she was honing her silly old lady persona. Of course she got it wrong once and ended up in Nar Nar Goon or Tynong North Upper or somewhere. She had to call Step Father to collect her.
Ok, friend lives on the Pakenham/Cranbourne line. I must not let modernity pass me by. He catches the train at around 8.00am to go to work and alights at Flagstaff Station. He has complained in the past about how his packed express train gets delayed by a stopping all stations train because his train is late and misses its slot to overtake the stopping all stations train. The express train he catches, if everything goes to plan, is as fast as journey as can be reasonably expected.
Before I had finished asking him if he had checked out the new timetable he interrupted with the disadvantage to him by the new timetable, giving me the impression that hardly any trains will stop at his station. I interrupted him with, there will be winners and losers. Looks like you will be the latter.
Well, oddly today, even after the new timetables have started, the old one was still up online and so made it an easy comparison. I thought his train options were to be cut back to Flinders Street and then a train change to get to Flagstaff. No, his train options still take him to Flagstaff. I see one disadvantage, his train options at the time he catches the train are reduced express trains, but it seems to only add two minutes to his journey. If the reliability is improved, then surely that is a fair trade off.
From what I understand, people on the Frankston line might be suffering a lot more with express trains only going to Flinders Street. I will guess that this will reduce the appeal of the express trains a make non express trains more attractive, thus evening out some uneven loadings.