I was reminded of Prahran Station from where I have occasionally caught a train over the years. The last time was a while ago. I knew what time the train was but I was a bit later than I would have liked to catch it. Ding, ding, ding, down came the booms as I approached the station, stopping me from sprinting to the platform to catch the approaching train. Of course I could run around the booms, but it is a dangerous thing to do and I was not in hurry, rather I just did not want to wait fifteen minutes for another train.
Of course many do make the dash around the booms as the train approaches, and I don't blame them too much. A few years ago none of this dangerous activity would have been necessary at Prahran, as there was subway, like the one we used the other night. It was only a short subway, not a long and badly lit one that can be perceived as being dangerous. No, just this simple little tunnel that gets you under the railway line. Maybe it is too steep for some people. Well, there can still be facilities to cross the line at ground level. As it was, many used to stray onto the road rather than use the tunnel.
Yet the government seems to be removing tunnels and what happens then? Yes, more people going around the lowered booms to catch a train and more people getting hit by trains. If anything, they should be building more tunnels.
Still on trains, what a hoot! The Age newspaper transport reporter Adam Carey was on his way to a press conference called by the Minister for Transport. You know, one the grandiose announcements that come from politicians. He has the misfortune to live on the Upfield line which has a single track near the end and so can only operate a twenty minute service, peak hours and otherwise. The train he intended to catch was altered to run express to catch up time as it was late, and so it bypassed his station. He missed the press conference and so the Minister's 'good news' was not really reported.
It has been suggested that this is how Metro Trains is improving its punctuality figures, by altering stopping all station trains to express trains. That is one thing, but a cynic might suggest it is better to do such things to a line that runs in government un-winnable political seats as was the case this time, rather than trains that service marginal seats.
The service on the politically sensitive Frankston line however is much improved but remember what happened when the express train from sensitive seats in Sydney's Blue Mountains simply had to be on time at a certain point so that it did not get caught behind stopping trains, arrive late and displease passengers who would take out their wrath on the governing party at the polls, yes we had the Granville train disaster.
Adam's piece has been copied here.