Friday, December 05, 2008

The Loop not looping

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.


  1. On weekdays, trains don't run direct from Richmond to Parliament after about 12:30 or so -- they reverse direction then, and (mostly) go to Flinders Street, then around the loop and back to Richmond.

    It's only on weekends that Caulfield trains run anticlockwise and Burnley trains run clockwise.

  2. This whole train saga is just too much for me, I'll stick to trams at least I know where they're headed and in which direction, well most of the time.

    Still haven't caught a bumblebee though!

  3. Heard awhile ago the new contract for the new train tender has the fines capped so who cares if the trains are late, the company won't be out of pocket, pfft.

  4. I don't recall what Neville Wran did about NSW trains in the early 1980s, possibly because I was working in China and Fiji then, but given what the system is like nowadays I would be reluctant to use our state as a model to follow.

  5. In bound trains run one way, like from Richmond through the loop then to Flinders St last, and then out bound trains leaving Flinders St will run round the loop then out to Richmond. Some trains don't do the loop thing and just go straight in to Flinders St, from Richmond and some just straight out from Flinders St, to Richmond. At least that's how I remember it, how I think I remember it.

  6. Further thought. Perhaps you need a lasso rather than a loop!

  7. At least you get a choice from Richmond, and now North Melbourne. Jolimont has no options.

    What is the bet it will take the new company 3 years to refurbish all the trains into their colour scheme, outside and in. A waste of time and money. I seriously doubt the trains would be ran any better in government hands, but at least they don't let profit get in the way of running things.

  8. My father said that trains should be run for the benefit of the travelling public and not for profit. He'd be spitting chips about Connex. The State Government should take the damn things back and make them work after they tie Koskey to the tracks for a week.

  9. And that has been the case since the Loop opened Daniel?

    Pleased to hear you use PT Kezza and not totally car obsessed.

    Yes Jayne. penalties will be limited. At the end of the day, the tax payer pays one or t'other anyway.

    Perfectly clear Ian....I think.

    Eastern suburbs railway opened under Wran I think Victor, and he was certainly responsible for buying all those new buses, many of which are still running around without aircon, or were a couple of years ago.

    Well, only until midday Ben. Otherwise, they all go to Flinders Street to terminate or go around the loop.

    You won't get an argument from me Jahteh. Sad to say, it did all start to go really wrong under the 80s Labor guv.

  10. Ben, on the mark there. It will be all about corporate branding, new colours, new uniforms etc etc.

  11. That's what Benito set out to do with his brown shirts ... and did he get the trains to run on time?.

  12. I believe he did LS, but he did not allow for the subsequent shortage of train drivers.

  13. Actually, Mussolini didn't get the trains to run on time, it's a fascist myth.

  14. Maybe he used Melbourne's definition of a late train Jayne. Six minutes is it before it is considered late?


Before you change something, find out why it is the way it is in the first place - unknown.