(Monday 28/10) VLine is the government owned operator trains in Victoria. In a failed experiment, at least one line's operation was privatised by the evil Jeff Kennett and his state government. It is now back being operated by the government.
For our recent train trip to Geelong we used our Myki cards. The conductor checked our cards shortly after we boarded. That is, he checked that we had them, not that we had actually validated them at the barrier or had paid anything
We used a different type of train service to return and the conductor walked through the carriage and asked to see the tickets of anyone who had boarded at Geelong. As we had to book for this trip, we had printed tickets. We offered our tickets and the conductor thought he saw something wrong with R's ticket and began to tell him he could not travel, then stopped dead, "thank you Sir". This trip was totally reliant on people being honest and the conductor remembering faces. This was illustrated by a woman with mental health issues who asked at the station when the next Melbourne train was due and for some gates to be opened so she get her shopping trolley across to the Melbourne bound platform without using the bridge and stairs. Staff obliged. She did not buy a ticket and had no seat reservation but it did not matter. She remained silent when the conductor asked for tickets from passengers who boarded at Geelong. It is of course possible that she had some kind of pass, but I doubt it.
I am using another VLine service tomorrow. What will that bring? Already I have discovered that while I can catch the train at Flinders Street (no reserved seats), there is no VLine booking office at Flinders Street to reserve a seat on the service I am returning on. I must either book online or by phone or go much earlier to So Cross Station. What I will do is book my return ticket when I arrive at my destination.
I won't mention the trip to Sister. I don't want to hear about it being Senior's Free Travel Week again.