I caught a bus for no other reason than I could. I am so pleased at being able to roam Melbourne again on public transport. I will mention the bus trip in a future post.
I also caught a VLine train, well three actually. The first left So Cross (Southern Cross) Station from platform 8S. I didn't have clue where that platform was, but I found it in time. I did know about platforms A and B but not S platforms. Is there only one S (south) platform?
The next I had so much time up sleeve to catch a VLine train and I with some knowledge, I thought I was fine to be there in plenty of time. I mistakenly left the 58 tram at Bourke Street rather than Collins Street and walked down the slope to Spencer Street and then to Collins Street, the main entrance for the station. Plenty of time to catch the train I wanted. My train was leaving from platform 16B. I headed towards the regional train platforms and briefly paused to look at an information screen. I had plenty of time to catch the train. No rush at all. I know what I am doing.
A helpful customer service person offered assistance. I said I need platform 16 so I will just walk along the platforms until I come to 16. No, he said. You need to go back, take the escalator up, walk along and then the escalator down. Oh, I have time but I better walk smartly.
The train was on platform 16B. That was a decent walk along the platform to get to the B platform. I couldn't see why it could not have been closer at 16A. Had I had known or checked, I had walked about half a kilometre so unnecessarily from Bourke Street to the main station entrance in Collins Street and back to Bourke Street.
By the time I boarded there was a minute to spare. I was in the last carriage and I found a forward facing seat on my own. The diesel powered electric train noisily powered out of the station. Vlocity trains are so smooth and quiet running with really comfortable seats but the motors are quite noisy but I love hearing them rev away from a standing stop. I think they can reach speeds of 150 km/h but are restricted to 115 km/h. According to my phone, the train reached 115 km/h. Ok, no one in Japan or Europe will be impressed by that.
I think only the last carriage on such trains is a Quiet Carriage and that was the one I was in (duh, that would depend on which way you are travelling). A young boy in a family group was watching a video on his parent's phone. Not so quiet. The train conductor ignored the noise. I moved to the other end of the Quiet Carriage and some bloke was playing radio through his phone. The train conductor said nothing to him either, although she did tell a man to pull up his mask. What is the point of non quiet Quiet Carriages if the rule is not enforced? This would not happen in Asian countries, and nor would people be on the train with a takeaway coffee cup and stinking hot food smelling up the carriage. I was so annoyed, especially at the radio player, I was thinking of standing up and pointing to the sign that said Quiet Carriage, but the noise was behind me and I couldn't see who it was. The noise did stop after a while.
I've been to Sunshine by train before and it is rather uninteresting. I continued on to Deer Park. I left the train and suburban housing and a carpark stretched in both directions, as I had noted when the train approached the station and decided there was nothing here for me and with a snap decision I caught the train sitting on the opposite platform back to the city.
I am a curious train traveller. Questions arise in my mind about things, such as what is this bit of water. It turned out to be the Dynon Road Tidal Canal and this blog post was interesting. Of course I wonder about tracks branching off here and there and wherever and the perfect answer to my arisen questions can be found at blogger Marcus Wong's, Rail Geelong which covers trains west of Melbourne too.