Yesterday afternoon I visited Footscray by train for coffee as I do often enough. I like Footscray. It is full of South East Asian and black African locals and I am a minority white person. The black Africans really dominated this Friday but they are polite and respectful to an ageing white man, (No Andrew, please don't suggest they know their place).
I really like the way the Africans all seem so happy and jovial with greetings to each other in various ways. There were a lot of younger ones today, loud and they slap each others hands together as they greet their 'bros'.
There is no doubt a crime problem in Melbourne with black African youth, but I don't see it on the streets of Footscray.
Enough social commentary. To the trains.
Our oldest suburban trains, the Comengs (Commonwealth Engineering) are being updated (there has been a few updates) with very good progressive line display information. I won't even try to explain what it shows, but it is very useful until.....
Some time ago most trains from Frankston have been routed through the city to alternate between Williamstown and Laverton Stations. Even though Laverton is a train terminus, it does not show as such on the Public Transport Victoria website. Who would guess that you need to look at the Werribee train line! It is a little complex because some trains........no, too complex to explain, but I do know how it works.
With full confidence I boarded the 4pm train at Footscray to travel to South Yarra. That is through city stations then to Richmond and leave at South Yarra to get a 58 tram home. Both the new visual display and repeated announcements said the train would terminate at the city station of Flinders Street. Damn. Well the PTV website does say most trains go through to Frankston. Perhaps not this one. No one stirred on the train at the terminating announcement so I just sat there, but I had completely lost confidence with where the train was going. A terminating train means it stops, full stop. No questions asked. Get off.
As no one moved clearly the train wasn't going to go backwards and there is a chance it will continue on to South Yarra. I don't have children to pick up from child care. Time is not my enemy. The worst that could happen is I would be I ended up in Upper Combuctor West and late home for a pre dinner drink.
The train sat at Flinders Street for about four minutes and then went on its way with the display changing to it being a Frankston train and stopping at South Yarra with matching announcements.
I am fairly sure the PTV app gave me wrong information times at Footscray. I think the platform display at Footscray said it was a Frankston train, but as the train arrived as I arrived at the platform, I didn't have time to properly check.
While I know our tram system very well, I do use trains often enough to be familiar with how our trains work and I should not have been told the train was terminating at Flinders Street Station when it wasn't.
There was another incident earlier in the week. Tram track replacement is happening in St Kilda Road so the best way for us to get to the Degraves Street to our regular barber in the city is to catch a 58 tram to South Yarra Station and then a train. That worked fine, but the train display changed from being a Laverton train to a Williamstown train. Then the train driver announced the train would terminate Flinders Street and become a Frankston train. I expect this was because of an earlier level crossing crash with a train versus a car. Of course the train won, but incidents like that cause massive and rolling disruptions. I'll wear that one. Nevertheless, as we left people with ear buds in or not listening to announcements stayed on the train with the expectation it would go on to Laverton via So Cross Station.