I am not really saying anything different to Ian but expressing it differently: the problem seems to be a lack of customer service orientation among the managers of the projects
so the engineering solution wins out over a customer service solution.
It is, after all, within the engineer's comfort zone - but then a new road can be built without actually blocking traffic for more than a weekend: witness the northern end of the South Road Superway.
We can fix the customers, the project managers propose, by digging a few life-expired buses out of retirement for 9 or 10 months and that will keep the customers happy - of course it will satisfy those customers
Unfortunately some RAIL types have lacked this customer service orientation in the past and prefered to think their job was running trains rather than carrying passengers. It took the introduction of bus people into management to change the view of those railway men.
For this reason I prefer not to criticise on the grounds of the managers being non-rail people for lack of a customer service orientation is not confined to non-railway people; indeed the right non-rail people would have handled the projects differently bearing the customers in mind rather than shunting them aside.
There has been expertise lost from the government railways by those who knew anything moving on to the ANR or simply leaving by retirement or taking packages.
This meant a couple of things: loss of corporate knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, a loss of pride in the rail system.
It really annoys me to see a completed but unused railway in the Seaford extention with no immediate prospect of it being used. It has been completed for months. It annoys me to see the electrification of the remainder of the line apparently taking precedence over the carrying of passengers, rather than it being done in weekend and evening closures.
They could do with some marketing advice, too!