Metro plan to split Melbourne rail network into five lines hangs on union fight

 

News article: Metro plan to split Melbourne rail network into five lines hangs on union fight

Metro has started splitting Melbourne's railway into five independent networks as a way of curbing chronic delays.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Metro has started splitting Melbourne's railway into five independent networks as a way of curbing chronic delays.

Each network has its own dedicated train fleet and pool of drivers and is modelled on the simpler, more successful Hong Kong railway.

But the plan will not be fully realised unless Metro confronts the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

The union has condemned the plan, saying it would diminish the responsibilities of hundreds of train drivers.
Metro plan to split Melbourne rail network into five lines hangs on union fight


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Does not make any sense at all!

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Isn't this what Sydney has kind of done and is part of the reason things have improved up here?
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Rail line in Brisbane are all colour coded, it works very well, same would apply to Melbourne, would make operations so much easier, get used to it and get over it..........
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Coloured paint will not help Melbourne's problem. They tried that years ago.
Nor will straight railing everything.
We need flexibility and versatility and this requires both infrastructure and ability and the will to use both.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Pretty quick and simple way of breaking the strangle hold of the RTBU.
Drivers would only have to be qualified in the assigned lines, making them much faster to be trained, therefore more expendable.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Isn't this what Sydney has kind of done and is part of the reason things have improved up here?
jamesbushell.au
No it isn't. The Clearways Project in Sydney instituted amplification of lines and new turn backs increasing capacity. All Metro proposes to do is to remove all connections between lines to save on costs. There will be no amplification of lines whatsoever.

Michael
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_Clearways_Program

Part of the program was a delinking of lines, not necessarily physically but operationally.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Metro is starting the sectorisation program backwards - driver route knowledge should be the last thing to go in a properly laid-out program that is being done for the right reasons (timetable reliability and rollingstock management).

But Metro is doing this for three completely different reasons:
  • To try and break the RTBU by making sure that every group of drivers has 4 other ones to compete with when it comes to bargaining arrangements and industrial action
  • Because changing around personnel is the quickest and easiest thing that management can do - and it distracts from the larger problems with infrastructure and rollingstock management that they seem to prefer stay in the 'too-hard' basket
  • Because at the end of the day Metro's owners want to end up with their own little permanent, privately-owned railway kingdom in Melbourne - and having 5 'networks' instead of 1 to bid for gives them 4 extra chances when the political climate is right for them to do so.
  randomnarwhal Locomotive Driver

What happens, out of curiosity, if one 'set' of lines (e.g. the Burnley group) is under maintenance (e.g. through Richmond) or there is some requirement prohibiting use of track? Instead of being moved across to another line or into another platform the services for that entire group will be cancelled?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Having a quick flick over the business case for the Murray Valley line standardisation, it seems there are a few places where this will impact on the use of the metro network's ability to serve freight customers, ie, current BG trains wont have access any more, such as Allied Mills in Kensington.

Will this simplification of the metro lines perhaps one day allow for a lower disruption conversion of some (eventually all) of the metro lines to SG?
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Having a quick flick over the business case for the Murray Valley line standardisation, it seems there are a few places where this will impact on the use of the metro network's ability to serve freight customers, ie, current BG trains wont have access any more, such as Allied Mills in Kensington.

Will this simplification of the metro lines perhaps one day allow for a lower disruption conversion of some (eventually all) of the metro lines to SG?
jamesbushell.au
Even after SG is completed west of Maryborough there will still be plenty of grain silos on BG to allow for delivery of domestic grain to Kensington and other points including Sunshine.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Metro is starting the sectorisation program backwards - driver route knowledge should be the last thing to go in a properly laid-out program that is being done for the right reasons (timetable reliability and rollingstock management).

But Metro is doing this for three completely different reasons:
  • To try and break the RTBU by making sure that every group of drivers has 4 other ones to compete with when it comes to bargaining arrangements and industrial action
  • Because changing around personnel is the quickest and easiest thing that management can do - and it distracts from the larger problems with infrastructure and rollingstock management that they seem to prefer stay in the 'too-hard' basket
  • Because at the end of the day Metro's owners want to end up with their own little permanent, privately-owned railway kingdom in Melbourne - and having 5 'networks' instead of 1 to bid for gives them 4 extra chances when the political climate is right for them to do so.
LancedDendrite
I have a lot of sympathy for people like hot-axle-box and others who are fighting for better conditions in their workplace - but as someone who has seen conditions in my own industry deteriorate over the years it appears to be the wave of the future that most jobs will be lower paid and casual, particularly those that are unskilled or semi-skilled (because they're easy to replace with 457's). Things like penalty rates, sick leave and holidays are going the way of the horse and cart.

Metro are doing the government's dirty work for them in that they are turning what was once a 'job for life' into a McJob, where you could potentially be forced onto a casual roster where you can be replaced at a moment's notice, like being in a labour hire company. It's a universal trend and it's sold to us now-days as 'you are an entrepreneur, not an employee'. This stuff is not confined to train drivers, there's all sorts of industries now where you have terrible conditions, no sick pay and no paid holidays... that's why I think ultimately the RTBU are pushing sh*t up a hill if they think they can stop this from occurring - the destruction of conditions is part of the reason why Metro were bought in to begin with and if they do the job well they'll be rewarded with another big, lucrative contract when the time comes again.

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