Feedback - Metro Timetable Changes (6th June 2010)

 
  route14 Chief Commissioner

We currently have trains that run express from Laverton to Hoppers Crossing then all stations to Werribee ... all stations ... all one station ...  Rolling Eyes
"Kerpal"

I believe they are expressing zero stations, Gwiwer noted the inclusion of Lynbrook, on the Werribee line it is probably upcoming Williams Landing station. I wonder if the other new stations of Caroline Springs (Ballarat) and Cardinia Road (Pakenham) are showing up? I assume someone messed up the new timetable data package... Laughing
"wongm"


Aircraft will be very disappointed that you forgot about it, Marcus.
"tomohawk"

So the expression of running express Laverton to Hoppers Crossing is appropriate.

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  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Reverting to the original topic - it's only been 2 days, and my observations have been random, but my initial impression is that, during the am peak, passenger loads are not evenly distributed.   In particular, some of the stopping trains on the Frankston line have been very full, the expresses not so full.  Could it be that commuters (where they have a choice) prefer the loop trains even though they stop at all stations, and/or should the expresses pick up at a few more stations?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Could it be that commuters (where they have a choice) prefer the loop trains even though they stop at all stations


It could be.  That is now the quicker way to reach loop stations.  Taking an express and changing anywhere will increase the journey time by between 5 and 20 minutes.  

With the all-stations trains taking around 10 minutes longer than an express I anticipate a fair number of regulars will swap onto those trains to avoid changing.

The new timetable then becomes self-defeating.  The expresses become the lesser-used trains and Metro can say at a later time they are no longer needed, then use that argument to re-work the timetable to provide all trains stopping all stations.

That seem to be their longer term aim.

If passengers from the Geelong line were obliged to stop every kilometre or two for an hour and a quarter on their travels they might rightly be up in arms.  Is it any wonder then that Frankston passengers are feeling they have yet again received the rough end of the pineapple?
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
I usually ride the 7.24 Vline from Pakenham to Clayton.
This morning it was announced as being 11 mins late so "plan B" had to be implemented. This involved, before the new Timetable, riding the 7.28 spark. This was one of those trains which became very full very early usually being crush loaded by Dandenong.

The 7.28 has now become the 7.31 and prior to its departure an empty spark trundles out of the yard and heads off to become the 7.37 up from Berwick.

The 7.31 was a very different train to the old 7.28! There was plenty of room with empty seats when we arrived at Dandenong. Progress from Dandy to Clayton seemed a bit slow (had we caught up to the 7.37 up from Berwick?), but the train was still not particularly crowded by Clayton. Not stopping at Yarraman and Westall didn't make any difference as both those stations had almost no-one waiting on the platforms.  Very Happy
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

Well the new timetable works wonders for the Sydenham Line...with no new services at all! Isnt it just blis *cough cough* sarcasm *cough*

I know why because the V/Line to Sunbury has to be a priority to metropolitan services, sigh.

Does anyone happen to catch the Sydenham Line from Sydenham and do you know how crowded do the morning peak trains get on a weekday between 7:30am - 8:30 am, please Question

Cheers.
  Speed Minister for Railways

I know why because the V/Line to Sunbury has to be a priority to metropolitan services, sigh.
"GORT-KLAATU"
Giving the V-Line services from Bendigo or Swan Hill priority over suburban services might make sense.

The V-Line service from Sunbury is more an outer suburban service. Giving it priority seems like a way to promote opposition to the Sunbury electrification.
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

I know why because the V/Line to Sunbury has to be a priority to metropolitan services, sigh.
"GORT-KLAATU"
Giving the V-Line services from Bendigo or Swan Hill priority over suburban services might make sense.

The V-Line service from Sunbury is more an outer suburban service. Giving it priority seems like a way to promote opposition to the Sunbury electrification.
"Speed"


Yeah mate. Well as a user of the Sydenham Line now and then i can tell you that even after the Sunbury rail electrification in about a year or two the metropolitan services on Syd Line will become more crowded still with Sunbury and Diggers Rest people cramming onboard metropolitan services, regardless of any "extra" services that will be added because the V/Line will be gone from Sunbury. Unless the State Gov manages to get ALOT more trains in the next two years. Here's hoping Rolling Eyes
  712M Chief Commissioner

I know why because the V/Line to Sunbury has to be a priority to metropolitan services, sigh.
"GORT-KLAATU"
Giving the V-Line services from Bendigo or Swan Hill priority over suburban services might make sense.

The V-Line service from Sunbury is more an outer suburban service. Giving it priority seems like a way to promote opposition to the Sunbury electrification.
"Speed"


Yeah mate. Well as a user of the Sydenham Line now and then i can tell you that even after the Sunbury rail electrification in about a year or two the metropolitan services on Syd Line will become more crowded still with Sunbury and Diggers Rest people cramming onboard metropolitan services, regardless of any "extra" services that will be added because the V/Line will be gone from Sunbury. Unless the State Gov manages to get ALOT more trains in the next two years. Here's hoping Rolling Eyes
"GORT-KLAATU"


When Sunbury is sparked hopefully the RRL is completed by then as the push-pull sets will be used to double the number of services to Melton and Bacchus Marsh, which use the Sunshine to North Melbourne section of the Sydenham line.
  Craig Chief Commissioner

Location: Edithvale, VIC
Surpised no-one commented on the stopping pattern of the 16:42 Down Cranbourne on Monday - see dbowen's photo. Apparently the pattern was changed due to late running. Odd to see a train skip Clayton but then stop at Westall!

Some of my experiences/observations have inculded:
  • 06:50 up (express) on first day was a fully seated load, with a few standees past Caulfield. The proceeding 06:45 UP Frankston arrived Richmond with near-crush load - its possible some people didn't realise this service would get overtaken.
  • Most other trains I observed arriving Richmond before 8:20am appeared to have no more than moderate standees.
  • First evening peak appeared to run well, with most CFD group trains leaving Parliament with only moderate standing loads. New 17:50 Down Frankston (express) had roughly a seated load. 17:03 Frankston from Southern Cross didn't seem to appear on station PIDs (photo)
  • 17:23 Frankston express commences at Southern Cross at 17:15 (photo), but this is not shown in the public timetable. Despite this, the train still picked up a couple of dozen passengers at SSS, before leaving Flinders Street with a moderate standing load in the rear carriage.
  • 08:07 Up on Tuesday had several empty seats the entire trip in (this is the second of two express services that still operates into the loop, but arriving the City just after 9am).
  • Tonight, the 17:54 down Frankston was 6 mins late in the loop, and I missed my my connection to the 18:09 down Frankston at Richmond. I got to Edithvale at 7pm instead of 18:47


Overall though, the new timetable seems to be a step in the right direction - trains are less crowded and have been more ontime. And Frankston line cancellations have been few so far.

Finally, a photo of the first "regular" down Carrum (16:57 down) for many years, taken at Flagstaff on Monday...

(Carrum trains occasionally run during occupations and disruptions - in fact, a few years ago I rode a Hitachi on a Saturday evening Carrum serivce).

Kimd Regards


Craig Smile
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

Finally, a photo of the first "regular" down Carrum (16:57 down) for many years, taken at Flagstaff on Monday...

(Carrum trains occasionally run during occupations and disruptions - in fact, a few years ago I rode a Hitachi on a Saturday evening Carrum serivce).

Kimd Regards


Craig Smile
"Craig"


That's a great picture of a Hitachi mate. I wonder if Metro will bother putting the new livery on the small fleet. Im glad you didnt get caught taking that pic because as you can see a CCTV is looking right at you in the corner of the picture. Dumb question but im guessing it's still against the law to photograph in the Loop?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
it's still against the law to photograph in the Loop?


It has never been against the Law.  It remains prohibited by Metro's own ruling on safety grounds to use flashlight photography.  That is often interpreted to mean all photography; they can impose their own limitations but they cannot over-rule Federal Law.

With current camera technology it is perfectly possible to capture high quality images in low light without the use of flash.

There is no legislation prohibiting photography in or of places to which the public may have access within Australia other than military and detention establishments.

Nice photo as well, Craig.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Metro appear to say that no photography at all is permitted in loop stations - see rule 20 on this link:
http://www.metrotrains.com.au/Media/docs/Rail%20Enthusiasts%20&%20Amateur%20Policy%20and%20Guidelines-4c21a371-8c7d-4ecc-b3b2-e2141253adf2-0.pdf
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Metro appear to say that no photography at all is permitted in loop stations
"gxh"


They may say what they like.  I know of no law which can be used to enforce any complete ban.  If this were presented in a test case I believe it would fail on those grounds.
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

I just wanted to ask this question to see what other people's responses are: When your travelling on a train at night, would you in a sense prefer and feel "safer" travelling in a standing overcrowded train or on a train with enough room to get a seat for yourself?

I dunno. In my view i would prefer the crowded train cause well at least then i'd feel safer in a group on board a train at night when im travelling alone at night.

Cheers.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Metro appear to say that no photography at all is permitted in loop stations
"gxh"


They may say what they like.  I know of no law which can be used to enforce any complete ban.  If this were presented in a test case I believe it would fail on those grounds.
"Gwiwer"
Totally off the thread topic for a moment but I am just wondering if it is a condition of entry that no photography be undertaken in any city loop station.
This condition would be similar to the condition of entry signs in some shops that bags may be asked to be presented for a search.
If so, then no photography is entirely reasonable and enforceable, at least to the point of being asked to leave the premises.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
Just a thought, if no photography was a condition of entry to loop stations, wouldn't they have to have signs bringing this to your notice as you entered?   And what if you entered the station on a train?
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

Metro appear to say that no photography at all is permitted in loop stations
"gxh"


They may say what they like.  I know of no law which can be used to enforce any complete ban.  If this were presented in a test case I believe it would fail on those grounds.
"Gwiwer"
Totally off the thread topic for a moment but I am just wondering if it is a condition of entry that no photography be undertaken in any city loop station.
This condition would be similar to the condition of entry signs in some shops that bags may be asked to be presented for a search.
If so, then no photography is entirely reasonable and enforceable, at least to the point of being asked to leave the premises.
"xxxxlbear"


Perhaps others with more information may be able to answer your question, but i think that if a authorised officer or staff member saw you taking pictures in a City Loop station i would imagine they would question why you are filming or taking photos and probably ask that you reframe from doing so, the reason why is because of the threat of terrorism these days and everything. Alot of underground stations around the world have similar laws and restrictions regarding photography in certain areas. Dont ask me why.

Anyone else, feel free to correct me if im wrong. Cheers.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Railway staff including AO's do not have powers to stop you and ask to see the contents of your bag.  Those powers are granted to shop staff to prevent theft.  It is not possible to conceal and steal travel in your bag!

The bans which I know of only ever apply to flashlight photography except in countries where general photography of railways is restricted by other legislation.  

Back on topic I am still hearing mixed reactions to the changes on the Frankston and Cranbourne lines.  That would be expected following significant changes to the timetable anyway.  The general feeling is that it should be Frankston stoppers which run direct and the expresses via the loop, or as many of each pattern as can be found paths.  

The comments from Cranbourne concern the now-lost connections at some times with local buses - including the Trainlink 896 - causing extended or unreliable journey times.  The pre-emptive announcement of "Express Dandenong to Merinda Park" has caused raised eyebrows but isn't a service issue as such.
  Boss Chief Commissioner

Location: Caulfield Line


Back on topic I am still hearing mixed reactions to the changes on the Frankston and Cranbourne lines.  That would be expected following significant changes to the timetable anyway.  The general feeling is that it should be Frankston stoppers which run direct and the expresses via the loop, or as many of each pattern as can be found paths.  

The comments from Cranbourne concern the now-lost connections at some times with local buses - including the Trainlink 896 - causing extended or unreliable journey times.  The pre-emptive announcement of "Express Dandenong to Merinda Park" has caused raised eyebrows but isn't a service issue as such.
"Gwiwer"


It seems that running the expresses thru the loop makes more sense but what are the arguments for and against, please?
  armadale-gal Junior Train Controller



Back on topic I am still hearing mixed reactions to the changes on the Frankston and Cranbourne lines.  That would be expected following significant changes to the timetable anyway.  The general feeling is that it should be Frankston stoppers which run direct and the expresses via the loop, or as many of each pattern as can be found paths.  

The comments from Cranbourne concern the now-lost connections at some times with local buses - including the Trainlink 896 - causing extended or unreliable journey times.  The pre-emptive announcement of "Express Dandenong to Merinda Park" has caused raised eyebrows but isn't a service issue as such.
"Gwiwer"


It seems that running the expresses thru the loop makes more sense but what are the arguments for and against, please?
"Boss"


I think whichever its way it's done people will complain... the only way that everyone will be happy is if they all go through the loop (a guess, but it seems to me that majority of passengers get off at Parliament, Melb Central & Flagstaff) - and obviously that's not possible.  If they changed it to expresses through the loop, stoppers direct the people on the stopping trains would be just as disgruntled!

After five days with the new timetable I'd say there is definitely a vast improvement in how full the trains are, both that I get on and the Pakenham/Cranbourne trains that I see go past our station.  They're certainly not close to being on time (15 minutes late without explanation on the Metro site yesterday!) but 3/5 mornings our arrival time has been much improved, only about 5 minutes after schedule arrival which was almost unheard of under the old timetable.  

The thing that bugs me... obviously this timetable is just as unrealistic as the old one.  Why not do a timetable that can logistically be maintained?  I think people would be less inclined to grump over fewer services if the services provided were on time or only a few minutes late!
  Speed Minister for Railways

I for one am happy that many trains don't go through the loop. When I used to live on the Glen Waverley, I was pleased when I found out about the ability to cross the platform to change at Richmond and always did so during peak hours. However, I only found that out by chance.

Just announcing to passengers approaching Richmond the platforms from which FSS-direct trains depart would be helpful for passengers who don't need to go through the loop. It would also free some space for passengers who wish to change at Richmond for the loop.

Capacity in the loop is limited to one track per group. The fewer number of trains going through the loop, the less the constraint that limit imposes. However, more trains running FSS-direct means more crowding at FSS.

Through-routing some trains between Richmond and North Melbourne via Spencer Streeet would be helpful in that passengers on those trains could board or alight at Spencer Street without going through the loop.

obviously this timetable is just as unrealistic as the old one. Why not do a timetable that can logistically be maintained? I think people would be less inclined to grump over fewer services if the services provided were on time or only a few minutes late!
"Armadale Gal"
I find the idea of realistic timetables attractive. I disagree that fewer services is a solution. My perception is that peak hour trains are sufficiently crowded that there is a need to have roughly the number of services that we have now.

I have seen the suggestion that, if services have to be cancelled because of a known problem like the Siemens trains being unavailable, the operator should nominate particular services and cancel the same services every day until the problem is resolved. If they were to do that for peak hour services, I would not want the services to be permanently removed.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The issues with services running via or avoiding the City Loop are basically the same for any service group.  Some passengers will be disadvantaged and a smaller number significantly so.

It is claimed that Flinders Street remains the busiest station in peak hours overall.  By number of entry and exit validations I'm not so sure based upon the numbers I see going through Parliament in particular.

The argument for the Frankston expresses to run via the loop is that this retains the time saving of those services and they remain the most attractive option for longer distance users.  Where the rail portion of the journey is already around an hour a saving of 10 minutes or so is worthwhile.  That has been one of the reasons those trains are extremely heavily loaded.

To remove them and force users to change, or to use stopping trains, removes any benefit of an express service for most users.  The additional time involved is between 5 and 20 minutes depending upon actual journey and alternatives used and would typically be 10 minutes if a stopping train were used.

That makes the stopping trains the best option and will shift the load from the expresses onto those farther out.  They then arrive at somewhere like Cheltenham already filed to capacity and are unable to take passengers from those very stations in the inner suburbs that they are intended to serve.  Meanwhile the expresses become lesser used and present Metro with an excuse to then cancel them altogether in favour of more all-stations trains.  

The half-respectable peak service for passengers travelling over 40kms in many cases would then be lost and the Frankston (or indeed Pakenham if the same were to happen there) line be turned into a slow painful and much less attractive service which will drive some users back to the roads.

There isn't space for all the trains now in the timetable to operate via the City Loop.

The best accommodation would be to have as many of each stopping pattern as possible to run that way and those which cannot be fitted in to go direct.  Failing that it should be the expresses, not the stoppers, which take passengers to where they wish to go.
  armadale-gal Junior Train Controller

That makes the stopping trains the best option and will shift the load from the expresses onto those farther out.  They then arrive at somewhere like Cheltenham already filed to capacity and are unable to take passengers from those very stations in the inner suburbs that they are intended to serve.  Meanwhile the expresses become lesser used and present Metro with an excuse to then cancel them altogether in favour of more all-stations trains.  
"Gwiwer"


We'll see what happens... so far with one week down the stoppers haven't been anywhere near full at Armadale... in fact there have been seats available all down the train.  This is much more pleasant than the trains we used to get on that were so packed it was hard to squeeze on!
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
From memory, as far as fareboxes go, it goes Melbourne Central, daylight, Box Hill then the loop stations.
  thekingoffoxes Chief Train Controller

In the morning half of the exSandringham train gets of at Richmond to transfer into the loop, then at night a mostly packed train from Flinders gets completely filled at Richmond with people transfering out of the loop.

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