Mike, last night there was also the contributing factor of my unfortunate steed, the down Wendouree/Maryborough, striking storm debris on the Bungaree loop, delayed 30 minutes there for train inspection in the pelting rain and making a terrible mess of everything as far as Melton.
On a more general note, from the point of view of most passengers, a predictable WOLO timetable is far preferable to “discretion”. If I’d diligently checked the website and found the train departing 15 minutes later from, say, Melton, and then arrived at the station to find it already gone because the driver had been told to drive to whatever schedule he wanted, I’d be pretty bloody annoyed.
When I was working as a driver years back, and later on a trip to Broken Hill for a couple of nights, the driver was given a Wollo for west of Parkes, it was certainly a hot day but with 2 422's on trial for the 3 carriage train he was able to maintain the new allowed speed. As soon as the temp dropped, he was notified by control that the speed had been lifted back to normal but as we were approaching darkness the usual caveat with Wollo's applied and that was you had to be vigilant especially if the first train over the section that had been affected, to ensure no track damage was found.
Under our Wollo conditions, when they were called off with the temps dropping below their level, it was our responsibility to notify control at each station regarding the condition of the track we had just gone over, that was the regulations that applied for the first train over a Wollo affected line to notify the lines condition, if no problems then following trains, in either direction were able to run at normal speeds. Other allowances though, included if there were minimal number of trains, a ganger was called out to run the sections to give them the all clear.
In this day and age, while it may sound a silly idea, if a Wollo is introduced and the temp drops below the level of it needing to have been introduced, why not with modern technology if in daylight hours surely something akin to a drone could check the track conditions and be able to send the info to the train control and crews.