If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this.
A man rushed past on the stairs at Southern Cross. He ran down and around the corner, then doubled-back to the V/Line fare gates. My guess is he’d come from the Metro platforms.
Here’s a short video of what happened next.
(It’s only 18 seconds to play in full. You don’t need to hear the sound.)
You can sense his frustration.
On V/Locity trains, the conductor checks the platform, then advises the driver it’s clear to depart, and all the doors close. The conductor probably can’t see if someone’s trying to board after that. I would assume the driver can see via the mirror, but might not be authorised to stop the train.
The Bendigo line shares parts of its route with the Metro Sunbury line (between Sunshine and Sunbury), so there’s also a risk that a delay might cause the train to miss its path – though with the Metro trains only running every 20 minutes (40 beyond Watergardens) this seems unlikely. There are also issues with the single track beyond Kyneton.
Note the lady in the background. I think she had planned to meet him on the train. After it departed, she approached and they spoke and ended up sitting on a bench together.
Of course we don’t know all of the context here – had his Metro connection been delayed or diverted? Or had he just not allowed enough time?
Southern Cross (formerly Spencer Street) Station got a huge upgrade about 15 years ago. The former passenger subway was closed, and is now used mostly for maintenance vehicles, and as a conduit for numerous cables and pipes running under the station.
The subway used to be the only way to get to and from the platforms. It wouldn’t cope with passenger numbers nowadays, but would provide extra capacity and be a quick way to change between platforms. It’s unclear if it is viable to bring it back into service.
The station upgrade provided far quicker exit to some locations, such as Collins Street west, and to the northwest including
Telstra Etihad Marvel Stadium.
But capacity has been a problem in recent years, and interchange between some of the platforms isn’t great, especially at the Collins Street end. It’s a bit better via Bourke Street, and doesn’t involve exiting the paid zone to swap between Metro and V/Line.
You can only feel for the bloke in the video, and all the others over the years who have missed their connection thanks, in part at least, to the distance between the platforms.