Too busy to blog last week, but may I recommend this article instead.

I definitely get the sense that after years of disruptions, patience is wearing thin.

In the face of confusing and sometimes wrong information, and inadequate staff and bus provision, this is hardly surprising – especially on the lines most regularly affected.

As the article notes, the Cranbourne/Pakenham line has had planned bus replacements every single week this year but one.

Progress is good, but there’s a limit to how much people will put up with.

Read the article in full

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

10 replies on “Fatigue”

I do have to say, while Sydney has some of the similar problems (bustitution clashing with a few of the major events), I felt that they have been better coordinated, better notified to the public and in a few cases better routed. (Such as Glenfield to Sydenham buses taking only taking 30-40 mins when I used to live in the former suburb.) Almost all bustitution locations have clear signposts and staff allocated, there are almost always clearly notified in stations and online, and they rarely get any last-minute changes except as a last resort measure. In addition, the works seem to get regularly rotated so that a given route gets some reprieve at some point.

To exacerbate the problem, the promised express bus between Glen Waverley and Berwick in the disruption information brochures didn’t materialize according to the station master.

On a positive note, there were large numbers of staff swarming around both Brighton Beach station and Moorabbin station all last week.
You just needed to ask: How do I get to and they would point you in the right direction.

While on the Sunbury line, there will be train replacement buses due to the West Gate “Tunnel”, and there is nothing currently on PTV’s website on when the project works will be done.

@Hisashi, I wonder if Sydney has seen quite the intensity of works that we have in Melbourne in the past few years. Aside from the conversion of some existing line sections to metro, they’ve had nothing quite like the widespread level crossing removal works that we have.

@indigohex3, I had to hunt around, but found it listed confusingly under multiple notices (no doubt due to the changing arrangements depending on day/time).

The overarching brochure is here:

Thank you Daniel. With Cranbourne and Pakenham lines, it is easier to find information about those lines than work on the Sunbury line (which is my line). And in regards to your Tweet about the West Gate “Tunnel”, why couldn’t they put more buses instead of building a tollway that will cause more traffic and yet brand it “greener” when more buses is greener than a tollway that looks like an eyesore and is not really a tunnel.

@Daniel There were some works of so-called Clearways back in 2009-2013. While probably not as extensive as Melbourne’s LXRP it still involved upgrading multiple lines and stations including quadding part of the route which I took regularly and installing new crossovers and an upgrade of my station, the South West Freight rail that ran parallel along another section of the same route that included my station around the same time, and the construction of the South West Rail Link almost immediately after.

Are there are other works happening during the school holidays on the Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown lines, not just the work on the West Gate Tunnel project, given the disruptions are more extensive?

With Dynon Rd closed presumably the replacement buses will need to travel via an alternative route. Is Flemington Racecourse not an option as a termination point, like it was during the RRL build? I imagine the limited capacity through North Melbourne would preclude this though, probably along with other considerations.

And of course, even though V/Line dumped its passengers on the suburban network during the last school holidays, the reverse doesn’t hold.

And I see they’re encouraging WFH if you can! Just like in COVID times!

Excellent point Steve. I remember that a couple of times when the Sunbury line was closed for the Regional Rail Link project, there were trains running to Flemington Racecourse with buses running to Albion. But while this would work for Sunbury, it won’t work for Werribee or Williamstown. However, with Werribee and Williamstown, they could theoretically do it as during the Melbourne Cup they run buses from Flemington Racecourse to Footscray (which is serviced by the three lines in question). And with the capacity at North Melbourne, it won’t prelude services from Flemington Racecourse as it has been done before.

I feel that there will be closures on the Sunbury line closer to the end of the year due to the testing of trains through the Metro Tunnel (ditto Cranbourne and Pakenham) which will begin before the end of the year, with the potential opening late 2024/early 2025 (I am leaning towards the former).

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