Near Flinders Street Station, some tracks have been painted white.
Looks odd, doesn’t it. Apparently it’s to reduce heat, and thus reduce the possibility of track buckling and other problems.
Update: See this web page: Solacoat/Coolshield Reducing Temperature of Railway Tracks
I don’t care if it’s the same lot of decorations as last year — I like ‘em. They look rather good at night.
And you know what? Their location helps cement Flinders Street Station’s cultural importance to our city — perhaps never moreso than now, with public transport patronage increasing, and rail patronage in particular hitting record highs.
We had our family Christmas lunch early — on Saturday — because a bunch of us won’t be in town on Christmas day.
Hope all the readers of my blog have a very Merry Christmas.
I reckon the better a paving surface looks, the slipperier it is, particularly in the wet.
Asphalt: ugly, but grips well, even in the wet.
Tiles (as platforms at Flinders Street station have been converted to, but thankfully not ramps) and blue-stone (increasingly common on CBD streets) look nicer, but are more slippery.
And some types of tactiles (bumps, for the vision-impaired) often aren’t that great in terms of grip either.
Agree? Disagree? Is it my shoes?
A new Myki-related problem has emerged — during evening peak, crowds heading into Flinders Street Station’s Elizabeth Street entrance back up onto the road. This video shows it (though I’m sure I’ve seen worse crowds on occasions)
It’s not entirely down to Myki — it’s a combination of surging passenger numbers, space limitations at that entrance (due to part of the subway being dedicated to foot traffic to Southbank) and slow responses from Metcard gates to Myki cards.
Apart from getting the switch over to the new faster gates happening, perhaps the answer is to simply widen the footpath at the intersection. Given the number of people and the small amount of westbound traffic (unlike eastbound), it would be justified.
As you can see from this Nearmap pic, Flinders Street is one lane westbound anyway from Swanston Street; it only widens at the intersection itself. East of the intersection, the left lane is used for restricted parking (mostly buses I think) — west of the intersection, one lane is taken by the tram stop. You wouldn’t get a full lane of extra footpath, but you’d certainly gain a bit.
- Video from ABC News Breakfast on Tuesday: Police could be called in to control Myki barriers
I noted this about a month ago. The idea of an emergency gate in the Elizabeth Street subway at Flinders Street Station seemed like a good one, but it seemed doubtful that the automatic release would include the padlock.
So I tweeted:
Ok. I have my doubts that this emergency exit *padlock* is automatic, @MetroTrains http://yfrog.com/mn1pwqsj Care to confirm?
And Metro replied:
@danielbowen thanks for this. We’ve alerted our management at Flinders St.
As one would hope, they take safety very seriously, and it looks like they’ve solved this problem… by removing the sign.
One can only hope that should there be an emergency, a staffer with a key for the padlock can get down there quickly to unlock it.
PS. I’m speaking at the Wheeler Centre tonight, with Paul Mees and Meredith Sussex, on “Transport and Movement”. Details here.
Apparently there were some delays in getting these decorations up, but now they’re in place, I do think they look rather splendid, don’t you?
Anybody know if this lights up at night?
In today’s news, the Herald Sun reports that from January, Myki cards are to be reduced in price to $6 ($3 concession) and the $9.80 refund fee removed, meaning they’ll be fully refundable for tourists.
Update: However refunds will not include the initial $6/$3 fee for the card, and the refund will be issued by a cheque in the mail rather than over-the-counter, making the scheme useless for overseas tourists.
Yearly Metcards to be withdrawn, and it sounds like other Metcards (Monthlies, Weeklies, 10×2 hours?) will also be phased out in the next few months, to get more people moving over to Myki.
And I understand the retail network will expand and move ahead on selling cards, as will station and tram superstop vending machines.
It’s good that moves are finally afoot to get back onto one ticket system — given the costs and confusion around running two — but there are still questions over whether transitioning passengers will see the level of staff assistance they need, and what will happen with on-board (on trams and buses) purchase of tickets. Will there be any kind of option at all, or will we see mass fare evasion?
And will they ever fix the single beep sound problem so we can tell the difference between touch-on and touch-off, even if we’re in a hurry/not looking at the screen/unable to see it due to sun glare?
Some of the clocks at Flinders Street Station need updating.
If they managed to update the leftmost clock to say “Pakenham and Cranbourne” (the Cranbourne line opened in 1995), why can’t they update the “St Albans” one to say “Sydenham”? (Actually, wait a year or two and then change it to “Sunbury“.)
Update 9am: Oh yeah, “Broadmeadows” also needs updating to “Craigieburn”.
There’s no Altona line anymore (it was extended to Westona and Werribee in the 80s), but it’ll be useful for the Altona Loop trains to Laverton, which there’ll be more of from May. (I wonder if it will actually work?)
The clocks for the Burnley group lines are off to the left, where on this occasion, underneath one could also see some Authorised Officers booking someone for not having a ticket.
Now… imagine the scandal if it was announced that the steps were to be abolished, to be replaced by a DDA-compliant ramp.
Update lunchtime: Niki pointed out in the comments what I didn’t even notice: the Epping and Hurstbridge lines aren’t represented, as until 1997, they departed across the road at Princes Bridge Station.
These photos from the 1950s show that the clocks have been swapped around over the years. The rightmost two used to be for the St Kilda and Port Melbourne lines. And many of them used to list the major destination, followed by the line name, for instance “Essendon – Broadmeadows line”.
The current Flinders Street Station is 100 years old today.
There’s a newish book on the history of Flinders Street Station called Beyond the Facade by Jenny Davies. Recently I was walking through the Degraves Street subway and noticed a display for the book. Then something in one of the windows caught my eye; amongst the cartoons, a familiar logo:
Below this was a copy of the press release marking the PTUA’s 30th anniversary.
The display continues until Saturday.
Also something I recently noticed underneath the concourse: Maybe the book would explain it, but I haven’t yet worked out why these archways are shaped like this:
Perhaps the ramps from the concourse down to the platforms (now replaced with escalators and lifts) necessitated the lower height on one side. Any other guesses?
- Flinders St Station turns 100 (associated with the book) — sounds like the construction was almost as controversial as Southern Cross Station and Myki
- Wikipedia: Flinders Street Station
- Department of Transport history of Flinders Street Station
- Public Records Office Victoria transport collection search — type in “flinders” and you’ll see some terrific pictures