Clever placement of #MetroTrains #DumbWaysToDie characters in stations

A lot of the unfortunate jellybean characters are depicted around CBD railway stations at the moment as part of Metro’s Dumb Ways To Die campaign. I was amused at the placement of this one:

Clever placement of this #metrotrains #DumbWaysToDie sticker at Flagstaff

…but this one is even better. (Only a short video — don’t bother with the sound; it adds nothing.)

Perhaps I’m easily amused, but that did make me laugh. Very clever.

Metro people

Lily Dale
Dan Denong
Flin der Street
Lyn Brook
Ben T’Leigh
Pat Terson
Mal Vern
Frank Ston
Cam Berwell
William Stown
Glen Ferrie
Victoria Park and Clifton Hill (of course!)
Thomas Town
Wes Tall

Mural, Patterson station

Syd Enham
Mel Bournecentral
Al Tona
and his brother Wes Tona
Glen Roy
Craig Ieburn
Edith Vale
Ken Sington
Merlyn Ston
Clay Ton
Dennis and Chelsea!

Any others?

How punctual are our trains compared to German suburban trains?

Many European countries put serious resources into their public transport systems and have networks that are the envy of the world, but don’t necessarily assume they are better than us in every single respect.

For instance, one might assume that German trains are never late — or at least that their punctuality is light years ahead of ours.

I discovered the other day that it is not so.

Berlin S-Bahn (from Wikipedia)
(Pic: Wikipedia)

In the year under review, we significantly improved the punctuality of our trains. For punctuality up to five minutes, the average rate increased from 91.0 % in 2010 to 92.9 % in 2011. Both local and long-distance transport services posted higher annual rates in this category: long-distance transport achieved a rate of 80.0 % (previous year: 72.4 %) and the figure for local transport came in at 93.2 % (previous year: 91.5 %).

Deutsche Bahn annual report

The long-distance figure isn’t directly comparable to V/Line, because V/Line uses a 5:59 or 10:59 threshold for “late” depending on the distance involved.

But the local figure (for instance S-Bahn suburban services) is comparable to Metro, as both DB and Metro use five minutes.

So, DB’s punctuality figures were 91.5% in 2010, and 93.2% in 2011.

Metro’s punctuality figure for 2010 was 86.6%; for 2011 it was 87.0%; for 2012 it was 91.1%, so (at least recently, with the help of strategies such as skipping stations, which if done counter-peak has overall positive outcomes for passengers) Metro is in the ballpark with DB.

Bonus trivia: When I was a kid, I recall Lego trains such as 7740 came with various stickers for different operators, including Deutsche Bahn and Victorian Railways. I always used the Deutsche Bahn stickers, of course — their DB logo was perfect for me.

White tracks

Near Flinders Street Station, some tracks have been painted white.

White tracks near Flinders Street station

White tracks near Flinders Street station

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

The Metro emergency gate that wasn’t

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.

Emergency exit

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.

Non-emergency gate

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.