From time to time I’ll rant on Twitter about the FKN (Frankston — it’s an official code) line being stuffed.
After a few months of pretty good performance right around the rail network, the past week has seen a marked decline. Pulling together info from Connex’s Twitter feed and SMS alerts, and excluding a medical emergency or two:
Fri Oct 9th: 6:08am and 8:06am Bentleigh to City, and an express all cancelled
Mon Oct 12th: 8:47am and 9:09am Bentleigh to City, and an express all cancelled
Tue Oct 13th 8:29 am: Minor Delays – Cranbourne, Pakenham and Frankston lines: citybound (equipment fault). Delays up to 15 minutes
Wed Oct 14th: 8:17am Bentleigh to City cancelled
Thu Oct 15th: 8:31am Bentleigh to City cancelled
Fri Oct 16th 8:03 am: Line Suspended: Frankston line between Frankston-Cheltenham (power supply fault). Buses replacing trains, major delays
Something every weekday. Other lines have also suffered, everything from cancelled trains to some less-busy lines repeatedly running short trains, to line suspensions.
Remember, the impact from any little incident has big flow-on effects. A single cancelled train can disrupt a thousand people directly, and thousands more in the following trains. A line suspension disrupting a dozen trains is about the equivalent of shutting down a 3-lane freeway for an hour.
So what’s going on? Dunno. But here’s hoping they lift their game pronto. I’d rather a smooth service than a paltry free Daily ticket at the end of the month.
As I write this the FKN line is still suspended south of Cheltenham due to power problems, and some people are stuck on trains in the affected section. I’m heading in for work late today, and fortunately I’m north of that point. Still, it should be an interesting ride in.
(The car is periodically showing a warning light and being a little sluggish too. Maybe the transport gods are angry this week.)
PS. The ride in was pretty smooth. The 10:06am train was on time and not crowded. Either things are back to normal, or everyone’s still stuck south of Cheltenham!
And here’s a good quote from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, on the importance of reliable train services: “Every time your train is stuck inexplicably in a tunnel, every time a service is cancelled, the experience is not just eroding your quality of life. It is eating away at our city’s global competitiveness.”