News and events

NYE 2012

Having a night in. Just noticed my new year's resolutions from two years ago -- given I'm not really in the mood to write a new set, let's review these old ones, shall we? Teach my kids chess -- I did have one go at this, but didn't push it. Should try again. Try to declutter the house -- This is an ongoing project. I really couldn't say if I've made a huge amount of progress in the past


Hitachi trains: forty years on

Forty years ago this week (on Christmas Eve to be precise) the first Hitachi train went into service. Here's an article and some blueprints published in the Victorian Railways internal newsletter in June 1970, showing off models of the then-proposed trains. (Click on the pictures to view them bigger in Flickr.) The "driving trailer" carriages were later converted to trailer ca


Yes, there will still be paper tickets post-Metcard — so why not offer them more widely?

This Friday is the last day for Metcard. But if you thought it was the end for paper tickets, think again. Even aside from V/Line tickets, they will live-on. As noted in today's Age, despite the claims from government that it's impossible to have paper tickets on a system that's moved to Smartcards, there are several scenarios in metropolitan areas where passengers will continue to be issued


Merry Christmas

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 --


How to touch-on and off your #Myki from a wallet

Some people have said to me "I forgot to take my Myki card" -- to which I ask: "Why does it ever leave your wallet?" If it stays in your wallet/purse, which most people would always have with them whenever they leave the house, you're unlikely to forget your Myki. And the fact is, with a little care, you can touch-on and off from a wallet. What I do is to keep it in one flap, as close to

Consumerism, TV

Is Big W deliberately trying to discourage people buying TVs from them?

Spotted in Big W: Spotted in JB Hifi: The key difference seems to be that the JB Hifi people know how to set up their TVs. The Big W people don't know, or don't care, that on almost all of the TVs they have on display, the colour is completely distorted. If you can't see a display product working properly, why would you buy it there?


Flyer highlights public transport – are Coalition MPs starting to get worried?

YEARS ago, it might have been strange to think the fortunes of a government could rest on a suburban railway line.That was before the last Victorian election, when the Frankston train line became a potent symbol of the Brumby government's transport woes: overcrowded carriages, ageing infrastructure, myki cost blowouts.Labor hardheads call it the Frankston Train Wreck - that fateful polling day in


Yes, #Myki cards expire after four years

I'm a bit bemused by the apparent mass surprise of people that Myki cards expire. Every other type of smartcard expires. Credit cards get replaced every 3-4 years. Despite the system cost, Myki cards don't magically last forever. (Pic courtesy of Colin Fry) Right from when the system first went into live pilot in Geelong in late-2008, it's always been known (though not widely) that Myki ca

Geek, transport

“data from all Vic govt agencies will now be supplied in a machine-readable format” – PT timetables expected mid 2013

Back in 2010, Victorian government timetable data was released to the public, as part of the App My State competition. The PTUA submitted an app as part of a study that showed how bad train/bus connections were, which got some media attention -- and also managed to progress the debate around connections: the government went from denial to excuses. Predictably it didn't win a prize in the com