Skybus express – every 10 minutes, at 10 km/h

A number of things hamper Skybus's reliability and speed. The most obvious ones are a lack of priority lanes, and even a lack of enforcement of the "Express" (taxi and bus) lanes on Citylink. But when you use Skybus, another thing stands out -- the long slow access road that stretches from the terminal to Adderley Street. The access road stretches for about 600 metres, and while it's


Rail replacement buses that don’t serve stations #bustitution

One of the funniest pieces of rail-related humour I've seen was this -- the Rail Replacement Bus Set, devised by Tim Dunn. Rail replacement buses can either be bearable or miserable, depending on how well they're organised. This weekend is the first major shutdown on the Frankston line for the North-Mckinnon-Centre Road grade separations, though there are also Bayside Rail Project works


Metro rail tunnel: the South Yarra conundrum

The major point of differentiation between the government and the Coalition (and the Greens) on the metro rail tunnel is whether or not it should have platforms at South Yarra. The current thinking, which is in line with PTV plans going back to at least 2013, is for Dandenong line trains to run in from Caulfield express, diving under South Yarra station but not stopping there, then heading west

Bentleigh, transport

The Murray Road conundrum: can a crossing be provided?

As I've touched upon in previous posts, there are numerous technical hurdles with the Bentleigh area level crossing removals. Via the stakeholder group I'm learning that a lot of the cost with any removal where the railway line is dropped down under the road is related to carefully moving all the services that are buried -- gas, water, phone, electricity and no doubt others. A lot of the cost i

Bentleigh, transport

North/Mckinnon/Centre grade separations: update

A quick update on my local grade separations at North Road (Ormond), Mckinnon Road (Mckinnon) and Centre Road (Bentleigh). In most respects, what I wrote on the detail of the project in this post from July still applies, so read up on that if you haven't already -- or check out the official web site.) Work is very visible along the rail line -- trees are being cleared (in the case of palm tr

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Ten years ago this month: moving day

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago: October 2005. This time around, they're pretty much all personal. Ten years ago this month I moved into the house I bought in Bentleigh. Day 1 was friends and cars moving little stuff. Thank you sincerely, friends. All the computer gear, ready to leave the old house. Every last bit of this has been replaced, including the desk. H


City Loop mobile coverage coming soon

It's taken a while, but it looks like full mobile coverage in the City Loop is imminent. It's been available in the stations since about 2000, but the signal generally cuts out as the trains enter the tunnels. There are four separate Loop tunnels. For months people have reported the signal being available in one or more of the four tunnels, only for it to disappear again the next day. It app

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Some quick things

I'd love to post an awe-inspiring blog post this morning, but I haven't got one. (There are some in the works). Instead I'll just note some quick things: I'm speaking, with some others, at Idea Bombing Melbourne this Thursday night, the topic being: "Tapestry of a City". Facebook event / EventBrite -- it's free, but tickets are running out. On a whim I tried signing-up for Shutterstock (a


Flat junctions cause problems, but so does poor timetabling

In today's Age, former National Party leader and Deputy PM Tim Fischer is quoted as saying the new Regional Rail Link should have had a flyover where the Geelong and Ballarat lines converge. And due to congestion, trains sometime have to wait for five minutes for the track to be clear, he said. "Nobody builds major commuter junctions anywhere in the world without grade separation. It has now

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Trainspotting 2015 (and why each model is called what it’s called)

This is an update of a 2010 post where I quickly compared the different types of trains then in service. Since then the Hitachi trains have been taken out of service, and I also thought I'd briefly describe where the names come from. (The Hitachi trains got their name because the design was by Hitachi, though they were all built in Australia by Martin & King and Commonwealth Engineering.