Would the 67 tram benefit from removal of the level crossing?

I was pondering what benefit would the 67 tram gain from the Glenhuntly level crossing being removed? Well thanks to the 37 day rail shutdown in July, we know. Looking at punctuality figures for the last 12 months, this tram route achieved its highest figures for the year in July -- in fact my little archive of Track Record figures indicates it's the best result since at least February 2009.

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

A quick look around the new Bentleigh and Ormond stations, opened today

Months after closing for level crossing works, the shiny new Bentleigh and Ormond stations have opened today. (McKinnon opened a few weeks ago.) At Bentleigh yesterday, it was still a construction site. But today the concourse was awash with officials handing out cupcakes, a choir from Sing Australia, train spotters snapping photos, and passengers relieved to have their station back.

Consumerism, Geek

I need a new phone

On Thursday night my phone, a Nexus 5 that I got about three years ago, finally started playing up. It would continually boot, with a buzz, and a proclamation on the screen of "Google"! Then repeat. Bzzt... Google! Over and over. Scouring online, I discovered this is a reasonably rare, but not unique, situation. The power button was jammed down. The next morning, before work, I went l


The four circles of bustitution

Good news! The shiny new Bentleigh and Ormond stations open on Monday. This means after three and six months respectively of bus replacements, we can -- if you'll excuse the phrase -- see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm hoping lessons and experience have been gained through the level crossing removal project that can be applied to the rail infrastructure projects to come. I'm told t


A look around Bombardier’s Dandenong train factory

I was lucky enough to get to look around Bombardier's Dandenong factory a few weeks ago. As these publicity photos off their web site make clear, the company builds trains for (clockwise from top-left) Victoria (V/Line), Brisbane (Queensland Rail), Adelaide (Adelaide Metro), and Perth (Transperth) -- EDIT: though these are not all built at Dandenong. They also build the E-class trams for

General, Photos

Photographing the moon

(No time to write a new blog post; scrabbled around and found a draft I never completed.) There's been a full moon again this week. It was very impressive last night. I didn't snap it, but here's a photo from last year when I was first dabbling with my (then new) DSLR camera: It requires a bit of fiddling to get good photos of the moon. This page summarises what's needed: manual mode, of

Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter

Old photos from August 2006

Another in my series of photos from ten years ago. This rather cool Warholesque tram design was marking 100 years of Melbourne's electric trams. Well, 100 continuous years. (The Box Hill electric tram ran from 1889 to 1896. The Victorian Railways St Kilda trams ran from 1906. Read all about it here.) Siemens train paralleling an X'Trapolis train. Bourke Street at King Street, back whe


It wasn’t just a 37 day project

What they got done at Bentleigh, Mckinnon and Ormond during the 37 day shutdown of the Frankston line to remove the level crossings was very impressive, and I'm told the project team are (rightly) proud of the results. 37 days of round-the-clock works, 3 of the worst level crossings gone. Watch them disappear in 3 minutes. #springst— Daniel Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP


The fascinating world of high tech garbage collection

A transport podcast I've just discovered is Transit Insight. There's a key difference with this one: it's run by, and features, people who actually work in the public transport industry. There are a lot of other good podcasts out there, but almost all of them feature advocates or academics. I'm working my way through their episodes, but last week I listened to this one: The Dirty Details