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transport

Were there more trains 100 years ago? (Part one)

Melbourne’s suburban train system was originally steam operated, but was converted to electricity in the 1910s and 1920s. By about 1930 most of the network we know today was in place. My friend Andrew leant me a copy of the suburban 1924 timetable. I’ve also got a PDF of the 1974 timetable. So let’s compare […]

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transport

When is a No Through Road not a No Through Road?

When is a No Through Road sometimes not a No Through Road? When you’re not driving. It’s common to see this signage around the place, but it’s misleading because it often only applies to vehicle access. There are a lot of cases where pedestrian and cyclist access is provided at the end of the street, […]

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transport

How COVID hit PT around Australia

I was wondering if there was any data on how public transport patronage around Australia had fallen COVID-19 took hold, and how it has recovered in different cities. It turns out most jurisdictions provide month-by-month or even week-by-week patronage data. Here’s how 2020 patronage compares as a percentage of 2019 patronage: Some observations: All these […]

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transport

December train timetable shake-up

Remember the talk, almost a year ago now, of a shake-up to train timetables, prompted by the introduction of the new trains? These changes are now expected to take effect in mid-December. Along the way, there have been some tweaks to the plan, but from what I’m hearing, there’s still a fair bit in it: […]

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transport

Will cities and PT bounce back after COVID-19?

This is a follow-up on my post about the roadmap out of COVID. Now I’m pondering the longer term: after COVID has gone. Assuming a successful vaccine comes in at some point, and things like masks and physical distancing are no longer required, will we all go back to how it was before? There’s been […]

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transport

What does the COVID roadmap mean for PT?

The Victorian Government has released its roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions. I’ve been pondering what this means for travel demand and public transport in Melbourne, and activity in the CBD, which largely drives PT patronage. The steps in the roadmap (*which are mostly subject to case numbers) start from Sunday night. 1st Step (14th September) […]

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transport

PMs as trains and trams

Last week Gareth Dennis posted this superb and hilarious thread of British PMs as locomotives. It’s very funny, even if (like me) you’re not much of a Brit trainspotter. A friend asked me to do an Australian version. Initially I said I wasn’t sure if there were enough Australian trains to match the multitude of […]

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transport

With a little help, trams can be as fast as cars

Here’s a quick tram video for you. It’s only a couple of minutes long. There’s no sound. It was recorded last month on a Sunday afternoon on St Kilda Road and Brighton Road. (There are a few edits – check the dashcam timestamp if you can’t spot the cuts.) What we’re seeing here is how […]

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transport

PT Night cuts: they’ve got it completely backwards

The people who have to travel during curfew are ensuring our hospitals can care for the sick, and that our food supplies aren’t disrupted.

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transport

Is it time to curtail the 235/237?

I wrote most of this post late last year, so obviously circumstances have changed a tad, but my assumption is it’s all temporary – eventually things will get back to something approaching “normal”. Maybe not quite what it was last year, but the pattern of increasing travel demand will come back. Works on the northern […]