How much would trains every ten minutes cost?

One of the gaping holes in Melbourne's public transport system is the lack of an all-day every day frequent service on the backbone: the Metro suburban train network. Melbourne is one of the few cities in the world, outside North America, which doesn't have frequent all day trains. Other Australian cities are moving towards this. Perth has now trains every 15 minutes to most stations until


SoCross: the interchange

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this. A man rushed past on the stairs at Southern Cross. He ran down and around the corner, then doubled-back to the V/Line fare gates. My guess is he'd come from the Metro platforms. Here's a short video of what happened next. (It's only 18 seconds to play in full. You


Why the Frankston line should come out of the Loop until 2025

I'm sorry to go all Neville Shunt on you and drone on about railway timetables again, but I'm going to do it anyway. In an ideal metro system, that is a rail network designed to maximise capacity and frequency, one of the key things is to separate the busiest lines so they don't share tracks. Melbourne has been making that transition, but it's time for the next step. With that in mind, l

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Mernda rail extension opens this Sunday

On Sunday I went out to see the Mernda rail extension. The Level Crossing Removal Authority, who built it (well, it does involve new stations and grade separation of an existing disused rail corridor, so it kinda makes sense) ran a community open day, with free shuttle trains between South Morang and Mernda. After catching a regular train to South Morang, I found a big crowd waiting for a sh


Clever placement of #MetroTrains #DumbWaysToDie characters in stations

A lot of the unfortunate jellybean characters are depicted around CBD railway stations at the moment as part of Metro's Dumb Ways To Die campaign. I was amused at the placement of this one: ...but this one is even better. (Only a short video -- don't bother with the sound; it adds nothing.) Perhaps I'm easily amused, but that did make me laugh. Very clever.


How punctual are our trains compared to German suburban trains?

Many European countries put serious resources into their public transport systems and have networks that are the envy of the world, but don't necessarily assume they are better than us in every single respect. For instance, one might assume that German trains are never late -- or at least that their punctuality is light years ahead of ours. I discovered the other day that it is not so.


The Metro emergency gate that wasn’t

I noted this about a month ago. The idea of an emergency gate in the Elizabeth Street subway at Flinders Street Station seemed like a good one, but it seemed doubtful that the automatic release would include the padlock. So I tweeted: Ok. I have my doubts that this emergency exit *padlock* is automatic, @MetroTrains Care to confirm? And Metro replied: @dan


Fewer seats? – How many seats do we want on our trains?

The debate about train seats has come up again, thanks to The Greens uncovering minutes of a meeting between Metro and the Department of Transport discussing the removal of train seats from Comeng trains. (MX story / Channel 7 story) DOT was generally comfortable with the proposals as presented by MTM. Options to be assessed were only to include low cost options necessary to achieve a 900 load