transport

New trains – 2000 people?!

The Age broke the story last week that the new High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMTs) are being designed to cope with up to 2000 people, at a density of up to 6 people per square metre, and seats for 30-40% of the total load. Cue the outrage (from some quarters) -- but it's important to look at the numbers, because when you break it down, it's not actually much different to what we already have.

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Station codes: yes, FKN is the code for Frankston

From time to time I'll refer to the Frankston line on Twitter with the abbreviation FKN. I'm not just trying to get a cheap laugh. Well okay, perhaps I am, but what people might not realise is that's actually the official station code for Frankston. Good morning #Bentleigh. They're not lying about the 30 minute delays. #MetroTrains #FKNLine pic.twitter.com/PsL9LqbSVx— Daniel Bowen

transport

What if Bentleigh had got Skyrail?

A few people have asked me about this in the past few months -- what if Bentleigh had got "skyrail"? It's interesting to consider, though it was never going to happen. Firstly, the timing was wrong. The Coalition had fully funded the Ormond level crossing for removal in May 2014, with designs already having determined that it would be rail under road. In late-2014 the incoming Labor governme

Bentleigh, Food'n'drink, Toxic Custard newsletter

I love Bentleigh

Do you want to do this thing, they asked? For a weekly feature in the local paper. "Sure!" I said... all I had to do was nominated places (mostly restaurants) in my neighbourhood that I like. Easy, and it might help push the cause. I got my photo taken in one of the local parks. You can't tell from the picture, but I was crouching uncomfortably to get the flowers into shot, and it was starti

Film, Geek, Photos from ten years ago, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Ten years ago: Arise Lord Vader

Here's another in my series of ten year old photos. Arise Lord Vader -- episode 3 got a lot of promotion. Or, as I joked at the time: Connex was aligned with the Dark Side. The Dungeon: platform 13 at Flinders Street. The screens have been replaced with a flat model, and an escalator was installed to the concourse, but I'm not sure it's changed that much otherwise. M and I must have b

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Handling big events – the real problem is a lack of services

The Herald Sun had an interesting article describing the trip home from the football on Friday night, and the delays suffered by those in the crowd. Apart from the football at the MCG, there was also a concert in the tennis centre, and soccer at Etihad Stadium. Edit: plus rugby at AAMI stadium. In fact an earlier Age story had explicitly warned that the city would be busy. The Herald

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Metro rail tunnel: The time is right

The metro rail tunnel concept is about ten years old, having first publicly emerged in late-2005. In some quarters, it's been seen as an unnecessary white elephant -- an expensive way of providing for extra passenger capacity in the CBD, when other cheaper ways were available to cope with increased patronage. But time has passed, and many of those cheaper measures have either been implemented, o

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

How many trains in peak compared to the past? And how full are the tracks?

This video is inspired partly by a shot in the House Of Cards titles, and partly by something my dad used to tell me -- that you could stand at Richmond station in the evening peak and see trains on every track coming out of the city. He may have been exaggerating a tad, but it's often been said that in decades past the rail system had more trains running on it than at present. That's tr

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Track conditions causing carriages to bump together like this can’t be good

One of the advantages of rail over road transport is the ride quality. Well, that's in theory. If enough care and funding goes in, trains can be extremely smooth. In practice on a rail network like Melbourne's, with aging infrastructure, it can be a bumpy ride. Now, I don't have a major problem with a less than totally smooth ride, particularly around the many junctions on the system. A bit

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

New Siemens train layout

Metro has been trying modified carriage layouts on the trains. Some Comeng trains have had seats removed near the doorways, and now a Siemens train has shown up with a similar treatment. My immediate reaction (from a quick ride a few minutes ago)... The pros: the larger doorway area should help speed up loading and unloading, and provide space for more people in crowded conditions. Based on