Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Victoria’s first 21st century rail megaproject: benefits from Regional Rail Link

Victoria's first big 21st century rail megaproject is almost complete. Regional Rail Link was started and mostly funded by Labor (State and Federal, in part as stimulus money during the Global Financial Crisis), and largely built under the State Coalition. Construction itself is now complete, with driver training and other preparatory work happening ahead of the expected opening in April June.

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Our new Premier on the need for frequent public transport #FrequencyIsFreedom

One should never read too much into politicians' rhetoric, but it was rather good to see comments from Premier-elect Daniel Andrews on Monday in free commuter newspaper MX: "Yes, we need better local roads and yes, we do need to invest in that infrastructure, but the transformational infrastructure is a better public transport system. One where you don't need a timetable, one where you can comf


Yes, train punctuality has increased – thanks to timetable padding

One day until the state election. They do great work, and it's rather good to see the ABC's Fact Check unit looking at Victorian issues just before the election. A couple of days ago they did a segment on train punctuality: The claim: Denis Napthine says his Government has "improved train punctuality". The verdict: With punctuality running at over 92 per cent across the Metro network,

Bentleigh, Politics and activism, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Where’s the community’s focal point? It’s the railway station.

Two sleeps until the election. Apart from trying to get citizens out to a public meeting, where in the neighbourhood is the best place to meet as many people you can, face-to-face? Judging from what the politicians and lobby groups have been up to, it's the railway station -- on weekdays, at least. I've lost count of the number of flyers I've been handed at Bentleigh station over the past

Photos, Toxic Custard newsletter

Photos from the past week

A bunch of photos from the past week or so... OK Google, where's the nearest rubbish bin? (If you haven't heard, they've all been removed from CBD railway stations.) The trains were a real mess last Monday. This is the moment we all got kicked off a train at Richmond when it became faulty. The following train was, naturally, even more packed once we all piled in -- and diverted to another

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Metro Bingo :-(

Given the Flemington/Showgrounds line isn't running this morning, and the Stony Point line has planned bustitution, I'm going to go ahead and declare that we have Metro Bingo this morning due to the storms. And no, it's not much better on many of the roads. Good luck to everybody (myself included, shortly) trying to get to work this morning. PS. My trip in wasn't too bad. Although

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

10 minute trains – there is a rollout plan – but when will it get funded?

High-frequency trains (all day, every day) are critical for any big city, to ensure large numbers of people can get around quickly and easily. As a PTUA study found some years ago, Melbourne is one of the few big world cities that doesn't have them. To draw an analogy, it's as if outside peak hour, we closed the freeways and highways except for one lane in each direction. To delve into hyper


The Frankston line X’trapolis – are you impressed?

You'd think from the tweets from Coalition MPs this morning that the arrival of the first X'trapolis train in service on the Frankston line was a miraculous huge leap forward for train travellers -- a rocket-powered, laser-guided teleportation device that can get you to your destination in seconds. Great to travel in the new X'Trapolis train on the Frankston line today!

Retrospectives, Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Five years ago today: A day on the trains

Five years ago today I posted this video: A Day on the Trains. The footage for it was gathered over the space of a month or two in the dying days of the Connex Melbourne Empire in late 2009, and it was designed to capture a few scenes I thought might be changing in the coming years. Obviously some things have changed, others remain the same. Liveries: Connex (Metlink) became Metro (

Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

Deer Park PSOs

This is Deer Park station. (Superb pic snapped a few years ago by my friend Tony.) And this is the new pod for Protective Services Officers at Deer Park station. According to the official list, PSOs are now deployed there. Marcus Wong's PSO tracking spreadsheet says they started there on July 1st. Deer Park of course is one of the stations that gets the least frequent train ser