The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has supported the metropolitan train timetable changes announced for November, as an immediate fix to secure vital extra peak hour train services.
PTUA President Daniel Bowen said the current pattern of scheduling nearly all services through the underground loop was contrary to the original operating plans from the 1970s, and was wasting vital capacity in the system. Because of severe overcrowding on many lines, better use of existing track capacity was needed to allow more services to run, necessitating a change to the way the Loop is used.
The timetable changes take effect on 9th November. From that date, Clifton Hill trains will run clockwise through the City Loop all day on weekdays, and anti-clockwise on weekends. Werribee trains will run direct to and from Flinders Street during peak hours. The changes will make possible the provision of extra peak hour trains on a number of lines, as well as freeing up track capacity for the 18 new trains which will start service from next year.
“We know that some users will be inconvenienced by these changes”, said Mr Bowen. “Some will face a longer trip, and some may have to change trains to reach their final destination. But others, such as those travelling to Flinders Street and Southern Cross, will have their trip times reduced. The extra trains this makes possible will help greatly with crowding, provide more alternatives for those who will have to change, and we also expect to see a big improvement in reliability.”
Some aspects of the changes were unnecessarily inconvenient for passengers, Mr Bowen said. “The idea of running the Clifton Hill loop one way on weekdays and another way on weekends is absurd, and confusing to passengers.”
Mr Bowen said that the PTUA would continue to push hard for more services, both in peak hours and during off-peak, evening and weekend times to relieve the crowding on the network and cut waiting times.
“More trains running more often in November, next year, and beyond will help make a better train service for everybody”, concluded Mr Bowen.
- Metlink: list of altered services, online timetables, and travel advice
- Connex: PDF timetables effective 9 November 2008
- Department of Transport: Changes to the rail timetable – from 9 November 2008 (videos)
- V/Line: Minor changes to timetables
Extra services from November
The Metlink web site gives a list of altered services, but does not list the new services. Some are existing non-PSR “ghost trains” added to the main timetable, but others are additional services. These are listed below. Those in bold are in the peak direction at peak or peak-shoulder times. All run each weekday unless specified.
(This list is based on information provided by Connex. No responsibility is taken for its accuracy.)
6:16am Epping to Flinders Street
7:06am Flinders Street to Epping
7:17am Epping to Flinders Street
8:00am Epping to Flinders Street
8:23am Flinders Street to Epping
8:39am Flinders Street to Epping
8:58am Flinders Street to Epping
9:32am Flinders Street to Epping
5:22pm Flinders Street to Epping
7:38pm Flinders Street to Epping
12:02am Epping to Flinders Street (Friday and Saturday nights only)
11:22pm Epping to Flinders Street (Sunday night only)
11:58pm Flinders Street to Epping (Sunday night only) Correction: This is an altered service, not an extra one.
7:24am Flinders Street to Greensborough
9:16am Flinders Street to Heidelberg
9:36am Flinders Street to Heidelberg
6:55pm Hurstbridge to Flinders Street
11:39pm Eltham to Flinders Street (Friday and Saturday nights only)
6:41pm Eltham to Flinders Street (Sunday only)
12:13am Flinders Street to Hurstbridge (Sunday night only)
7:01am Werribee to Flinders Street
7:48am Flinders Street to Werribee
8:23am Werribee to Flinders Street
5:36pm Flinders Street to Werribee
8:30am Flinders Street to Craigieburn
7:25am Sydenham to Flinders Street
8:13am Sydenham to Flinders Street
5:05pm Flinders Street to Sydenham
8:50pm Flinders Street to Ringwood
9:20pm Flinders Street to Ringwood
9:50pm Flinders Street to Ringwood
(These form a 15 minute service to Ringwood to 10pm, relieving overcrowding at that time.)
11:48pm Glen Waverley to Flinders Street (Friday and Saturday nights only)
4:51am Cranbourne to Dandenong
5:28am Springvale to Pakenham
5:51am Cranbourne to Dandenong
5:54am Dandenong to Flinders Street
7:19am Cranbourne to Dandenong
5:16pm Flinders Street to Cranbourne
11:18pm Dandenong to Flinders Street (Friday only)
6:19am Cranbourne to Dandenong (Saturday only)
8:59am Cranbourne to Dandenong (Saturday only)
Extra evening services from Dandenong to Cranbourne and Pakenham, providing a 30 minute service, 7-days-a-week.
6:30pm Frankston to Flinders Street
11:34pm Frankston to Flinders Street (Friday night only)
11:33pm Frankston to Flinders Street (Saturday night only)
7:14pm City Circle (Saturday only)
Some other trains have been extended, or changed from 3 carriages to 6 carriages. See also: