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Alamein Line upgrade call

The Alamein line which is used for over 1.8 million journeys a year is falling behind, according to the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA). Recent timetable upgrades for the metropolitan train network launched earlier in the month ignored Alamein line commuters.

“Alamein passengers are tired of being left behind by the government and Metro”, said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s eastern spokesman, “so an upgrade is needed in order to bring Alamein trains in line with services on the Ringwood line”.

With the state election just around the corner, the PTUA believes there is a strong chance of seeing an upgrade to Alamein services.

“The seat of Burwood is sitting on a margin of 3.7 per cent and we believe that the Alamein line will be among the key issues for voters at this election,” Mr Lunn said.

In 2006 extra late night trains were added across the network, but not the Alamein line. The Belgrave and Lilydale lines received two extra services and now operates until 1:09am from Flinders Street, however, Alamein services are cut off at midnight.

“It is quite appalling that the state government forgot about the Alamein line in this upgrade. They are effectively leaving passengers stranded at Camberwell until 7:39am in the morning by not running connecting trains to Alamein.”

A further upgrade to evening trains on the Ringwood line in 2008 is also leaving Alamein passengers marooned in Camberwell without connecting trains. Trains to Ringwood now operate every 15 minutes until 10pm, however, Alamein trains are half-hourly from 7:30pm onwards.

“We’re getting reports from our members saying that when they return home from events such as the football in the evening, they are getting to Camberwell to find no connecting train. Worse still, if it’s after midnight, they won’t be able to get home at all.”

A further problem that the PTUA has identified is that peak hour services run less frequently than the daytime off-peak. Passengers can expect to wait over 20 minutes for a peak hour train [1].

“It’s absurd that people should have to wait so long for a peak hour train service. If your train is cancelled, with trains this infrequent you’re going to be extremely late to work.”

Mr Lunn said that train services should operate every 10 minutes from 6am to midnight [2], in order to cut waiting times and encourage more people to use public transport.

“It’s internationally recognised that running train services every 10 minutes increases patronage. This will cut traffic congestion and reduce pollution”.

Mr Lunn said that with summer approaching, Alamein line passengers are also nervous about train cancellations in hot weather. Metro has a strategic plan where Alamein trains are cancelled ahead of other lines [3].

“All candidates at the state election need to get on board by supporting these upgrades. Otherwise traffic will only get worse on Boroondara’s roads” Mr Lunn concluded.

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[1] Peak hour gaps include:
From Alamein (am) to Flinders Street: 7:05 to 7:26, 7:26 to 7:46 and 8:01 to 8:21.
From Flinders Street (pm) to Alamein: 5:47 to 6:09, 6:09 to 6:29 and 6:29 to 6:49

[2] The PTUA’s “10 minutes to everywhere” campaign calls for trains, trams and buses to operate every 10 minutes throughout the day:

http://hobsons-bay-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trains-stop-on-williamstown-line-as-heat-soars/ (Trains stop on Alamein and Williamstown lines as heat soars)