Thank Goodness for Knitting

Train Departed: 4:10 pm
Train Arrived: 5:55 (at 5:13 – 42 minutes late)
Knitting:Sock number 3 (almost half a sock – the last 10 rows of the leg and all the heel and gusseet shaping, and more than half the foot!!)
Notable Events: Signal failures, equipment faults, a heart attack, V-Line train delays, and so on and so on….

Lots of cancellations again today after yesterday’s debacle….

Connex tells us here that the reasons the weather affects the trains are:

  • the metal tracks, which can become as hot as 60°C, expand and have the potential to buckle; power outages are also common due to the multiple demands on Melbourne’s power supply
  • sun-glare affects the ability to properly see signals and station monitors;
  • fires can break out beside train lines and in timber sleepers;
  • the air conditioning units on many of our trains are only designed to operate up to 35°C and thus have the potential to fail in extreme heat;
  • the power supply to trains can fluctuate leading to faulty lights and other electrical problems; and
  • power outages are also common due to the multiple demands on Melbourne’s power supply.

It’s Summer for goodness sake – surely someone in the planning stages of building a train network in Melbourne took into account the fact that it gets warm in summer?  I lived in Adelaide for a year or two and I never heard of anything like it – and the temps get a lot hotter there than in Melbourne.  As for wooden sleepers – didn’t we pay millions of dollars not that long ago to have them all changed to concrete?

Connex’s answer was to hand out free ice-creams and bottled water to patrons at Flinders Street Station (this didn’t help the elderly woman who earlier collapsed on a train at Westall!).  This incident (along with many others) held up trains last night, and when a train stops between stations, the aircon turns off, the doors are closed and it’s like being trapped in a sealed shipping container with 150-200 of your closest friends…not pleasant – especially when one stupid woman decided it was a great time to spray herself with eau de toilette because she presumably stink s so badly she just couldn’t wait!!!

Here’s an interesting article from the Age yesterday describing some rail systems in other countries ( I think I might go live in Japan!) ….and another blaming the rail chaos on the Australian culture!

After our Transport Minister’s jolly outing on the Williamstown train the other day, the opposition spokesman on Transport decided he’d have a go too!  I’ve yet to hear/see anything about that – will hunt it down today!

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