Wednesday, December 07, 2005

To the end of the earth and back again!

Well not quite but it may as well have been...

What really happened was that I wanted to go to Photo Colour in Heidelberg to drop a film off to get developed and put on CD. So I decided to get the train to Heidelberg. On the way back I decided that I would get the most out my 2 hour (actually was more like 2 and a half hours) zone 2 Metcard by taking a ride to the end of the line as I still had over an hour left. My metcard expired at 6pm. From Heidelberg I got on the next train to arrive, which just happened to be a Macleod train. This was no problem though as I only had to wait a few minutes at Macleod for the following Hurstbridge train.

The trip to Hurstbridge was fairly eneventful except for a problem with a couple of level crossings just on the down side of Eltham. To me it seemed like a problem with the track circuits that trigger the bells and gates, most likely related to the rain we'd been having for most of the day. So I arrived a Hurstbridge with half an hour left on my ticket. As I didn't consult a timetable I had no idea when the next train back was, but as long as it left before 6pm I'd still be able to use it for the return journey. I was hoping that the train I came on would go back to the city but as I suspected the Comeng continued on and joined a lonely X'Trapolis in the sidings beyond the platform.

A quick look at the timetable revealed that the next train departed at 5:56, cutting it fine, but all was OK. So I walked up and down the platform a couple of times, checked out the sidings adjacent the platform, checked to see what the lever on the platform did and various other gunzel type things. The train was scheduled to arrive at 5:51 but it didn't get in until at least the departure time. As a result it departed a couple of minutes late. For the record it was a Comeng and the leading car (where I was seated) was real groaner.

On the way back one surprise was a staff exchange at Diamond Creek, which occured even though we weren't scheduled to cross another train there. Checking the timetable that I picked up at Hurstbridge an explanation of Diamond Creek being open as a staff station was found in that, the train I'd gone to Hurstbridge on would form the next up train departing at 6:10pm, and that it would cross the next down at Diamond Creek. We would cross that same down train at Eltham. Even though the train departed Hurstbridge late we still arrived at Eltham on time and so had to wait the full five minutes for our cross there. From there on it was smooth sailing back towards my home station.

Boring I know but it's all I can think of to blog at the moment...

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