Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A gift from Connex

This week Connex and the state government unveiled the new train timetable to introduced on Sunday September 30. I'll skip most of the details, but in a nutshell it's a reshuffle with the odd extra train here and there. Probably the most important change is the introduction of services to Cragieburn and a new station at Roxburgh Park following electrification of the line beyond Broadmeadows.

For me however the best news is the reshuffle and extra trains on the Hurstbridge in the PM peak.

The Current timetable looks something like this (times from Flinders Street):

  • 5:30 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:36 Greensborough - limited express*
  • 5:42 Hurstbridge - limited express
  • 5:46 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:57 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 6:02 Hurstbridge - limited express
The main problem with this arrangement is that most people get on the 5:36 Greensborough, leaving the 5:42 only moderately loaded. As the Epping's run more frequently both Epping trains in this time are both relatively lightly loaded. By the time 6:02 runs the platforms are packed and is often crush loaded by Melbourne Central, if not Flagstaff. Too bad if you need to get on at Parliament and especially Jolimont. I would rate it as the worst train for crowding on the Hurstbridge line, admitedly this level of crowding is normal on other lines.

Now with the new timetable things have been evened out a bit and reads as follows (times from Flinders Street):

  • 5:30 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:35 Greensborough - limited express
  • 5:42 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 5:47 Hurstbridge - express**
  • 5:51 Greensborough - limited express
  • 5:58 Epping - stopping all stations
  • 6:03 Hurstbridge - limited express
Much more even for the Hurstbridge line with a Greensborough train replacing an Epping, and the Hurstbridge now running as a full express. While the Epping line now has a larger gap between trains, one train in this time should be sufficient for the loading on offer. Having first hand experience with the trains involved, it's something I've been wanting for a few years now.

*Limited Express -stopping all stations Flinders Street to Jolimont, then express to Clifton Hill, and then all stations to either Greensborough or Hurstbridge.

**Express - stopping all stations Flinders Street to Jolimont, express to Clifton Hill, express to Ivanhoe, then express to Heidelberg and then all stations to Hurstbridge.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Odd eleven minute gap on the old time table. 5.46 to 5.57. The new one is more even.