Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Out and about

Last week I had a day off work and while I was out and about doing un-work like things I happened to see Bumblebee 1. Bumblebee 1 is one of the 5 tram's that Yarra Trams has borrowed from it's sister company in Mulhouse, France. These 5 trams are Citadis trams like those already used in Melbourne, the main difference being that they are longer (5 segments as opposed to 3), have styling differences, and not to mention they are very VERY yellow. I think they look great, that yellow really stands out from the grey of Melbourne in winter, and the other grey trams. Two thumbs down to Yarra Trams for painting all the trams grey and white, one thumb up for sticking with the yellow on the borrowed trams.

Bumblebee 1 turning into Bourke Street from Spencer Street

After I had finished my business in town I had a few hours to kill so I decided to go for a train ride somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be Sunbury, so I boarded the 1515 service to Echuca. What impressed me was the utilisation of the rolling stock. It was a six car V/locity with three 2 car trains. At Sunbury the 2 rear carriages were dropped off, and a further 2 were to be dropped off at Bendigo, with the remaining 2 cars continuing on to Echuca. At each of the intermediate stations the cars that were dropped off were to form return services to Melbourne. Passengers were advised of which cars to travel in to reach their destination in numerous announcements throughout the journey. To me this seems like a brilliant use of rolling stock.

VLocities at Sunbury.

When I alighted at Sunbury I noticed that there were a large number of people standing in the aisles of the first 4 cars. There was another VLocitity waiting in the siding at the end of the platform that I gather was dropped off the previous Bendigo train. After waiting for a few minutes the Bendigo and Echuca portions continued on, and the two remaining sets coupled to form the return to Melbourne. Soon enough I was on my way in a very sparsely occupied 4 car set. In all there were probably about 5 people in the 2 car set I was in. On arrival back at Southern Cross this train formed a Traralgon service and there were many passengers waiting.

I guess my point is that I like the idea of using and dividing/joining multiple units to make the best use of rolling stock. While the return to Melbourne was void of passengers it was immediately used for a service to somewhere else where there was demand. Two thumbs up to V/Line.


Andrew Highriser said...

It sounds like a good utilisation of stock Ben, but I can bet my bottom dollar that people often end up in the wrong part of the train and go where they don't want to.

Anonymous said...

Vline's new livery is quite appealing. Well done Vline.
I've never really taken a Vline train before. I know it sounds embarassing - but I've never known the need to, more less have the time to.

Ben said...

Yes true Andrew, I forgot to mention that quite a few people had to swap carriages. They seemed to allow plenty of time to detach the carriages and move the stragglers into the correct carriage.

Ruben, that colour scheme extends to the interior too, it actually looks pretty good. That particular livery is just on the VLocity railcars, the older carriages are currently in the process of getting a totally different colour scheme.

Well if you ever want/need to take a trip into countryside, I recommend taking the train if it's convenient to do so. The new trains are quite comfy and smooth, if a little noisy.