Saturday, November 26, 2005

Summary 21-25 November

It's been a few months since we've had a whole week with under half the trains being on time. It really looked like things were picking up a month or two ago, but clearly Connex reliability is heading backwards. SMS alerts seem to have been suspended for about a month, but there's signs of life in the system towards the end of the week. This is symptomatic of their biggest problem, lack of information to customers.

Surely one of the most frustrating aspects of the so-called service they provide is that they haven't got the common courtesy to let people know what's going on. You're standing there on the platform as departure time approaches, the train is nowehere in sight, so it's fairly obvious that it will not be leaving as scheduled. So you stand there waiting and wondering, will it show or will they announce its cancellation? The clock ticks off the minutes and there's still no sign and no word from the Fat Controller.

So you're now wondering if these buffoons in charge even know where the trains are. Surely if the train is on its way from Sandringham, as was the case yesterday evening, they had a pretty fair idea where it was. At its scheduled departure time it was actually somewhere between South Yarra and Richmond presumably. So they know it's late but stubbornly refuse to tell us. Why?

Anyway, the stats bear out the perception, greens have slipped to 62%, oranges increased to 23% and reds are still 15%. Let's just remind ourselves that that still represents around ONE in SEVEN trains that I've been planning to catch have been cancelled or significantly delayed!

Mon 21/11Tue 22/11Wed 23/11Thu 24/11Fri 25/11
Mon 07/11Tue 08/11Wed 09/11Thu 10/11Fri 11/11
Mon 31/10Tue 01/11Wed 02/11Thu 03/11Fri 04/11
Mon 24/10Tue 25/10Wed 26/10Thu 27/10Fri 28/10
Mon 17/10Tue 18/10Wed 19/10Thu 20/10Fri 21/10
Mon 10/10Tue 11/10Wed 12/10Thu 13/10Fri 14/10
Mon 03/10Tue 04/10Wed 05/10Thu 06/10Fri 07/10
Mon 26/09Tue 27/09Wed 28/09Thu 29/09Fri 30/09
Mon 19/09Tue 20/09Wed 21/09Thu 22/09Fri 23/09
Mon 12/09Tue 13/09Wed 14/09Thu 15/09Fri 16/09
Mon 29/08Tue 30/08Wed 31/08Thu 01/09Fri 02/09
Mon 22/08Tue 23/08Wed 24/08Thu 25/08Fri 26/08
Mon 15/08Tue 16/08Wed 17/08Thu 18/08Fri 19/08
Mon 08/08Tue 09/08Wed 10/08Thu 11/08Fri 12/08
Mon 01/08Tue 02/08Wed 03/08Thu 04/08Fri 05/08
Mon 25/07Tue 26/07Wed 27/07Thu 28/07Fri 29/07
Mon 18/07Tue 19/07Wed 20/07Thu 21/07Fri 22/07
Mon 11/07Tue 12/07Wed 15/07Thu 14/07Fri 15/07
Mon 06/06Tue 07/06Wed 08/06Thu 09/06Fri 10/06
07:1407:14N/AN/A N/A
Mon 30/05Tue 31/05Wed 01/06Thu 02/06Fri 03/06
Mon 23/05Tue 24/05Wed 25/05Thu 26/05Fri 27/05
Mon 16/05Tue 17/05Wed 18/05Thu 19/05Fri 20/05
Mon 09/05Tue 10/05Wed 11/05Thu 12/05Fri 13/05
Mon 02/05Tue 03/05Wed 04/05Thu 05/05Fri 06/05
Mon 25/04Tue 26/04Wed 27/04Thu 28/04Fri 29/04
Mon 18/04Tue 19/04Wed 20/04Thu 21/04Fri 22/04
Mon 11/04Tue 12/04Wed 13/04Thu 14/04Fri 15/04
Mon 04/04Tue 05/04Wed 06/04Thu 07/04Fri 08/04

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fri 25 November - Late...

A late start today after going to the doctor this morning... seems the pneumonia is pretty much under control, so that's good.

On the 10:47, which rolls in about three minutes late - can't even run to time during off peak!

Didn't ring Connex about SMS today as the alerts seemed to be working again this morning.

Just missed the 17:49, so waiting for the 18:01. And waiting and waiting. As usual, the departure time comes and goes and there's no announcement from Connex to keep us informed. They manage to find 100 plus staff to manage the farcical one-way experiment, but nobody to simply let passengers know what's going on. Get a clue Connex!

It eventually arrives at about 18:06 and we depart a minute or so later. Chockers again, but we're used to that. We pull up at Ripponlea around seven minutes late, hot and cranky. Connex you are really hopeless. But I know people are dying, so it's OK to keep running a shoddy service (see Tuesday's blog).

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thu 24 November - Just about OK...

The 07:14 just sneaks in before 07:30, narrowly avoiding an orange.

However going home is a different kettle of fish... clearly the 17:27 has been cancelled, since the 17:38 is absolutely chockers. And no SMS alert was issued. We arrive at Ripponlea about three minutes late.

Memo to self - ring Connex tomorrow and ask when the SMS alert service is going to be reinstated.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wed 23 November - Normality...

The 07:14 is on time. And Flinders Street is back to normal. Let's hope that they're big enough to admit that their approach is utterly hopeless and they'll reconsider this one-way nonsense.

Oops, I thought I updated the blog for the homeward journey but clearly didn't! Home on the 18:01 and it's on time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tue 22 November - Gimme strength...!

I swear there's a bunch of people in Connex whose sole purpose is to dream up new things for me to whinge about! OK, maybe that's a little self-centred, but some days you just have to wonder...

This morning we're trialling the one-way system in preparation for the Commonwealth Games. If I needed encouragement to consider taking those two weeks off and heading interstate, this was a big tick in that box. We're all forced to go through one exit instead of the several that we generally have available, so of course we're all milling around at the escalator taking ages to finally get off the platform. We then have to all queue up at the barriers to get out, along with several other trainloads of people. What the hell will this be like at peak hour today? God only knows. Somehow this is meant to be more efficient, but I would really like to see how they're measuring this and what conclusions they draw from this pathetic experiment.

They seem to be thinking that the massive flows of people in one direction will somehow work better than the current entry/exit from all points. How? It seems to me to work fine at peak hour just the way it is - they're hardly likely to increase passenger numbers, since by their own admission, they are running at capacity. It's not as if many more people will be passing through Flinders Street than we generally get during peak hour anyway. What a complete and utter waste of time!

And it's the same going home - instead of simply going in the normal entrance at the bottom of Elizabeth Street we have to head down to the main entrance. What are you cretins trying to achieve with this? So there's a bunch of blokes blocking the entrance and, in my usual fashion, I say in a very loud voice "What a waste of time for everybody". To which one of our Connex people replies "You're bothered about this, there's people dying you know". Well thanks for that insight, Einstein. Can we conclude from that comment that Connex should be able to do anything they want since nothing they could do could every be as bad as people dying?!

Anyway, the 17:27 ends up being about eight minutes late, it's crowded and the aircon seems to be malfunctioning again. Looking forward to those 40° days being locked into one of the new trains with no aircon and double the passenger load. But at least that weasel Batchelor thinks it's all OK - though how he'd know in his government funded limo I'm not sure.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Mon 21 November - Back again...

After a week of pneumonia I'm fit enough for work, even if not quite ready for Connex! The 07:14 runs a few minutes late this morning.

And the 17:49 is a couple of minutes late this evening.

Still no SMS messages...