Well here we are at the end of 2005. You'd have to say that this has not been a good year for Connex passengers - undoubtedly the worst year I've had on the Sandy line anyway. And it's ending much the same way as it's been the rest of the year - for no obvious reason, the 07:14 arrives at Flinders Street four minutes late. Today is tipped to hit 100° on the old Fahrenheit scale - it will be interesting to see how the trains cope with this.
As it is the end of the year, and prompted by recent feedback on my 9 December post - http://connexwhinger.blogspot.com/2005/12/fri-9-december-hung-over.html
- from a Connex driver, it's interesting to see how we've gone.
I started this thing in April, after February and March were appallingly bad. Remember February, when 220 Sandringham trains were cancelled
? Since then we've seen week by week how things have gradually improved and slipped back again - http://connexwhinger.blogspot.com/2005/12/summary-19-23-december.html
- some weeks pretty good, other weeks terrible. In all that time, I've never had all ten trains in a week run on time. Of course if you accept that Connex' ludicrous assertion that six minutes late is "on time" when trains are only running ten minutes apart, then by their standards there are a couple of weeks where we would disagree.
But the fact remains, and the aforementioned stats speak for themselves, that we still have a very unreliable train service. We hear plenty of excuses from Bruce Hughes, their pathetic CEO that all these circumstances are out of their control, but of course we know that's not true. I know, because Peter Batchelor told me in a letter that it's all down to Connex!
- Bruce Hughes is the man responsible for their obsolete technology
- Bruce Hughes is the man responsible for the lack of maintenance on their trains
- Bruce Hughes is the man responsible for their antiquated and unreliable signalling system
- Bruce Hughes is the man responsible for driver hiring and training
- Bruce Hughes is the man responsible for keeping customers informed
- Bruce Hughes is the man failing in all his key responsibilities
Sure you could say some of that really does lie at the feet of Batchelor, Bracks and the other donkeys at the helm of our state. You could even point back to Kennet and his decision to privatise the metropolitan rail system. But the fact remains that Bruce is the guy in charge of delivering rail services to passengers. If things that are not directly under his control are limiting that capability, it is up to him to damn well sort them out!
So Bruce, let's make 2006 the year of delivery. Stop the buck passing, face up to your responsibilities and fix your rail network. If we're in the same position in 12 months, then it's time for you to do the honourable thing and move on. Perhaps your smug little mates in Spring Street would have a consultancy position for you... just not in public transport, eh?
Just to round things out, home on the 15:45 and it's pretty much on time. At 15:55 we get an SMS to tell us the 15:55 is cancelled! A fitting end to the year.