Saturday, February 25, 2006

Summary 20-24 February

This was the best start to the week since I began tracking Connex' performance. We've had similar runs of green a couple of times mid-week, but this really began to look like a possible full week of on time trains for the first time. Of course Thursday's inexplicable behaviour put paid to that.

Nevertheless the week's performance shifted the ratios slightly, with green moving up to 61%, orange dropping to 22% and red remaining at 17%.

Mon 20/02Tue 21/02Wed 22/02Thu 23/02Fri 24/02
Mon 13/02Tue 14/02Wed 15/02Thu 16/02Fri 17/02
Mon 06/02Tue 07/02Wed 08/02Thu 09/02Fri 10/02
Mon 30/01Tue 31/01Wed 01/02Thu 02/02Fri 03/02
Mon 23/01Tue 24/01Wed 25/01Thu 26/01Fri 27/01
Mon 26/12Tue 27/12Wed 28/12Thu 29/12Fri 30/12
Mon 19/12Tue 20/12Wed 21/12Thu 22/12Fri 23/12
Mon 12/12Tue 13/12Wed 14/12Thu 15/12Fri 16/12
Mon 05/12Tue 06/12Wed 07/12Thu 08/12Fri 09/12
Mon 28/11Tue 29/11Wed 30/11Thu 01/12Fri 02/12
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, February 24, 2006

Fri 24 February - Only essential travel...

Mrs CW heard a radio report yesterday that included some commentray from a certain weaselly state government minister. I can't find the details online, but she's fairly sure that he advised Melbourne residents to minimise their use of public transport during the Commonwealth Games.

Ummm Peter old chap, you may not have realised this, but unlike you and your cronies being whisked from A to B in your luxurious limos, many of us actually use public transport to get to and from work. And since your mob co-ordinated school holidays at the same time, some parents might actually want to take their kids somewhere - or should they just stay indoors and watch TV? And it's even possible that some locals may want to attend the Games.

See here's your problem you cretin - you've known about these Games for years and you've been telling us that the public transport system would cope. So instead of actually doing anything to ensure that it did, you've sat on your backside and done nothing. Then at the 11th hour you start pleading with us not to use the system in case we inconvenience the visitors. You're a disgrace!

Meanwhile the February Connex newsletter says this

"Trains will be carrying a lot more passengers than usual and our advice to regular customers is to travel outside the normal morning and afternoon peak services as much as possible to avoid congestion."

My advice to Sir Topham is "Put on more trains".

At least the 07:14 scrapes in more or less on time.

Another over 30°C day today and I'm leaving at around 18:45. I take a cab on the basis that there will likely be problems at Flinders Street - sometimes it's worth paying the twenty bucks just to avoid the hassle.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thu 23 February - Drivers...

Not for the first time I've read feedback from a driver that suggests he/she feels that my daily whinges are aimed at them. Not so.

My beef is with Jeff Kennett for privatising the system in the first place. My beef is with Bracks and Batchelor who have continued to run the system down further still and refuse to accept that there are massive infrastructure problems that need to be addressed. But my biggest beef is with Bruce "Sir Topham Hatt" Hughes. In fact his nickname is probably too flattering, since the Fat Controller generally seems to manage not to interfere too much with the smooth running of the Sodor rail network. Sir Topham is the CEO and it is his responsibility to fix the problems - whining that the government won't do anything is admitting defeat. As I've said before - if you're not up for the job, move out of the way and let somebody else have a go.

I've little doubt that most of the Connex drivers are doing their best in a fairly dated and poorly managed environment. So if it seems I'm having a go at the drivers, I'm not.

Seven straight greens with the 07:14 coming in on time.

And that's where it ends... but how can I even begin to lay out this evening's strange situation?

I manage to get to the station just in time to make the 17:49... running, running, running... At the foot of the ramp it's obvious there's no point in running, the platform is jam packed. Wait around for a minute or two and they announce that the 17:49 is approximately eight minutes late. Of course, the temperature has exceeded 30°C... uh duh!

I look over at platform 12 and there's a train. I'd noticed at the entrance that the 18:01 was departing from platform 12, so there's a few minutes spare, might as well go check it out. A Connex employee at the top of the stairs somewhat hesitantly confirms it's the 18:01. I head down and the monitors are blank. Hmmm...

But this is where we start looking around for Rod Serling. How can the 17:49 not have appeared but the 18:01 is sitting here ready to go? What possible logic could explain that? Put simply, why doesn't Connex just tell everyone on platform 8 to head over to 12 and then that train could leave straight away? How ridiculous is this?

Anyway, the train is cool and empty so I decide to wait and see what happens. The 17:49 will be packed and it's way too hot to be sandwiched with the sweaty masses. A few more people appear, but we depart a minute or so late and almost empty.

We get to Richmond and there's very few people on the platform, so presumably the 17:49 is just ahead of us. Hardly any more people get on at South Yarra either.

So my question to Connex, if I had any hope of getting an answer I'd ask it properly, is why on earth didn't they just run the 18:01 as the 17:49???

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wed 22 February - Melbourne or Moscow...?

Big thanks to Carolyn for the link to the Herald-Sun article below.

Click here for the article

The story may be a little over the top in describing it as a "secret meeting of transport chiefs", and perhaps Terry Mulder has his foot down a bit hard on the hyperbole pedal with his "This is more like Moscow than Melbourne" comment. But you do have to wonder why the media would be excluded from an event which is being hosted by the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia? Just what do our transport leaders have to hide?

Anyway, that's five straight trains getting the green, with the 07:14 being on time this morning.

Make that six straight! As Mrs CW is out this evening I need to get home early so I'm on the 17:17 - and we're on time yet again. This is unheard of!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tue 21 February - London Underground...

It looks as if there is a similarly held view of the London Underground to that of some of us towards Connex...

Thanks to Ben for the link.

Be warned, there's some fairly strong language so if you're easily offended or working in an open office you may be better ignoring the above link.

The 07:14 is more or less on time this morning.

Probably putting the moz on it, but this is the best start to the week on record. On the 18:12 for the homeward journey and it's on time. We've never had the first four trains in the week on time... amazing!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mon 20 February - JFFI...

It was interesting to receive an email from somebody who stumbled across the Connex Whinger site because they had had their fill of Connex and were presumably searching the web for similarly minded views. It's easy to forget that there are probably many Melbourne commuters who are just as angry and frustrated as I am.

We are fed up with the delays and cancellations and we are fed up with the feeble excuses from Bruce "Sir Topham Hatt" Hughes and Peter "The Weasel" Batchelor. The message is simple, stop making excuses and start fixing the problems!

Sir Topham is a keynote speaker at a CEDA Forum today. Somehow he's going to explain how he plans to deliver his top quality services to Commonwealth Games visitors and beyond. Wish I could afford to be there...

Anyway the 07:14 is more or less on time.

Home on the 18:01 and it's on time. Maybe Sir Topham has already fixed the problems?!