Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Delay of the Day

Bugger! 4538 Cancelled trains in 3 months! That is unreal!

Maintenance problems behind major train delays - Terry Mulder
Matthew Schulz
April 28, 2009 03:13pm
SEVERE delays plaguing trains over several hours today were caused by the State's failure to replace creaking infrastructure, the Opposition claims.
A points failure about 8am at the crucial East Richmond junction caused “several hours” of delays on four rail routes, with the problem worsened when the points failed again at 8.15am, Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said.
Routes on the Alamein, Glen Waverley, Belgrave and Glen Waverley lines were all affected, with delays of over half-an-hour on some lines, causing major frustrations for commuters.
Connex spokesman John Rees confirmed the delays at East Richmond today at the “extremely important” junction, but said services returned to normal by 9.45am.
About 11am a separate power surge saw a further string of cancellations at nearby Richmond station.
The signal relay fault slowed trains for up to 15 minutes as trains were forced to travel through the station at low speeds.
Cranbourne, Frankston, Pakenham and Sandringham trains were all affected.
Mr Mulder said the problems were the latest symptom of “Labor's neglected metropolitan rail network”.
“There have been severe delays to eight of Melbourne’s 15 electrified lines today,” Mr Mulder said.
And he blamed the government’s failure to replace crucial rail infrastructure for the troubles.
He said Victoria’s rail asset strategy showed 22 metropolitan points and crossings a year should be replaced.
Instead, just eight a year had been replaced under Labor.
Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky should wear the blame for the East Richmond points failure because of Labor's refusal to spend sufficient money on fixing the basics,” he said.
He said commuters were paying more for less since ticket price hikes in January, with 4538 trains cancelled in the first three months of 2009.
“Minister Kosky should resign or be sacked by John Brumby,” he said.
“She never wanted the job of Public Transport Minister in the first place.”
Connex said they were so far unsure of the cause of the points failure.
“At this stage Connex is waiting for a full report back from its maintenance crew as to the exact cause of the fault. No cause has yet been specified,” Mr Rees said.
A spokesman for Ms Kosky this afternoon said the government was committed to properly maintaining the rail system.
"The Government invests $80 million for maintenance every year on the metropolitan rail network.
“The Government is getting on with the job of improving the rail network through the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan."
Meanwhile, Ms Kosky has denied suggestions by Mr Mulder that had been delays in providing off-peak train services from next month on the Sandringham and Frankston lines.
Those trains would be introduced in July, she said.


Jayne said...

I'm waiting for them to move on from blaming points problems to blaming possums.
Remember when the electricity companies all went private and suddenly seemingly overnight the possum population of Melb exploded and were taking down powerlines, interrupting power supply and causing havoc with brown outs all over the joint.
Ahhh....gotta love the power of the Possum Mafia, just wait till they turn their beady little eyes onto Connex :P

dam buster said...

Well Jayne - We did have the cable thiefs for a while. Maybe that was the possums?

Crazy Raincloud said...

You have an award waiting for you at my site. AND OH MY GOODNESS!! that many? what the hell, stupid connex.

dam buster said...

CR - Yeah I was suprised as well at how many it was. Hey and thanks for the award!

Reuben said...

Connex must be pleased with such a good effort.

dam buster said...

All - See the new post about Arpil's performance.

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