Fw: Fri.8.3.19 daily digest
  Roderick Smith

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Sent: Monday, 11 March 2019, 18:19
Subject: Fri.8.3.19 daily digest

Melbourne Express, Friday, March 8, 2019.
9.18 There's still heavy traffic coming in from the east because of planned works on several train lines, and a left-hand lane closed inbound just before the ring road at Thomastown.  If you're travelling on the weekend - and in particular, if you're coming into the city, check your train, tram or bus routes for planned works.
Crowds are also expected to descend on Melbourne this weekend for the annual Moomba Festival.  Checking your route before you head in.  Some roads will be closed and trains and trams will run to a Saturday timetable on Monday - the public holiday.  Buses will replace trains on parts of the Alamein, Belgrave and Lilydale lines all weekend.
8.13 'Lucky to get a car spot at 5.30'  It sounds like it's fun out there in Melbourne's east.  Express reader Dave usually gets the train from Boronia, but today he went to Glen Waverley to avoid the works.
"Everyone else must have had the same idea as I was lucky to get a car spot at 5.30".
How's your journey going? Send us a pic of your packed bus or station.
7.38 Are you an unlucky train commuter sitting on a bus this morning?
Planned works are affecting the Alamein, Belgrave and Lilydale lines this long weekend, with buses replacing trains between Burnley and Box Hill stations until the last service on Monday. Is there chaos at your station? Or has everyone jumped in their car to avoid the buses?
5.54 On the trains, there are major delays on the Williamstown line, with some cancellations (an earlier equipment fault near North Melbourne).
Buses are also replacing trains on several lines, including Alamein, Belgrave and Lilydale (planned works).

Alamein/Belgrave/Lilydale lines: Buses replace trains Burnley - Box Hill until last train of Mon 11 Mar (station 'upgrade' works).  Express buses operate Parliament-Box Hill between 4.45 & 21.55 today.  All citybound Glen Waverley trains will run to Flinders St via the loop between 6.30 and 9.30 [should have been all morning].
- What a joke, nobody even wants to go to Parliament. We want to go to Flinders street or Richmond.
- Poor planning.  No fewer than four ‘replacement’ buses sailed past Glenferrie, leaving at least a 25 minute wait.
- 8.19 I've been on a bus from Camberwell to the city for half an hour, stuck in Riversdale road, make it go direct to city please.
- 8.39 Did you forget to tell the Alamein line passengers that Camberwell station was dug up ?   What’s the point of having the notify app if you don’t use it?  How about notices on the station? Very frustrating when this could have been avoided easily.
- 8.59 How does one get to East Richmond?
- 9.17 No they’re not looping. Just as trains are pulling into Richmond they’re announcing that trains are now heading straight to Flinders. Very confusing and disorganised.
- Let's hope that everyone takes the bus and not the 109 tram to Box Hill.  Are there extra trams for this afternoon's peak?
- We will be running extra route 109 trams between Elizabeth Street and Box Hill.
- Any particular reason why replacement buses are so out of the way and nowhere near a station? What a waste of time.
- 16.27  More  announcements are needed. Lots  of people are at Burnley wanting express to Box Hill. They should be getting an express from Parliament.
- Express buses do depart from Parliament; we are also running some buses express Burnley - Box Hill.
- Lot's of people just want Glenferrie.  Might be a  good idea to get a standby bus to run just for Glenferrie.
- Give 2 hours travel time.
- How long is the gap for your replacement buses?  I waited for 20 minutes at Burnley station, nothing came.
- Buses should be at least every 10 minutes, are you on a bus yet?
- Why do you think we want to hear that it's women's day over the garbled loudspeaker?
8.32 Pakenham line: Minor delays (a train fault near Narre Warren).
8.32 There's no train coming at Hallam.
- 8.45 now major, but clearing.
- 8.49 Trains are now on the move again, but with major delays.
- Billions of dollars of taxpayer investment; still the issues keep happening.
- Trains should be checked every day; faulty trains should not be used in the first place.  Delays,cancellation,this/that fault,this/that works, All excuses. R they meeting contract? Who keeps them accountable?
- Because of the delay, I will be missing my bus further ahead, and have to walk for at least 2.5 km in order to reach my office, and then too late.  Would Premier Andrews take these dramas every day?  PTV is PUBLIC TRANS VILLAIN.
- Can you really blame Metro for a faulty train. They have zero control over it.  Relax. I'm on it too.
- Of course blame Metro: that is a responsibility which the franchisee carries.  It happens far too often.  Presumably lack of maintenance and checking, to cut costs.
- I can be relaxed more once trains are running without any problems, which have been a daily affair since last December.  After all this running around, I have shed few kilograms, a blessing in disguise.
- Why is the Pakenham line always affected?  Suffering for the last 4-5 years with this.  And no investment on this line.  Worst line by customer survey every year.  Pakenham train line wins on that.
- Write to transport minister Allan; I did.
- stop doing me dirty thx metro.
16.28 Sunbury line: All citybound trains will not stop at Footscray (police).  Passengers at Footscray take trains from pfm 5.  Passengers for Footscray change at North Melbourne for Werribee/Williamstown trains.
- 16.36  What about outbound services? I just got kicked off a train at North Melbourne.
- The issue is new; we are awaiting more information; police have demanded that trains be stopped.
- That’s retarded.
- 16.36 Buses replace trains North Melbourne - Sunshine (police).  20 buses have been requested, and will take over 60 min to arrive. Consider alternatives.  Passengers for Footscray, take Werribee/Laverton'Williamstown trains.
- 20 buses won't cut it.
- 16.57 It's been a hellish week for train travel. I think that I'll just drive to work next week and do my bit to clog up Melbourne's roads.
- 16.58 Is this city bound only? Or both directions?
- both.
- 17.00 20 buses for peak hour. Are you kidding? That's about three trains. You need three times that.
- 17.10 We have just requested more buses (50) as the situation has changed..
- 17.15 Buses to replace trains North Melbourne - Sunshine/Newport/Williamstown.  Please defer travel.  Buses have been requested and will take over 90min to arrive.
- 17.17 Now Werribee and Williamstown are out too, so you need even more buses.
- 17.21 We are putting out calls to all bus companies.
- 17.24 We now have 50 on order and are trying to get more.
- It's a bit of a hot mess here at North Melbourne.  Your staff and PSOs are trying their best, but there aren't enough of them.
- We are sending more staff, hope to be on-site soon.
- Is there a rough estimate on when this will clear?
- 17.24 50 buses have been requested, and will take over 180min to arrive.  [Walking from South Kensington or Showgrounds would have been quicker, but essential crossovers have been removed].
- 17.31 Trains have resumed, with delays of 90 min after police performed safety checks at Footscray.
- 17.32 Crowd-control measures will be in place at loop stations and North Melbourne to ensure safe flow of passengers onto platforms. [the magic word, for all conceivable situations].
- 17.59 Stopping all stations to Sunbury with the train full from the start..
- 18.43 Clearing.
Sunbury/Craigieburn/Upfield lines: All trains will run direct Flinders St - North Melbourne from 21.00 (tunnel works).
Belgrave/Lilydale/Alamein/Glen Waverley lines: All trains will run direct Flinders St - Richmond from 21.00 (tunnel works).

'It's going to be very busy': Peak hour train delays after suspicious object found at Footscray station March 8, 2019 — 6.04pm.
Police conducted a safety check at Footscray Station after an object was located unattended outside the station. Credit: Nine News
Trains have resumed but delays are still expected after the bomb response unit were called to Footscray train station to inspect a suspicious object.
Police conducted safety checks on the object which was found just outside the station about 4.30pm.
The bomb response unit attended the scene and gave the all clear just after 5.30pm, a police spokeswoman said.
Trains have resumed, however the disruption is still expected to cause some peak hour delays.
Metro Trains are estimating delays of an half an hour to 45 minutes.
"It's going to be very busy," a spokesman said.
However, he said the crowding had eased after the incident was resolved.
17.22: Werribee / Williamstown lines: Buses replace trains North Melbourne-Newport. Sunbury line: Buses replace trains North Melbourne-Sunshine due to a safety check at Footscray Station after an object was located unattended just before 4.30pm. #7News
17.38 Masses of people stuck trying to get back on the trains after a reported bomb scare at #Footscray station

Sydney's light rail line set for staged opening to passengers March 8, 2019.. 241 comments.
Sydney's light rail line is set to be opened in stages with the first trams expected to begin carrying passengers from Randwick to Circular Quay in December, followed by the branch line to Kingsford several months later.
Construction of the Randwick branch of the line is the most advanced part of the multibillion-dollar project, and trams have been running from Moore Park to the end at a High Street terminus for several weeks as part of testing.
However, construction of the other branch of the line along Anzac Parade to Kingsford has been dogged by problems and is further behind.
Light rail vehicles at a stabling yard next to Randwick Racecourse have been undergoing testing.Credit:Louise Kennerley
Transport for NSW confirmed that it was in discussions with the consortium overseeing the project about opening the line from Circular Quay to Randwick in December.
The agency said it believed the entire project – including the branch line to Kingsford – could be completed by March next year.
Transdev, which will operate the trams, has begun recruiting the first of up to 100 drivers. They will begin training by the middle of the year on the 67-metre tram sets, which will have seating for 120 people and standing room for 330.
Noise curtains just over a metre away from the well-known Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills.Credit:Louise Kennerley
Despite the likelihood of a staged opening late this year, contractors have missed deadlines to remove large barriers along the 12-kilometre route by last month.
In Surry Hills, barriers still line much of Devonshire Street, three months after they were slated to be removed.
At the Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills, temporary noise curtains are just over a metre from its front door and barriers are everywhere.
Barriers remain along much of Devonshire Street in Surry Hills more than three months after they were supposed to be removed.Credit:Louise Kennerley
Owner David McGuinness said it had been a tough few years for the cafe and other businesses such as the Book Kitchen, which closed almost two years ago.
"It has definitely had an impact on our business but ... a lot of people have really been hurt a lot worse than us," he said.
"We are definitely looking forward to the barriers coming down in the next few weeks. I just try to keep a positive outlook in that it will have a positive impact in the end."
Barriers also remain along large stretches of the southern end of George Street from Town Hall to Chinatown in the CBD, more than a month after all but "localised barriers" were meant to have been removed. In the east at Kingsford, they still stand along parts of Anzac Parade.
The transport project has been marred for the past three years by repeated delays, legal battles, cost blowouts and prolonged disruption to businesses and residents.
Under the original timeframe, Premier Gladys Berejiklian was meant to be cutting the ribbon on the project this month ahead of the March 23 election.
Related Article With 5m residents each, Melbourne and Sydney need to move more people by train. Our roads and rail may not be as bad as you think. But here's why we could still do better

Morrison government hit by new internal dispute over coal March 8, 2019.

Light rail likely to go east around Parliament House to get to Woden March 8, 2019. 58 comments.
Light rail will likely use the eastern side of State Circle to get to Woden, Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris has said, as she confirmed her once-preferred route via Barton would most probably be ditched in favour of the more direct track.
Cabinet is yet to make a formal decision on dropping the Barton dogleg, however Ms Fitzharris said the government did "now view a more direct route as the most likely route to Woden".
The State Circle option sits between the earlier Capital Circle route and the Barton route. However it is yet to be determined whether the light rail would go east or west around the circle. Credit:Canberra Times
It follows the federal government's endorsement of a parliamentary committee's recommendation that the ACT instead pursue the route already set out in the National Capital Plan for intertown public transport, instead of cutting across the Parliamentary Triangle on the way to Woden.
While Ms Fitzharris initially resisted the recommendation, insisting the government would continue to pursue the Barton route as it had been endorsed by a community survey, she said now the government did not see it as a "viable option".
"At that time the route through Barton came back pretty clearly from a number of stakeholders and the community as the preferred route, but that has clearly changed as the conversation about light rail in the ACT continues," Ms Fitzharris said.
"Our view now is we want to get light rail to Woden built; we’re looking at a range of options for a more direct route and we think that going around the eastern side of Parliament House on State Circle is the more likely route."
Inner South Canberra Community chair Marea Fatseas said the community needed to have more information in order to endorse one route over the other.
"Community engagement on integrated land use and transport is needed before construction of the light rail begins, not at the end as was the case for light rail stage one," Ms Fatseas said.
"For example, does [the government] plan to sell the sporting fields next to the Mint to enable urban intensification along the light rail stage two route? It already plans urban intensification, probably a new suburb, on what is currently the Curtin horse paddocks.
"To enable the community to come to an informed view, we need to know the costs/benefits of these different options."
The government previously said passenger modelling for the Barton route versus the more direct route was comparable, although there were more "places of employment and interest" in Barton.
Ms Fitzharris said the government would seek to have "very early discussions" with an incoming federal government regarding light rail stage two, and lodge an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Referral by mid year.
She said the territory was yet to make a decision about the removal of the near-century old Weston trees on Commonwealth Avenue, as they were still determining whether light rail would travel down the median or on the road for that part of the route.
If the Weston trees had to be cut down though, Ms Fitzharris said they would continue the approach of stage one where "not only did we replace all the trees, but we planted more".
Asked how switching to the direct route would affect passenger numbers, Ms Fitzharris said the start of the first stage of light rail next month would likely encourage people to consider using the system.
She also said the light rail was only one part of an integrated public transport network, which included buses as well as walking and cycling infrastructure.
Asked whether the more direct route would be cheaper, Ms Fitzharris said "not necessarily".
"We’re doing some work on that and obviously it depends on the final route and obviously it also depends on the Commonwealth processes," she said.
"One small concern I have is around works approval processes needing to go to an inquiry.
"For example, what that would mean is every DA needing to go through a parliamentary committee process is not something that’s workable, but I’m confident we can work with the Commonwealth and the National Capital Authority on a workable solution to approval processes when we get to that details stage."
Related Article It appears less and less likely that the second stage of light rail will travel past Old Parliament House.  Commonwealth backs State Circle route for light rail stage two.
Related Article Barr govt likely to axe Barton dogleg of stage two light rail.

Major delays on Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown lines
Herald Sun March 8, 2019.
Police have deemed a package found at Footscray station non-suspicious and have reopened the station. Picture: 7 News.
Police have deemed a package found at Footscray station non-suspicious and have reopened the station.
Services on the Sunbury, Werribee and Williamstown lines will resume shortly with delays of up to 90 minutes expected.
Police and metro staff will be on crowd control at Southern Cross platforms as hundreds of commuters making their journey home on the affected lines.
Earlier, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said that the station had been shut down as a safety precaution after an object was found unattended about 16.30.

Dreamworld’s WipeOut closes after 25 years on the Gold Coast
Gold Coast Bulletin March 8, 2019
People on the ride in 1996.
DREAMWORLD has announced the closure of one of its most popular — and oldest — rides on the Gold Coast.
The WipeOut, which launched for the first time in December 1993, has been retired, the theme park posted to Facebook.
The WipeOut in 1998.
“Dreamworld would like to thank the millions of guests who have taken on the challenge of flipping, spinning, twisting and tumbling on the WipeOut since it opened,” the post read.
The ride in 1993.
At the time of its opening, the WipeOut was pitched to audiences as ‘the wildest ride of your life’ and the first ride of its kind in the southern hemisphere.
The surf-themed ride was the headline act of the theme park’s Christmas 1993 push for big crowds.
At Dreamworld on the Wipeout. (L-R) Gemma Doherty, Kiara Doherty, Lucy Doherty and Rob McLean.
Costing more than $6 million, it pulled up to 2.5G of force and sent passengers on its gondola spinning in a 360 degree revolution.
The gondola sat between two 14-metre high Malibu surfboards, and swirled over a water tank bellow as two large steel arms on either side rotate in opposite directions.

Coal miner lodges plan to appeal against landmark NSW climate verdict March 8, 2019.