The Hoddle Street Study should have a good look at what’s going on the train line running beside Hoddle St.
Delays at Flinders Street for the Epping and Hurstbridge Lines have increased ever since the loop was “untangled” in November 2008. Until then, morning trains all ran direct from Jollimont to Parliament.
Now passengers on those lines who wish to exit at city loop stations first have to wait up to 15 minutes or a platform to become available at Flinders St (and sometimes Princes Bridge). Then hope the train turns into a new service that continues along the loop, not morph into a Glen Waverley line train bound direct to Richmond.
Next, they have to wait at Flinders Street for passengers to get off, figure out where the train is going next (even the drivers don’t know) then wait for a new driver to be found, and the signs changed to reflect the new service.
Unfortunately the train must now navigate the aging viaduct with a 15 km/hr speed limit to reach Southern Cross.
Before the loop was untangled, the delays caused by trains crossing each other never exceeded a minute for the peak inbound trains. Perhaps the empty outbound trains had a longer wait, but no body noticed.
There may be a few more trains now, and a few more planned, but the service to Parliament is so bad now that hardly anyone on the Clifton Hill loop gets of at Parliament.
Passengers are looking for alternative means of transport and unless they are walking, that means by road.
For more on these issues:
Finding a way through the railway labyrinth, The Age, June 22, 2008, By REID SEXTON
“Untangling the Hoddle Street snarl is simple: use trams“, The Age January 22, 2010, by JOHN LEGGE
Connex changes affect thousands The Age, November 10, 2008, CLAY LUCAS
BRUMBY DEFERS MAJOR WORK ON RAIL VIADUCT FOR ANOTHER 10 MONTHS,
Liberal Party Media Release, 10 March, 2010