Monday, 9 December 2019

The revamped PTV network map


In 2017 PTV launched their new network map, which contained all their heavy rail services on the one map for the first time. The previous map hadn't shown V/Line services - it only showed Metro services, and it prioritised showing which ticketing Zone each station was in. Since Zone 2 has (sort of) been eliminated now, this was less important to show - so instead they've colour-coded it to show the different groupings of lines. This same colour-coding is now being applied to information screens at stations, and so on - which is definitely a good thing.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Travel Diaries: Amsterdam


So - after wending my way up through Spain, France and Belgium, I'd finally arrived in my new home in Amsterdam. It's taken me a while to get around to writing these blogs, so rather than just my first impressions, I can give my observations collected over the last several months.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The platform switcheroo at Melton

Track duplications on the Ballarat Line Upgrade are nearing completion (via BLU)

Just as the rule on Australian roads is for cars to drive on the left-hand side of the road, the general rule for Australian two-track railways is for trains to use the left-hand track. On single-track railways with crossing loops, including single-track railways where stations have two platforms, this rule isn't applied anywhere near as consistently - there will generally be a "main line" (or at stations, a main platform) that gets used by default, whether it's left or right, whichever direction the train is heading; if a train is coming the other way it'll just have to use the other track. But on two-track lines, we have pretty consistent left-hand running.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Save the Overland (Part 2)

The Overland leaving Ararat Station

The historic Overland is struggling to survive - dependant on government subsidies that it cannot rely on indefinitely. Yesterday I discussed why the Overland declined, why this mirrored other rail services in Victoria, and how those other services turned things around - with a bold strategic vision, and the funding to back it up. It should by now be abundantly clear to everyone involved with Victorian rail that if you build it, they will come - serious investments will be rewarded with increased passenger numbers, so rather than just small bandaid measures to keep the Overland on life support, we need to treat it with the same seriousness as any other line.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Save the Overland (Part 1)

Vintage poster for the Overland showing the old VR livery (via PROV)

The Overland has a long and storied history. The service began in 1887 with the completion of the Melbourne-Adelaide railway, though it wasn't called "The Overland" till the 1930s. It was originally run jointly by the Victorian and South Australian governments, with the South Australian portion being taken over by Australian National Railways in the 1970s, the Victorian government dropping out in the 1990s and the service privatised and sold to the Great Southern Rail company shortly after (note that GSR has recently been renamed "Journey Beyond"). Originally an overnight service with sleeper cars, it now runs as a conventional daylight service.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Travel Diaries: European High Speed Rail


Partly for environmental reasons, and partly because I want to see more of the countries I'm passing through, I try to avoid flying as much as possible, and prefer to take the train instead. So now that I'd arrived in continental Europe, with its fairly comprehensive long-distance rail network, there would be no more flying and no more investigating airport rail - it's overland High Speed Rail all the way to Amsterdam.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019