Fatality tonight at Mitcham, during peak hour.

I started on the 5pm Belgrave from Melbourne Central.

I thought it was kind of odd that my train was waiting a while at Blackburn station, but then when the next train, a “Ringwood via Loop” train pulled into Platform 2, I was very suspicious my train would be terminated. It was.

Prior to this train arriving, the train driver talked to a Connex employee on the station, but I couldn’t hear. Then the Ringwood train arrived. After everyone got of this train, we got an automatic announcement “due to unforeseen incident this train will be delayed 10 to 15 minutes.” Eventually the driver told us the truth.

There was about one train every 10minutes (or less) arriving at platform 2 (they only platform they can turn trains around on), each train full of passengers.

Apparently, a bus replacement service was due in one hour.

Not a good combination.

After a debate (should I catch a train to Box Hill and then a bus to Upper Ferntree Gully or wait the replacement bus service?), I ended up catching a bus to Burwood Highway, tram to Vermont South, bus to Knox City, and a bus to Upper Ferntree Gully. Curiously enough, there were few people on this bus, even though at least one person found out in time to get train at Box Hill and boarded then.

I passed two empty train replacement bus (US Bus Lines) services turning right from Burwood Highway into Scoresby Road (hopefully these weren’t the only ones). I do not know if they were going to Ringwood or Blackburn.

I got to Upper Ferntree Gully at 6:50pm, which seems reasonable considering the circumstances. 1 hour later then if I was on the train.

Another passenger I was travelling with was furious that the Connex employee at the Blackburn station had no idea of the bus routes; I suggested she complain to Connex; she said she would definitely send them an E-Mail.

Also, I can’t hope but noticing the Eastlink bridge across Burwood Highway - it doesn’t look like they have made any allowances for extending the tram line to Box Hill - the space looks like it will be used by right hand turn lanes instead.