The following was typed in on a laptop computer with a battery that was running flat and using candle light. Errors may exist.


I was driving down the main road, and noticed a car stopped in the middle of the road. In the darkness I could barely make out a person pointing me to turn left down Hilton Road, so I followed. I ended up behind another car, when we noticed a bus coming in the opposite direction. We were not able to pass the bus (the gravel road was not wide enough for a car and a bus), so the car in front drove up and along the embankment, and I had to follow it. As I was pulling back on the road behind the bus, I got a fright because the bus was in reverse gear, but fortunately it wasn’t moving anywhere.


I arrive at Flinders Street station at 4:01pm, and was surprised to see that the 3:59pm train was still there. On getting I was surprised to see that the 3:59pm Belgrave train was still there on platform 3. I race to get on the train, and accidentally knock somebody on the head (oops), only to find the train is not going anywhere in a hurry.


The train on platform 2 is an Eltham train, which is highly unusual. There make some announcements on the platform, but I cannot hear them. As we wait, the train gets fuller and fuller. Eventually at about 4:20pm the doors closed and the train was ready to depart. Unfortunately some people made a last minute dive for the door without considering that the train was too full. They got jammed in the closing door, and needed help from other people on the platform to get free before the train departed.

Through out the city loop it was clear that the train was extremely full, and that there were crowds of people waiting to get on my train. Also I noticed that all the signs said that the train was a Camberwell train, unlike at Flinders Street where the signs said Belgrave. At Richmond the train driver confirmed our worse fears, and said that the train would be stopping all stations to Camberwell were it would be terminating, and we were to catch alternate transport (nothing was mentioned about a bus replacement service).

At Camberwell station there were crowds and crowds of passengers. I struggled to get off the train. I decided that the 109 tram to Box Hill would be too full, and the busses would take some time to arrive, so I walked south to catch the 75 tram to Vermont South.


Eventually this tram came, and by the time it left it was completely full. I was barely able to fit on the tram myself. The tram stopped at the next stop on the other side of Burke Road, and more people got in. Somehow they managed to fit, despite the tram driver needing to remind passengers that the doors would not close if passengers stood on the steps, and there was the risk that people standing on the steps would somehow damage the sensors on the step and render the tram out of service.

Somebody on the tram insisted that somebody open and keep the window open, despite the rain outside, because it was getting very stuffy in the tram. I am not sure which was worse, when the tram was going and it was stuffy, or when the tram was stopped, and people were trying to get out.

At the Blackburn Road stop, when the tram started getting some free space, we had to wait, as the tram behind us was terminating at Blackburn Road (no explanation given), and everybody had to get on our tram. Now my tram was full again.

The traffic lights at Springvale Road/Burwood Highway were out, and they had 2 police to control the intersection. Same with the traffic lights at Vermont South tram/bus interchange, although police had also blocked off the north side road so cars could only turn left into Burwood Higway.


I was worried at Vermont South that not everybody would fit on the bus to Knox City, but somehow this was not an issue.

At Knox City I arrived at 6:20pm. I met another passenger who had just come from Ringwood station, just in time to see the power at to the trains die there. Maybe it was good I didn’t catch the 109 tram to Box Hill. He also said that the next bus was due to come at 6:18pm, but obviously it was running late. When it did come, the driver was in a hurry leave, and wanted passenger’s not to validate there tickets. I caught the next bus to Upper Ferntree Gull at about 6:30pm.

The bus travelled to stops to the other side of Box Hill and then waited for some unknown reason. I got concerned when I overheard clips of what the driver saying on his radio: “… but this bus is full of passengers right now …”. A group of passengers ran up to the outside of the bus door, but the driver didn’t open the door and let them in or try to communicate with them. Apparently he was busy counting money.

Eventually a passenger at the back got sick of waiting, and pushed forward to the front to ask the bus driver what was going on. The bus driver said we were waiting for the next bus in 20 minutes, and everyone would have to get on that bus instead. The passenger was annoyed that the bus driver was keeping everyone in the bus, and didn’t seem to have any intention to tell us what was going on or open the doors and let us out.

It turned out the next bus was only 2 minutes away, not twenty. Maybe I misheard the bus driver initially. After the compliant the driver opened the doors and let us out, but still wasn’t going to annouce what was going on to all the passengers - it was up to us to question the passenger he talked to.


After getting to Upper Ferntree Gully station, I got in my car to drive home. I got stuck behind a slow car up the mountain. Where the road splits into two lanes around Devils Elbow, the car in front went in the right lane, and I took the left lane. Big mistake. I suddenly noticed that a tree blocking the left lane. I slammed my brakes on, started sliding around on the road, and managed to miss the obstacle. Then, at the last moment, the car behind tried to pass both me and the slow car in front, and ended up having to push his way in between us.


I got home at 7:05pm. I got a SMS from my boss saying he was still stuck at East Camberwell.

At home, we found there was no electricity. In fact, there had been no electricity since about 1pm. A tree at had fallen across the power lines and disconnected power to our road. Since it is only our road, it will probably be a low priority to fix.

Tree across Alice Street

Several days later

Power was lost at about 12:46pm on Wednesday, as told by my computer logs.

The next day (Thursday) people come to remove the tree, and then stood by the road. Waiting?

Power was finally restored to our house at 5pm the following Friday.