Previously I had decided if I arrived at Melbourne Central station early, I would catch the Lilydale train, and change trains at Ringwood. This would protect me in case Connex decided to change the Belgrave train to skip the City Loop.

However today Connex found a way to defeat this. The trip on the Lilydale train was normal until just after Camberwell station. We switched to the left track and then proceeded to stop all stations. Some passengers must have known, because they got of at these stops, however I hadn’t heard anything. As we were stopping at Surrey Hills station, the Belgrave train went express past us.

Result: If I was using buses I would have had to wait an hour for the next bus. Fortunately my brother was in the area and gave me a lift.

My guess is that the Blackburn train was cancelled, so they used the Lilydale train as a substitute. Sure would have been nice if they told us before we left Richmond station though, so we could switch trains. Alternatively they could have told as at Camberwell and then made the Belgrave train stop at Camberwell station.

If the driver had announced anything, I didn’t hear it. This might be because the quality of some of the PA systems used by Connex is awful.

Maybe I should catch the first train and change at Richmond. That would cover my for both cases - when the Belgrave train bypasses the city loop and when the Lilydale train changes to a stopping all stations service. Unfortunately, trains are at there fullest at Richmond station, and I am least likely to get a seat (assuming I can even get on the train).