At around 7:47am, when the train was arriving at Upper Ferntree Gully station, we assumed it was the 7:47 train. Express Box Hill to Richmond, stops all stations on the city loop.

The station announced that it was stopping all stations to Flinders Street station. Had the station staff made a mistake[1]? The signs in the train had indicated it was a City Loop train, but now said Connex.

After a number of stops, the signs in the train changed to “stopping all stations direct to Flinders Street station.” Ok, not a good sign.

The driver made an announcement before Ringwood saying that the train was now a stopping all stations Flinders Street direct train. He didn’t say why or what city loop passengers should be doing. My first thought was maybe the city loop was closed for some reason. So I stayed on the train.

Before Box Hill station the driver finally told us what I would have liked to have known much earlier:

  • point failure at Belgrave
  • this train was an additional service

If I known this earlier I could have waited for the next train at Upper Ferntree Gully station and got a seat for the full duration of the trip.

At Box Hill I caught the real 7:47 service (the one I thought I had caught). Predictably it was running late. It train ended up arriving at Melbourne Central at 8:46, 10 minutes late.

Connex needs to provide better information to passengers when things don’t go to plan. This would enable passengers to use Connex services more efficiently.

I submitted feedback to Connex via their website (case number 2008/011568).


[1] recently a train stopped at Blackburn, and station staff announced it was a changing to become a stopping all stations train. Apparently nobody told the driver. The train used the track normally used for express trains too.