Just my observation that trains have been consistantly 5+ minutes late since the start of the school holidays (9th April). 10+ minutes late or cancelled is more usual. Except for the occasional day when everything is almost on time. Thursday is normally the worse day of the week. Today was no exception to this rule.

In fact, today was even more dramatic then usual.

Normally, if everything is running on time, I should be able to catch the 5:00pm Belgrave train from Melbourne Central station and catch my bus easy. However as the train almost always is too late, it misses the connection, and there is a long wait for a next bus. As a result, I have been catching the earlier 4:49pm Belgrave train. Unfortuately, due to the fact that the train is one of a few express services that stops at Surrey Hills, it is frequently overcrowded.

So today I was running to try and catch the 4:43 Lilydale train, as it normally has plenty of seats. I can change trains at Ringwood, where there are more seats available on the Belgrave train. Only I didn’t need to run. It was 9 minutes late.

When the train did arrive, it was packed with people. There was also a wheel chair taking up a lot of the space, but it wasn’t his fault. One passenger assisted by getting of the train so other people could enter/exit. Despite this, the train was so full, I was lucky to be able to get on.

At Parliament station another wheel chair user wanted to get on. The driver called for us to move down the isle, but the isle was already full. Fortunately the potential passenger told him that there was not enough room, and didn’t try to board - their really was not enough room for another person let alone a wheel chair.

At Glenferrie station we overshot the station by 1 or 2 carriages. Maybe the driver didn’t allow for the fact there were so many passengers on board? We had to wait several minutes (getting permission to reverse?) during which time nobody was allowed in or out the train. They did at least keep us up-to-date with annoucements which was good. Then the driver told us that due to the trains running late we couldn’t reverse back, and had to continue to Camberwell station (I guess this means the next train behind was too close to us).

At Blackburn station things were eventful, as the train was still overflowing with passengers, but the wheel chair use needed to back his wheel chair so he could get off. Fortunately most people cooporated and left the train while he got off, although there were some people who refused, making it just that bit harder for him to navigate.

Eventually I got to Ringwood at 17:39 (scheduled 5:18). At Ringwood station, I caught the 17:52 Belgrave train (scheduled 17:23). It got to Upper Ferntree Gully at 17:55 (scheduled to leave at 17:39), or 2 minutes after the bus left. Next bus 25 minutes away.