Sunday, May 15, 2011

Melbourne evening train service levels - the last 36 years

Another look at Melbourne suburban train frequencies - this time for weekday evenings around 9:30pm.

Most notable are that the service cuts of the late 1970s (from 20 to 30 minutes) have started to be reversed on some lines in the last year or two. There have also been frequency improvements on outer or minor lines such as Altona, Alamein, Cranbourne and Pakenham.

What does this presentation tell us? Firstly frequency does eventually respond to patronage growth, although you need passenger numbers to double first. There is also a lag time to allow for driver training, new trains, scheduling, political commitment etc. In the meantime, and not captured here, capacity has been added by operating six car rather than three car trains to the existing timetable to relieve crowding. Both Connex and Metro added capacity and 3-car trains are much less often seen nowdays.

Will I produce presentations for weekends? Probably not since changes have been less frequent and are better described in writing.

Saturdays have seen the least change, with 20 minutes remaining as a daytime network standard for all but outer areas. The main loss compared to 1975 is the reduced Saturday evening frequency (30 to 20 minutes). The main gains compared to 1975 is that there is service over a more extensive electrified network and there are later Saturday evening trains.

Sundays are quite different, thanks to large service increases in 1999. 1975's 40 minute Sunday frequency has now been banished to Sunday mornings (some lines), Sunday evenings (some lines) and some outer areas. Elsewhere Sunday frequency has doubled to 20 minutes, making it the same as Saturday.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

Note: the big Sunday boost (to 20 minutes between 11am and 7pm) was in July 1999.

9:30 pm  
Blogger Peter Parker said...

Thanks Daniel - corrected.

9:52 pm  
Anonymous Craig said...

Peter, here's a comprehensive summary of notable weekend changes between 1995 & 2000 for future reference:

25 MARCH 1995
* Sunday service between Dandenong & Pakenham increased from 3 trains each way to every 80 minutes
* Dandenong - Cranbourne opens (40 min Saturday & 80 min Sunday service)

18 FEBRUARY 1996
* Daytime Sunday services to Alamein, Belgrave, Lilydale, Dandenong & Frankston increased from every 40 mins to every 30 minutes
* Daytime Sunday service beyond Dandenong increased from every 80 mins to every 40 mins

17 FEBURARY 1997
* Flagstaff no longer open on Saturdays
* Melbourne Central open until 18:45 Sundays with loop trains introduced on all lines
* Dayitme Sunday services to Glen Waverley increased from every 40 mins to every 30 mins

15 MARCH 1998:
* Caulfield loop direction reversed on Saturdays (matching Sunday direction). Previously not possible to travel directly Richmond - loop stations on Saturdays.
* Sandringham loop trains introduced on Saturdays (it should be noted they didn't run via the loop prior to 1996 change)
* First timetable which stated the standised public holiday pattern (Saturday TT on all public holidays but Xmas Day and Good Friday (Sunday TT))

4 JULY 1999:
* Sunday services between 11:00 & 19:00 increased to 20 mins on all lines (except beyond Dandenong -increased from 60 mins to 40 mins; & beyond Eltham - no change
* Saturday services between 11:00 & 19:00 increased to 20 mins beyond Ringwood, previously a 40 min service (30 min Saturday evening & Sunday daytime service)
* Parliament now open until 18:45 Sundays

9 APRIL 2000
* 20 min Saturday service beyond Ringwood extended to commence at 07:00 instead of 10:00

19 NOVEMBER 2000
* Caulfield & Northern Groups Sunday evening service improved from 40 mins to 30 mins Sandringham evening service doubled to 20 minutes
* Last service on Caulfield & Northern Groups extended to match Saturday finishing times
* Melbourne Central & Parliament now open until last train on Sundays, with all lines (Bayside & Connex) now offering evening loop services

12:01 am  
Anonymous Craig said...

> 18 FEBRUARY 1996
> * Daytime Sunday services to Alamein, Belgrave, Lilydale, Dandenong &
> Frankston increased from every 40 mins to every 30 minutes
> * Daytime Sunday service beyond Dandenong increased from every 80 mins
> to every 40 mins

Daytime Sunday service beyond Dandenong was increased to every 60
minutes, not 40 minutes....

12:43 am  
Blogger Peter Parker said...

Thanks Craig. Certainly a lot of weekend service innovation in the late 1990s - at a pace we haven't seen since.

6:16 am  
Blogger Loose Shunter said...

Peter, A great piece of work for both the evening and interpeak train services over time and good to have it represented graphically. Well done!

9:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upfield didn't run at night until December 1998 - before then it was 19 tram + 319/320 buses

12:52 pm  

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