Sunday, 15 January 2023

Trains (again)

Last week we had two of J's younger UK rellies visit us while on their way round the world.

It was the usual thing, catch up with us, use our washing machine and go on a couple of bushwalks with us.

They're experienced travellers and used to the vagaries of train services internationally in Europe and Asia, and veterans of commuting in the North of England with the appalling trans Pennine service, but even so they were amazed how sparse the country V/line service was, expecting there to be at least half a dozen trains between Albury and Melbourne a day.

The sparseness of the service does beg the question as to how the service will cope  when $9.20 price cap comes in at the end of March - one could imagine the current sparse service being swamped, even locally, with people travelling from Benalla or Wangaratta taking the train to Albury rather than driving.

(Or maybe not, the sparseness of the service may inhibit its use, no matter how cheap the service)

However, Ben and Jen were even more amazed the daylight hours service to Sydney consisted of a solitary forty year old XPT. 

They emailed us after they got to Sydney to let us know they'd survived the journey. Being young they thought the XPT was incredibly retro and cool tho, especially as, with the exception of Scotrail, all of the XPT's UK cousins, the Intercity 125s, have been withdrawn from service in the UK.

I think we might have a bit of a way to go as regards having a decent train service ...

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