Sunday, December 4, 2005:

16:55. Leave home. Notice it’s quite windy on the way into Frankston. The sort of wind that stops trains from running…

17:05. Arrive at Frankston station and board the 17:12 Flinders Street train. Hope to arrive at Melbourne Central around 18:20 for dinner with friends.

17:15. Announcement is made on station PA that due to overhead line failure at Carrum, train will not run. A replacement bus service will travel to Carrum, departing from Bay 6. 100+ passengers wake up out their Sunday afternoon daze and make their way down the ramp to wait for the bus. And wait. And wait some more. Some get bored and get taxis headed north. Others wander off to discover the (lack of) sights and sounds of Frankston on a Sunday afternoon.

18:15. One hour and one large chocolate Big M later, three buses finally arrive at Bay 6 outside Frankston station to collect passengers intending on getting the train from Carrum. I got a window seat!

18:20. Bus passes a yard of unused buses near Kananook station.

18:25. Bus passes the railway crossing south of Carrum station. Police car is blocking the north-western side of the crossing. Boom gate is missing. I’m guessing the boom gate was broken by strong wind gusts earlier. Perhaps it fell on the overhead…

18:27. Bus arrives at Carrum station.

18:28. Toilet break. Too much Big M.

18:30. Depart Carrum station on a Flinders Street train.

19:03. Announcement is made on the train PA that train is terminating at Caulfield; passengers should change trains to continue the journey to Flinders Street.

19:05. Arrive Caulfield station at platform 1. Train terminates. Its new destination is Frankston…

19:10. Ask at ticket desk whether there are any foreseeable problems for the return journey later in the evening. Reply: Carrum situation should be fixed in an hour, but there is footbridge construction works in Richmond. (For the record, the return trip home on the 23:30 Frankston train was thankfully uneventful…)

19:20. Depart Caulfield station from platform 3 on a Flinders Street train.

19:30. No sign of any footbridge works at Richmond. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right direction…

19:40. Hungry, tired, frustrated and amazed I finally arrive at Melbourne Central station.

Total travel time: About three hours.

Total average speed: 18 km/h.

Next time I’m cycling.


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