|On the final leg home from a pleasant Sunday exploring Yuroke Creek, our train stopped at Sunshine with an announcement that there had been an "incident" at a crossing ahead of us and a second announcement that it was serious (four police cars still in attendance when we eventually passed it) with no more trains would be going on before the scheduled replacement of all services with buses for the evening and extra buses being obtained for passengers from our and the following trains which terminated there.|
Most were unaware that the train replacement bus stop was on the opposite side of the line from the major bus interchange, but that was sorted long before any relevant buses arrived, although there were already some buses there which V/Line had prearranged to meet an inbound service but which provided another distraction for the suburban mob. Then the first suburban rail replacement bus to arrive turned out to be also pre-scheduled and city bound.
An ugly confrontation between some self-important members of the suburban mob and the diminutive woman from the station who was trying to keep everybody informed could have been made worse by a couple of half-familiar faces amongst the local youth trying to incite escalation. But soon enough a couple of empty buses arrived and were quickly filled like sardine cans which I had already decided I'd be happy to let leave without me like a handful of mostly calmer others from the aborted trains.
Beyond the behaviour of an overreacting mob on an otherwise pleasant early Sunday evening, (What could have been so urgent for so many?) the one thing that could have been improved at a stop where buses going both ways travel in the same direction was a clear indication on the front of the bus as to which direction it was heading. I asked a passenger who had stepped out to let others off, but as we were leaving noticed a woman with two kids who had been there since the first train still standing on the curb.
It certainly isn't a Melbourne-only storm. I've not so long ago gone on interesting diversions from Parramatta just to slither out of the way of even uglier mobs in similar circumstances. But with free Sunday public transport for us older folks, I've nothing to complain about.