Melbourne’s train commuters to be packed like sardines

By Leith van Onselen

As Melbourne’s population surges by a projected 97,000 people a year to 8 million mid-century:

ScreenHunter_15632 Oct. 23 12.16

Melbourne’s sardine can future was revealed in May with new ‘pack-em in’ configuration trains slated to enter service from mid-2019 along Metro routes:

The days of getting a seat on a Melbourne train will soon be replaced by the kind of shoulder-to-shoulder commute people experience daily in mega-cities such as Tokyo.

Designs for a planned fleet of 65 new high-capacity trains that will enter service from mid-2019 reveal a radical change is in store for Melbourne train travellers.

The trains will be built to carry between 1200 and 2000 passengers each, depending on their configuration, and they will be designed to maximise standing room, with seats provided for just 30 to 40 per cent of passengers in a fully loaded train.

The bumper loads will be accommodated by enabling “standing passengers to safely travel at a density of up to six passengers per square metre”, technical documents seen by Fairfax Media say.

According to studies, this level of crowding is comparable to that experienced in the Tokyo metro.

By way of comparison, the city’s current fleet of trains are designed to comfortably fit 900 people and seat about two-thirds of them…

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said that without larger trains and more services, passengers would be left stranded on platforms in peak hour.

But wait, its not just Metro trains that will be packed cheek to jowl. As reported Wednesday in the Geelong Advertiser, regional commuters on the Geelong V-Line passenger service are also facing a sardine can future:

“V/Line was not prepared for the strong growth in patronage and the resulting increase in service demand following the opening of the RRL (in mid-2015)…

Significant overcrowding occurred as passenger numbers on the Geelong line soared by 69 per cent within the first year.

The soaring use was matched by a drop in performance, with the punctuality of services in the south-western corridor dropping to 78.3 per cent.

New stations in metropolitan areas — at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit — have lead to Geelong having the highest rate of services reaching maximum capacity.

Data shows that all Waurn-Pounds-bound trains in the afternoon peak were overcrowded before they even left Southern Cross Station in March.

On the same route during the morning peak, all trains were full from Tarneit Station.

Passengers are now being told to prepare to spend more time standing, as V/Line moves towards more of a commuter-style service…

“V/Line’s performance over the past 10 years has mostly fallen short of its targets and community expectations, despite infrastructure improvements and timetable changes…

Coalition public transport spokesman David Hodgett said regional commuters were being let down by poor service, reliability issues and overcrowding.

“If we want to manage Melbourne’s and Victoria’s population growth and ease the squeeze, we need to ensure regional Victoria has the infrastructure and opportunities it needs,” he said.

Who would have thought: cramming hundreds of thousands of people into the city’s west would crush-load the Geelong line?

Sardine packed trains. More time stuck in traffic. Less affordable (and smaller) homes. Schools bursting at the seams. This is what “prosperity” looks like to the ‘open borders’ advocates on the left.

Of course, anyone with half a brain knows what is driving Melbourne’s falling livability: the federal government’s mass immigration program.

According to the Productivity Commission’s recent Migrant Intake into Australia report, Australia’s population is projected to grow to around 41 million mid-century under current mass immigration settings. This is roughly 14 million more people than would arrive into Australia under zero net overseas migration:

Clearly, the best way to avert Melbourne’s looming infrastructure disaster, as well as maintain decent living standards, is for the the State Government to tap its federal counterpart on the shoulder and demand it slash Australia’s immigration program.

Sadly, the Turnbull Government in May announced it would maintain Australia’s permanent migrant intake at a record 205,000 people a year in 2017-18 without a whiff of opposition from Labor or the fake Greens:

Hence, Melbourne’s living standards are destined to be crush-loaded into little tins for the foreseeable future.

And for what?

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  1. …was not prepared for the strong growth…
    That simple phrase from the Geelong article pretty much sums up the current state of affairs.

  2. Enjoy the overcrowding, commuters, that is what you voted for. Maybe you (the commuters) should try voting for a new party?

    • It’s a good point Jacob. People are getting what they voted for. If they don’t like it then they need to change the way they vote.

    • kiwikarynMEMBER

      But think of the cultural enrichment. While you’re jammed in there with all those immigrants for that long, you’ll be able to pick up a new language or two.

    • To be fair, London’s Tube has been like that for decades and people love the joint. Having a sweaty armpit in your face is an under-rated experience!

      • People have an intrinsic need to be around other humans every now and then. Even if it is underneath someone’s armpit that satisfies that need.

        At work we’re just behind a computer. In the neighbourhood people aren’t as friendly because people get sick of the gossiping. So underneath an armpit it is then.

  3. I wish people could move away from left/right; the words have no meaning. Even words like conservative, progressive, liberal and authoritarian have an order of magnitude more meaning and some political philosophy behind them which can have merit.

    In the old days, left might have meant protectionist trade policies; nowadays, Trump is viewed as having/wanting protectionist ideas but seen as an extreme right winger. Right wing might have meant a free speech to the death, except now the right wingers are afraid of people asking too many questions about government policy (e.g. refugees, banks etc.).

    Left wing people used to care about economic issues, now they point out that economic issues exist but ignore possible solutions such as reducing immigration or reforming the tax system. Right wing people wanted to keep to a small set of narrow set of narrow rules that everyone would play by and only slowly and rarely change, but now they are all about radical changes to university systems (deregulation) or medicare and handing out loans to Adani etc.

    I realise how heavily politics plays into economic issues but the left/right wording strikes me as mindless repetition of ‘two legs bad, four legs good’. Liberal/authoritarian for the social issues, conservative/progressive for economic issues aren’t perfect divides but they at least add a lot more precision and nuance to these issues. Better yet, accept that people have a wide variety of flavours to different positions and it’s not a logical error for someone to be authoritarian, liberal, progressive or conservative depending on the issue.

    Sorry, rant over.

    • The ALP = fake left wing and LNP = fake right wing.

      The left wing are meant to care about the poor but Rudd gave insulation to people that already had houses…and Gillard wanted to give cars to people that already had cars…I kid you not! Rudd said that he was homeless for a while and used to sleep in a car – he even said some positive things about the homeless but did absolutely nothing for the homeless!

      Milne, fake Greens, put a big tax on carbon – $23/tonne while it was $10/tonne in Europe – but did not even give me a $5 compensation cheque! What is the carbon price now, Milne? $0.

      As for the fake right wing, SYD airport is a private monopoly, 18C is still in place, and they decided to spend a colossal amount of money to build 12 submarines. Not to mention, the ban on 18L/min shower heads is still in place. What free market?

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Why do you think there is so much of a desperate scramble to claim the, “Centre” Jay?

        Could it be, that our politics is so dominated by Coporate/Plutocratic interests, that any real diversion away from the Dominant Economic Philosophical narrative, will result in a crusifiction by Coporate Media, and “Proffessional Economists” (like Jessica Irvine) of any party that dares to, Really, challenge the status Quo.

        By far the greatest Enemy of Australia’s Sovereign Nation State Democracy,.. is the dominant narrative of Neoliberalism and Globalisation,..a Narrative that is embraced by all Parties (Labor’s Left faction is starting to make some noises about this,…but not enough!)

        From “Fisho’s” post yesterday in the “Talk of a skills shortage “an incredible cop-out” thread,

        “If the mechanism for wage reductions is excess labour than that too MUST happen. And this ties us back to the whole “skills shortage” topic. Skilled Immigration is in effect the safety valve that’s enabling Australian wages to readjust under an inflated dollar scenario”

        Yeah right fisho,…let’s put that one to a Plebasite and see if the population democraticly agrees with your proscription for “Smart Economic management”.

        The degree to which he has been indoctrinated, is breathtaking, esp if you read the rest of his stuff,…no doubt he has been “formally educated” in the pseudoscience of Economics,…which in my mind gives him about as much credibility, as those “formally educated” in the other social sciences,…like Gender studies.

        Proper informed REAL Democracy is the way forward for our Civilisation,…not the memorisation and regurgitation of a pro Plutocratic philosophy/Ideology, clearly designed to put the POWER back into the hands of those who have held it for most of human history,..Until Democracy redistributed it a little,…for a while,….but now the push back is under full swing,…with Power being returned to a Very small percentage of the population, who form an aristocracy of “Ownership”,…and where everybody else is to be beholden to them,…once again.
        Its Neo-fedualsim,…and it’s coming to us all.

        Unless we start to take our Democracy seriously and participate,… enmass.

    • Yes I agree. I’m disappointed to see UE using those labels. It will undermine broad support for his ponzi push-back if that sort of language turns this into a left-right tribalism matter.

      • so given the labels have been the idiom for decades now, what next . how can the labels be expunged? whenever I try the thought experiment all that happens is substitution and i’m back at square one mired in inaccurate BS

  4. For what? For a perverted alliance of virtue signalling leftists and cynical business interests seeking a larger market and cheaper, more compliant labour.

    The unholy alliance of our times, and one of the main drivers for the rise of politicians like Trump.

    The current ‘corporatist left’ as I like to think of them don’t care about workers and improved prospertlity. The current right don’t care about old rightist concepts like family and strong community institutions and self determination.

    They both want us to be atomized economic unit quarrelling over identity politics forever. And it’s largely what they’ve achieved.

  5. “Tokyo standards”
    More like Mumbai, Guangzhou, Cairo or Mogadishu.

    Why not accept it’s a third world colonisation of Melbourne and use the roof space on the trains, trams & buses as well ?

    We have 2.1 million third world migrants here on temporary visas.

    Almost all are working illegally cash in hand Fake ID, Fake visa pretext to repay the foreign agent procurer.

    On top of that we have another 400,000 here (of 8 million visitors) on tourist or visitor visas are also working illegally (ABF).

    That’s 2.5 million third world unskilled migrants.
    91% concentration in the two main cities.
    Sydney (48%) Melbourne (43%).

    => That’s 1.075 million temporary or illegal working tourist visa holders in Melbourne.

    One in 5 people.
    As stated – most are unskilled & almost all are working illegally. Fake ID, cash, little or no tax paid, massive fraud in Student & concession usage.

    Major users of public transport.

    Perhaps one in 4 people in using public transport to and from the migrant bunk & mattress share slum housing zones. Maybe more. Anecdotally over half the users to some of these areas in the article.

    There’s your problem.
    Let’s see check on who is using this public transport.

    And what contribution, if any, is being made towards the taxpayer & Vline expenditure now planned to cater for the migrant intake overload.

    Any such study of actual usage would quickly come to the conclusion – it would make far more economic and social sense to remove the temporary / illegal working tourist overload issue rather than further subsidize it.

    And that’s true of Education, Housing, Community Services, Road usage, Wages, Youth & Mature age unemployed/under employed, homeless and virtually every other social or financial indicator.

    Would Melbourne be a better place if 1.1 million third world mostly unskilled, mostly non contributing & illegally working migrants on TR or visitor visas were exited ?
    => Yes.

    • Yep. Charge foreigners $40/day for a train ticket. Why let them ride for the same price as an Aussie?

      If I visit the Taj Mahal, I have to pay 25x as much as a local!

  6. In Sydney when the new Northwest railway line opens it will also be getting the standing only like carriages.

    In the CBD the train stations are just bedlam in peak hour, people pushing and shoving, people blocking stairs or pushing to get into carriages without waiting for people to exit. The Platform offices are constantly yelling telling people to move and get out of the way, even man handling at times. I am sure someone is going to fall on the tracks soon.

    Gone are the days when people were polite and queued, Sydney trains now more resemble he crush and impoliteness of 3rd world countries.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      You’ve just described North Richmond, South Yarra, Caulfield, North Melbourne, Parliament, Southern Cross, Flinders, Flagstaff train stations. And to see floods of people periodically swamp out into the street is something to behold.

      But it’s always been like that for Simone apparently, and she’s never heard her parents complain about it either 😴

      • She probably has her own car park at work, a nice apartment near work, and a leisurely drive in a bmw gifted to her by daddy, working in a job she got from daddy’s connections. So stfu there’s no problems.

    • The fear of being pushed or falling onto the tracks is very real. Copenhagen has glass walls and sliding doors at the platform’s edge.

      Unfortunately we can’t manage cultural politeness so simply.

      • Sydney Trains need to do something because screaming and yelling don’t work. Going up and down stairs to playforms are the worst, with morons sitting on stairs oblivious that they are blocking access or people going up the wrong side of the stairs in their rush to get to/leave the platform causing problems for everyone else. It makes my blood boil

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Looking at the price of housing close to the not-yet-built station at Castle Hills, people from Asia are paying millions for the opportunity to be packed like sardine on trains. You have to wonder why the rest of NSW is paying for their experience.

    • The (lack of) platform width at Town Hall station scares me. I am amazed there aren’t more mishaps in peak hour when moving along the platform is an adrenalin sport akin to BASE jumping or the like.

      • I’ve been horn blasted by a driver once when trying to navigate along a platform in Town Hall because there was just no room to move and I had to walk outside the yellow line. It be so easy to be pushed onto the tracks then as some idiot shoulders themselves through and pushing people.

      • Many years ago I was standing very close to the platform edge due to a heaving crowd at Flinder’s St Station (might have been a TripleM SkyShow night from memory). As the train accellerated away the mirror clipped my shoulder. I was pretty sore for a week. Could have EASILY been worse.

    • Crammed with people from places where there is no appreciation of personal space and social order.

      Imagine the same numbers, but people from Europe, as opposed to India or China. Still crazy, but a little more dignified.

  7. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Oh boo hoo. The truth is, most people understand that all the extra people on public transport makes the trip far more vibrant!

    • migtronixMEMBER

      david collyerMMBER
      March 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm
      Yesterday, Melbournians made an annualized 36.5% on their houses.

      See, the price falls predicted by that horrid, horrid Prosper person are rubbish.

      Ray White
      March 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      March 26, 2012 at 3:52 pm
      Buy Now!

      March 26, 2012 at 10:37 pm
      yep, finally some green numbers for melbourne. Calling the bottom!

      Only up from here…”

      Literally never gets old 😂

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        I’m pretty sure that the Prosper group are a front for The Australian Communist Implementation Party. Last thing they want is for people to be more successful, wealthier, and prettier than other people. Prosper in this sense is used in the same way that the East German commies were called the “Democratic Republic”. LOLOLOL… masters of irony to confuse the workers so that they do not excel beyond the uglier lower-order workers.

      • Cheer up, word from the deepest and darkest bear lairs is that NOW is different!

        A voice from the back seat “…..Are we there yet?…”

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “in the same way that the East German commies were called the “Democratic Republic”. LOLOLOL”

        A bit like our Conservative/Tory party calling themselves “The Liberal party”.
        Very Confusing for some our more dimwitted American Brothers and Sisters.

  8. Yes but you’re forgetting how much everyone’s lives will be enriched by the multiculturalism in the carriage.

      • And enjoy it, as an erect multicultural penis stands against your ass on a packed standing only carriage.

      • Workshopping some slogans, just running them up the flagpole:

        “Dick for head of state.”

        “Feel like you’re being shafted? Choose Dick when you tick the box.”

        “Stranger knocking round the back door? Let’s put Dick where he belongs”

        “I wank and I vote”

        “Don’t blame me, I chose Dick”

  9. 1 sqm = 6 people – lol!!!! Maybe in Japan. On my tram each morning half the passengers struggle to get their butt on two seats and still half hanging off.

    They do realise strayans are massively obese when they do the calcs?

    Maybe they should use PNG pigmy stats for all transport projects………………

    I’m sure this is all fake news…………..

  10. Australia will need a business culture change then. Tokyo trains begin peak hour 6 and it keeps going until around 9-10.

    By comparison, most businesses in Australia don’t expect their workers in before 8, and don’t expect them coming in after 9. That’ll be brutal.


    What’s interesting (and enormously sad) amongst those in my circle is all ‘this’ disruption and change to MEL is doing nothing to improve a once great city but it’s all somehow worth it long as the home / land prices keep elevating. It illustrates our recently taught, propaganda-driven, venal adoration of ‘perceived’ wealth where the traditional measure of civic quality are now being trampled enthusiastically as it creates more price lift.. As always, all good things must have an end. What an angry, nasty and ashamed city it will be when this sole factor reverses.

    • I find the smugness, spiteful apathy and condescending attitudes of the property scum out in the suburbs to be the worst of it. The schadenfreude will be the best dish I’ve ever had and will ever have. If it ever happens. It never happens though!

      I don’t mind the immigrants on a personal level. Not saying you don’t. They were just brought here to make a bunch of hillbilly low life criminals rich.

      • Yep. If we crashed it the new upper class would become 50-50 white to non white in the space of a few years. Only the highly educated people doing honest work would make it. The ponzi is all about keeping white usurers and white basket weavers on top.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “Only the highly educated people doing honest work would make it.”

        When you say “Would make it” do you mean to say that,…”Only the highly educated people doing honest work “Should” make it.”?

        What about the not so “Highly Educated”,… doing honest work?

        Fuck them you seem to be saying,…do they,… being the Majority that they are,…not deserve Democratic representation also?

        Are You just lamenting the fact,…that the current Neo-fedual Plutocracy, doesn’t Respect your higher Educational achievements, as much as YOU think you deserve?

        If so,.. that’s as lacking in Solidarity and certainly just as self-centred, as the “I’ve got mine, fuck you crowd” in the Suburbs,…who purchased property some time ago,… before you.

        Your Mentality, is just as much as a problem, as is theirs!

        You appear,…as does Mig,… to be saying you would be just fine living under a Fascist or Fedual authoritarian dictatorship,…just as long as, “Your worth” (in your own eyes) was more fully recognised and rewarded.
        A Pretty scungy position to take.

        Meanwhile, inspite of DEMOCRACY,….life’s never been better for TRUE Plutocrats.

      • Yeah I am saying “should”. Just as the main beneficiaries of the current fascist like system are saying the same thing to themselves.

        In my world property in Sydney would be 70% cheaper so there’d be plenty of opportunity for basically anyone to be middle class.

        Damned straight I am saying fuck them and fuck you too.

        Sounds like maybe you thought you were pretty fuckin good too, but then you thought hang on the same thing isn’t going to be there for my kids when they get older. So here you are trying to change Labor policy from the bottom.

        Lots of countries and cities has it’s winners and losers based on what industry they are in, and other factors like how good looking they are or when they bought a house.

        Given what I said is basically a reality. That if there is a crash, the new upper class will be what I said, maybe you should give up? Quite frankly you’ve got Buckley’s anyway of making Labor Australian again.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Are you Indian Owen?

        You seem to be very Class conscious and seem to deeply resent any kind of success (by your own measure) enjoyed by people you clearly seem to deem of a “Lower Caste” than you.

        I have many “Brahmin” Indian customers and most of them I can clearly see don’t like their Plumber talking to them like an Equal,…They very much would prefer their Plumber be more deferential towards them, as lower Caste Plumbers are in India,…It always amuses me and I very much enjoy, to their chagrin, explaining to them that the reason Australia is such a great place to immigrate to, is because of our hard fought Egalitarian ethos and culture with a traditional contempt for the concept of an Upper Class.

        But I have posted to say,…I agree that house prices should 70% cheaper and not just for my kids,…but because I believe affordable Housing and a resultant high home ownership rate is a backbone for our having a fairer and more equitable society that I thing is worth living in.

        So Im on your side pal,…I just don’t like the way you seem to be saying your more deserving than everybody/Anybody else!

        Tell me this “Owen” when/if you do end up owning your own home and say prices Triple after you purchase,…will you stick to your Narrative and callout yourself for being full of, “smugness, spiteful apathy and condescending attitudes” or “Justify your “success”, with a new Narrative that suits your Ego.

        As for your quip about the racial composition of the Upper class,…my contempt for them won’t change up or down one iota, regardless of their ethnicity.
        What was the point of even throwing that one in?

      • No I just get sick of the whole we’re the salt of the earth thing whilst overcharging and having 5 ips. The northern beaches is full of them. Its also one of the reasons why I find it retarded that people from the western suburbs and other traditionally less well off places assume we all have jobs wanting our dicks behind a desk and making everyone’s life a misery.

        Yes I believe in at least something of a class system. It’s an important part of civilisation. I wouldn’t go and tell a doctor what you’ve just said to me.

        That’s one of the reasons we’re in this situation. People feeling entitled to huge amounts of money without giving one single fuvk about their own skill set or contribution to society. Obviously both sides of politics are guilty of this.

        If I do ever buy cheap and it triples no I won’t do a damned thing. I won’t feel guilty either, nor will I be smug. One thing I’ve learned is that it’s absolutely hopeless trying to talk to people about politics.

    • DarkMatterMEMBER

      Many of the new arrivals will not notice, as Melbourne is probably still a step up. As noted by that Population Booster from Canberra, it is our duty to improve the lives of people from other countries whatever the cost.

      • kiwikarynMEMBER

        Heck, they’re sleeping 6 to a room, what’s a 30 minute train ride between friends?

  12. People in Australia mock the Media in North Korea, whilst being brain washed by the propaganda peddled by our Media.
    Most people on the street can see what is happening around them, they see their cities changes, for the worse, but what can they do, what can they say?
    Go to some suburbs in Sydney or Melbourne and you will feel like you are in a third world country.
    Why cant we have a plebiscite on Immigration levels instead of focusing on distractions such Gay Marriage or celebrity scandals.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      We just need more high-rises, take a cue from Singapore – there’s an amazing infinity pool there you know?