The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

You’re building a railway … where?

Monday 1 September 2008 at 12:52 am

So the Premier used his official campaign launch the other day to promise more upgrades for Transperth, and thus I shall launch into a public transport rant!

The media release makes tantalising promises of 10 new trains, more late-night services, and improved bus frequencies (yay!). But there are bigger announcements: apparently he’ll spend $850m (ouch!) on a railway from Midland to Ellenbrook, something that’s been on the cards for years now. And even better, he intends to fix the biggest remaining hole in Perth’s rail system, due north of the city towards Ballajura.

Except instead of actually fixing it, he’s offering up a bus lane, albeit one using new “auto-tram” vehicles out of Germany (incidentally: not a proven technology, although they really are just modified buses).

No offence to Ellenbrook, but it’s got a mere ten thousand people. Compared to the sixty-plus thousand living along Alexander Drive, with thought to how much fun it is to drive that road at peak hour, and assuming the state can only afford one train line … surely the correct place for a railway (or subway or tramway or something) is not out in the sticks?

(That said, two railways is obviously better; they needn’t be that expensive!)


On the streets of Long Beach, California

Tuesday 10 June 2008 at 6:14 am

Metro Blue Line light rail at 1st Street, Long Beach, CA

Americans don’t use the word “tram”. I find this horribly disconcerting.


O city of churches

Thursday 22 December 2005 at 9:33 pm

So the first few days of my holiday in Adelaide have been fun, as was the train ride over.

The Indian-Pacific   Adelaide from Victoria Square

Somewhat annoyingly, one of the generators in the train died, taking the air conditioning with it, only a few kilometres out of the Nullarbor (so there were trees, but ’twas no less hot). Equally annoying, our first day in Adelaide was their first 38-degree day of summer.

Ancient tram at GlenelgBut I’ve seen plenty of cool things as well, such as the funky old tram we took to Glenelg (which is a mix of Subiaco’s Rokeby Road, Cottesloe’s beach, and Fremantle’s vibe).

Massive plastic Santa in Rundle MallThere was also a giant Santa in Rundle Mall!

I’m posting from our hotel Internet connection in Melbourne because the café I’d meant to go to in Adelaide was closed by the time I got there. (10pm, d’oh!) So there will soon be more posts and more photos. Well, maybe.

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