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A train fault at Flinders St station and further cancellations are the latest blows in a day of woe for Melbourne commuters, with a gas leak in Mentone, tram strike and ongoing Metro driver dispute bringing the city’s transport grinding to a halt.
Trains have been brought to a grinding halt once again today, with majority of Melbourne train lines struck by major delays during the afternoon peak hour.
Sweaty travellers have been left stranded right as today’s scorcher hit its peak, after a train fault at Flinders St station around 5.30pm brought the Alamein, Belgrave, Glen Waverley, Hurstbridge, Lilydale and Mernda lines to a halt today.
Heavy delays are ongoing an hour later.
Further train cancellations have also halted trains on the Werribee and Williamstown lines.
Trains to Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Frankston and Pakenham have been hit by minor delays as well.
The temperature in Melbourne at 5.40pm was a scorching 38.8C.
It comes after a gas leak in Mentone halted trains and traffic this afternoon, amid fears the gas cloud could ignite.
Buses replaced trains between Moorabbin and Mordialloc for several hours before trains resumed around 3pm.
Hundreds of commuters have been stranded in the afternoon peak. Picture: Tim Michell
Public transport staff hold a stop-work meeting outside Flinders Street Station. Picture: Andrew HenshawMFB firefighters called to the scene about 12.45pm found gas leaking from a high pressure gas main.
The delay was yet another holdup in a day of woe for commuters across Melbourne, with trams grinding to a halt for the second time this week as the state’s Public Transport Union ramped up pressure over a new pay deal.
That came after a morning of major delays on several train lines after Metro drivers were sent home amid pay disputes.
And there will be further disruptions tomorrow with temperatures set to soar above 40C.
Yarra Trams will replace route 78 and 82 services with buses throughout the day, with Route 12 trams to divert down La Trobe Street. Route 30 trams will not run.
Public transport workers were supported by their families. Picture: Andrew HenshawMetro Trains will also closely monitor conditions throughout the day.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union held a rally outside Flinders Street Station as Yarra Trams drivers and other operational staff walked off the job.
Services resumed at 2pm but the timetable only fully recovered at 3.30pm.
In a letter to the public, Yarra Trams chief executive Julien Dehornoy apologised for the disruption.
“We want to reach an agreement with the union which allows for more part-time employees, but not at the expense of our people,” he said.
“No driver will lose their job because of a part-time hire.”
The union has opposed the company’s push for more part-time rostering in negotiations because it believes it would casualise the workforce.
Mr Dehornoy said the company had made guarantees about overtime preferences and job security.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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