Does anyone know what the new timetables on the Mernda and Hurstbridge lines will look like? I wonder if Mernda will get a couple expresses... I know the Hurstbridge line is meant to be getting a couple extra services too; I'd imagine they'd only be starting from Greensborough or maybe Eltham, though. I suppose there isn't a huge pressing need beyond Eltham, although Diamond Creek could probably do with an extra service or two.
How feasible would it be to run Perth-style alternating services along this line? It's an ideal candidate given the lack of complex pathing interactions and double track throughout.
It won't happen, of course, but it would improve running times on a very long line.
Something similar to the Fremantle line in peak you mean? ie. train patterns like this:
A - - - - F G H I J K
A B C D E F - - - - K
There's been many letters sent and many opinions raised about getting express services to Mernda but the general answer from PTV has been "express services reduce available train paths" (thinking Jolimont to Clifton Hill) and so are unlikely.
However, at a maximum peak frequency of 8 minutes out of Mernda in the morning, I imagine there will be trains that are full well before Clifton Hill (they nearly are at the moment some days from South Morang and I think the uptake on the new line will be bigger than estimated). Having some run express from Reservoir -> Preston -> Clifton Hill may not only be sensible but necessary anyway, to avoid full trains stopping at stations where nobody can get on. Unlikely though from PTV.
What would be extremely frustrating however is if they persist with Clifton Hill -> Jolimont express trains in morning peak from places like Greensborough and Macleod (!) at the expense of Mernda.
For example, the 7:55 from Macleod makes 9 stops then arrives at Clifton Hill at 8:15 and runs express to Jolimont.
Meanwhile, the -full- 7:42 from South Morang making 14 stops (soon to be 17 with Mernda), arrives at Rushall at 8:11 and WAITS 6 minutes for the Macleod train to pass ahead, then stops every station into Flinders St.
Why not swap them around? There'd be no impact on the timetable and you'd have the benefit of the train with more spare capacity servicing the stations between Clifton Hill and the city, instead of a completely full one. I think there must be somebody at the timetabling department who lives on the Hurstbridge line