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Out goes Connex and in comes MTM

The Victorian Premier John Brumby yesterday announced that the Connex contract to run the Melbourne rail network will not be renewed but the contract has instead been given to the Hong Kong company Metro Trains Melbourne(MTM).

Its hardly surprising to see Connex lose the contract to operate the Melbourne rail network but its going to be a tall order for MTM to really do a good job of it.

This is because they will still get the same trains that Connex has been running and with the same inherent infrastructure problems that the network has.

Unless they go out and buy new and more reliable trains I actually don't see much happening and it could be a question of different names on the trains.

I think what the Melbourne rail network needs is further investment in terms of getting newer and more reliable trains and expanding the network somehow so that trains do not waste time waiting for other trains to pass as happens a lot of times at Clifton Hill.

For the trains that I use I can say that I have seen some improvements over the last few months and there has been less cancellations but these seem to have been replaced by more delays.

Its not surprising to hear that a train has been delayed by ten minutes and by the time the train gets to Flinders Street station the delay could have increased to fifteen minutes or so.

On the other hand I hope MTM will be able to do better in terms of making sure that at least the trains are clean and presentable most of the time and that the inside is designed so that its easier for standing passengers.

The new contracts starts in December and so I hope that MTM will now begin to do their homework to get rail network to world class standards.

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