All aboard the 5.27pm Craigieburn *trains*

Head down to Flinders Street Station of an evening, and there is something odd on the screens – two 5.27pm trains to Craigieburn.

Two 5.27pm trains from Flinders Street Station to Craigieburn!?

The first one leaves platform 5 and is the 5.27pm train from Flinders Street platform 5 to Craigieburn via the City Loop.

5.27pm train from Flinders Street platform 5 to Craigieburn via the City Loop

The second is the 5.27pm train from Flinders Street platform 9 to Craigieburn via Southern Cross, departing platform 9.

5.27pm train from Flinders Street platform 9 to Craigieburn via Southern Cross

At North Melbourne the train from the City Loop stops at platform 2.

Life extension EDI Comeng 454M arrives into North Melbourne on a down Craigieburn service

Then takes the ground level tracks toward Kensington.

Comeng passes the mill sidings at Kensington on an up Craigieburn service

While the train from Southern Cross passes through North Melbourne platform 6.

Comeng train arrives into North Melbourne platform 6 on a down Craigieburn service

Then takes the high level tracks over Moonee Ponds Creek.

EDI Comeng 410M and 302M on an up Craigieburn service cross Moonee Ponds Creek

The two routes merging at the city end of Kensington station.

EDI Comeng approaches Kensington via the Essendon flyover with a down empty cars move

In theory the train running via Southern Cross will get to North Melbourne first, and get you home quicker – but if one is running late, all bets are off.

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6 Responses to “All aboard the 5.27pm Craigieburn *trains*”

  1. Daniel says:

    You have to wonder how many people at Flinders St and SoCross notice the “extra” Direct train departing from an unusual platform, and actually catch it – relieving the load for the Loop train.

    The new timetable still has one like this, at 4:51pm, between the 4:44 and the 4:53. At least with the different times, people might be more likely to notice it.

  2. Rob says:

    I’ve gone out of my way to get the 5:27 direct. It’s been a handy train to get me to Broady and then the bus to the airport when I’ve had an evening flight after work. It only works if you have oodles of time up your sleeve, otherwise I’d lash out on the Skybus if I was in a rush.

    But yes, it’s certainly a little…odd.

  3. Tramologist says:

    From others’ experience the direct one is often cancelled.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      I believe there are certain trains on the timetable that are first to be cancelled if there is a driver or train shortage, because they are lightly loaded or have lots of other services running to the same place around the same time. That frees up resources to be used to keep other services running.

  4. […] I did take a quick look at the Craigieburn line – which had the highest number of crowded trains according to the last load survey in 2019. The SD has barely changed – from 2.04 to 1.98 – with gaps between 5pm and 6pm varying from 4 to 9 minutes. And there are also inconsistent patterns, with the odd train scheduled to bypass the Loop. […]

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