The Age has revealed in a news article today the following changes in Metro's new train timetable to be launched in May:
- During off-peak and some peak hours, trains will run from Frankston on the south-eastern end of Melburne to Werribee/Williamstown on the western end and vice-versa, via Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations, bypassing the City Loop.
- Train frequency through Altona and to Williamstown will be reduced to one train every 22 minutes.
- During off-peak, Altona passengers will have to change trains at Newport while Williamstown passengers will no longer need to change trains at Newport.
- Off-peak services on the Werribee line will be halved and no longer run through the City Loop. They will terminate in Frankston.
- Sandringham line trains will run more frequently at peak hours to every 8 minutes.
- Glen Waverley line services will run direct to Flinders Street Station until noon, instead of through the City Loop, but with increased frequency.
- Altona passengers may miss the connecting trains at Newport or Laverton.
- The only 1 or 2 trains that are servicing the Altona Loop stations may be redeployed to other parts of the train network if train breakdowns occur since these trains service only a few stations.
- By the time Altona passengers get to Newport Station, they will have to compete with the Newport passengers for seats.
- Altona passengers heading to or returning from a City Loop Station will have to change for connecting trains twice, at Newport Station and at either North Melbourne or Southern Cross Station during off-peak hours.
- If there is a delay or breakdown in train services on the Frankston line or the lines that share the same tracks (Pakenham/Cranbourne/Sandringham), the delay/cancellation will flow on to the western lines as trains running towards Werribee/Williamstown come from Frankston.
For the above reasons, I will prefer the status quo and I am hoping that the proposed changes which adversely affect Altona residents will not go ahead.