Melbourne commute: Passengers affected by Metro trains shutdown to get refunds

  • Melbourne commute: Passengers affected by Metro trains shutdown to get refunds

Melbourne commute: Passengers affected by Metro trains shutdown to get refunds

Yesterday afternoon, at around 4pm, Melbourne's entire train network ground to a complete halt.

The city's train lines plunged into chaos at the start of peak hour on Thursday, leaving thousands stuck on platforms or on packed carriages between stations. Some passengers were trapped between stations.

At 5.10pm, Metro Trains announced some services were now resuming but said there would still be major delays across the network and it would be some time before full services were restored.

Pressure is now mounting on Metro and the state government to move the metropolitan rail system's control centre to a secure location in order to prevent similar network shutdowns brought on by minor faults.

Uber surge pricing saw a five-minute trip - which could usually cost about $8 to $10 - shoot up to about $43.

Not surprisingly, Melburnians are furious, with many questioning how this could occur without a backup system in place.

The peak hour debacle also affected Melbourne's tram networks, with Yarra Trams also saying "high demand" was contributing to major delays. Public Transport minister Jacinta Allen told ABC Radio she considered the meltdown to be "completely unacceptable".

"We sincerely apologise to our passengers for today's service disruption and for the frustration passengers have experienced this evening", Metro Trains said via Twitter.

Turning to compensation, Allan sought assurances from Metro that "anyone who touched on during that time should receive a refund".

Metro Trains chief executive Mike Haughton explained the train control system failure meant they could no longer "see" the trains so for safety reasons. "We assess all requests on a case-by-case basis", he says.