Victorians travelling home from work have been plunged into chaos after the state was lashed by huge storms in the afternoon.
Commuters have fumed after being hit with lengthy delays on Tuesday, with some having to wait up to an hour to catch a replacement bus instead of the train.
As of about 6pm, five lines across the state’s metro services– Belgrave, Cranbourne, Glen Waverley, Pakenham and Stony Point – were suspended.
The Alamein, Craigieburn, Frankston, Hurstbridge, Lilydale, Mernda, Sandringham, Sunbury, Upfield, Werribee and Williamstown lines were all suffering major delays.
On Victoria’s V/Line services, the Gippsland line was hit with major delays while coaches replaced trains on the Seymour line after it was affected by the weather.
Metro Trains attempted to keep its customers updated on social media, frequently sharing the latest news on each affected line.
Buses replaced trains between Camberwell and Alamein due to storm damage on the Alamein line with 30-to-40-minute wait times expected.
Buses were ordered on the Glen Waverley (replacing trains between Darling and Glen Waverley), Lilydale (replacing trains between Ringwood and Mooroolbark) and Sunbury (replacing trains between Footscray and Watergardens) lines.
Those travelling on the Sunbury line appeared to have been hit the hardest with an ETA of 60 minutes for a bus.
Commuters were advised to consider alternate transport as a result of the lengthy delays.
Customers began to grow more irate on social media as delays dragged on, with some claiming Metro Trains weren’t transparent enough with information.
“How about some announcements please in the train stuck between nth melb and Footscray and FFS turn up the speakers at southern cross on platform 14 so people can hear announcements there. Communication is key,” one disgruntled traveller said.
“We’re at Richmond station but there is no information on when the next Glen Waverley line train is going to arrive or what platform? We tried to find customer service staff but no (one) is around… any information would be appreciated,” another commented.
“You actually need to make a decision asap… a lot of people just want to get home. A storm should (not) affect the lines this badly,” a third said.
Wild images were also shared in response to the Metro Trains’ X page, showing massive crowds stuck at stations and on trains.
The public transport fiasco came amid a disastrous afternoon for the state, with at least 500,000 Victorians left without power following a major outage at the Loy Yang A Power Station in Traralgon where all four units went offline.
According to Victorian minister for energy and resources, Lily D’Ambrosio, the outage was caused by the fall of transmission towers which left the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) scrambling for a solution.
The system temporarily underwent load shedding to reduce the impact of the outage before one unit was brought back online.
Spot power prices subsequently soared to their ceiling level of $16,600 per MW-hour in Victoria and Tasmania, a stark comparison to other states which were recording negative prices.
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