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Paul Comfort brings three key lessons back with him following his visit with seven transit CEOs in Australia.
AT A BUSY intersection on Melbourne's Nepean Highway, looking out over eight lanes of traffic, stands the imposing bronze figure of Sir Thomas Bent.
Amid the noise of cars and trucks, few pedestrians stop to read the text on his plinth, which gives the outline of a long political career - as speaker of the Legislative Assembly 1892-94, premier of Victoria 1904-09, parliamentary representative for Brighton for thirty-two years, and a councillor of Brighton and Moorabbin for forty-five years.
But it is Tommy Bent's surname that gives the best clue to his character, if not his impact on the city. In the early 1880s, his public and private roles - as commissioner for railways and as a property speculator - neatly overlapped. He not only promised to build railways to MPs' electorates in exchange for political support, he also pushed through suburban lines that directly boosted the value of his own subdivisions.
Posted in Victorian Rail News on 2010-08-29 08:59:46
The Age's (Melbourne) Magazine prefaces an article ONE TRACK MIND - How bad are our trains? Ian Rose finds out the hard way. With the federal election over save the vote counting and Victorian voters anticipating the state election in November, the author uses stories from the Herald Sun as an impetus for a mission to travel throughout Melbourne's suburban network, from first train out of Belgrave to last train back there.
It can only take seconds for disasters to strike, but their effect on railway infrastructure and operations can often linger for weeks, months or even years.