Trains, Trams, Ferries and a ship!
Today is the day we boarded our cruise for New Zealand. As always, I use morning time before we had to leave to get some last rail-fanning in. It started with me getting breakfast for the last time from the coffee shop downstairs and bringing it to Cyn. Then I was off…
I started by taking the T1 Line north. I made a stop at Chatwood to see if I could make out the future metro line that will run through. The metro here is taking over the former T1 branch towards Epping. Construction walls were up, but I could see the platform doors for the metro tracks in the center to allow for future cross-platform interchange with the T1. I then continued north to Hornsby. A lot of school children were boarding the train as it went.
At Hornsby, I boarded a southbound train along the T1 via Epping/Strathfield running as a limited express. I got off at Epping to again see any indications of the metro, but only blocked off stairs for a future interchange. Now, this is when my plan started to fall apart for the morning. The next train south appeared to be late and was crowded when it arrived. The train was a limited express but seemed to not go very fast. Then it just stopped about a mile before Strathfield station (a major interchange station). After a while, the guard announced there was train traffic and we would be moving shortly. About 10 minutes later we started creeping along, then seemed to make a sudden emergency stop. We then continued to crawl into Strathfield with only the first 2 cars at the platform. People were getting angry. The guard announced that there was a broken train just ahead of us and that our train was now out of service and we would be disembarking this loaded 8 car train thru the first 2 cars only. I was in car 2. One passenger started losing it as the doors were still not being opened. The crazy person saw people getting out of the first carriage and then she started pounding on the doors. People tried to quiet her down. Soon we all started moving to car one. The train operator has opened up his cab door to the carriage and his side door so we were all exiting single file thru the operator’s cab to the platform (please keep in mind these are double-deck trains). I feel sorry for those in car 8. My guess the guard needed to come forward to manually open the main doors in car 1/2, but the guard position is either in car 5 or car 8, so he was probably having a hard time to get there. And yes, about 20 feet in front of our train was another train at the platform that was emptied and out-of-service. There were many announcements about severe delays on the T1 line. This all cost me about 45 mins. My plan to complete the Light Rail system was dashed. So plans changed.
I transferred to a T2 local train to go a few stops to the interchange station with the light rail at Lewisham. It is a 10-minute walk from Lewisham station to the West Lewisham halt on the light rail. But managed to get a geocache along the way. I then boarded the Light Rail to head south to Dulwich Hill. This leaves a gap for riding the light rail between West Lewisham to Jubilee Park that I will need to get some other day. At Dulwich Hill I transferred to the T3 to get back to Central, then the T1 to Milson’s Point.
I did the last bit of packing in the room, then we stopped at the coffee shop for one last drink (We had filled up the punch card for a free coffee). I turned in the room key at a lock-box and we were off. We rolled our luggage down the hill to catch the ferry. The ferry would take us around our cruise ship to Circular Quay. (The planes mentioned in the title were flying overhead).
We then rolled our luggage over to the Cruise Ship terminal, dropped them off and proceeded to board the ship. Our Ferry had left Milson’s Point at about 11:40 am. We were checked in and on-board, and eating lunch by 12:20 pm, it went pretty fast. We were allowed in our room at 1 pm. The ship left Circular Quay at about 6:30 pm. Dinner was at 7 pm at Chops Steak House (We had a 5-night specialty restaurant package to use). After dinner we did a little exploring, then just crashed.
More details about our room and the ship will be in the next post about our first 2 sea days.