A few days ago I posted an animated gif showing purple spots in a circle.. James Kew has discovered the source of the image, along with some more detailed information about how it works.

Of course, if you're reading my comment feed you'll already know about this ;)

In other news, cityrail are crap. utter utter crap.

Saturday night I was going to a friends place at Artarmon.

First, I toddled to my local train station. This isn't some minor station, this is Redfern. As you can see on Cityrail's map, it's just south of the city. Every train line goes through Redfern. Virtually every train stops here - exceptions are intercity trains, and a very very few ultra-express services.

I arrived at the station around 6:40; considering I wanted to be at Artarmon around 7, this was, I thought, cutting it a little close, but it should be doable. (In fact, according to Cityrail's published timetable, I was wrong - I should have been at Redfern around 10 minutes earlier).

When I arrived, there was a train arriving in "9 minutes".

20 minutes later, at 7, this had dropped to 8 minutes.

5 minutes later, the train suddenly arrived. The indicator boards still showed that this train was going all the way to Hornsby.

Hurrah, I thought. On my way at last!

We managed to get as far as Central before the train stopped. For quite a while. About 5 minutes. Not sure why, no announcements were made, we just sat around for a while.

Eventually, we set off. Through Town Hall, Wynyard, over the bridge, through Milsons Point, into North Sydney...

Just as I though I wasn't going to be too badly late, we stopped. Permanently. "All passenger please note: this train is now terminating here. All passengers please change. Repeat, all out, all change".

Thanks cityrail, thanks.

Over to platform 1, wait for the *next* train (which took about 10 more minutes). This one did get me to Artarmon, and in only just under an hour since I arrived at Redfern.

Coming home was slightly smoother. Only had to wait at Chatswood station for about 20 minutes. During this time, 4 trains passed us in the wrong direction before a single train arrived heading to the city. Well, there was one train that arrived, slowed, and looked about to stop - but at the last minute, it sped up again and kept going, leaving all the hundreds of people (maybe not literally hundreds, probably no more than 150 or so) of people who'd stood up in readiness for boarding this train to go reclaim seats.

Well done, cityrail, well done.