Wild footage has captured the moment dozens of footy fans jumped off a stranded train and slid down a hill, after a police incident in Melbourne caused commuter chaos.
Trains bound for the city ground to a halt from 5.30pm on Friday night, after a trespasser made their way onto the tracks causing major disruptions across the network.
The City Loop, which includes five stations at key parts of Melbourne’s CBD, was closed for almost an hour, with passengers heading to Flagstaff, Melbourne Central or Parliament stations urged to seek alternate travel.
While trains continued to run direct to and from Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations, the hour-long City Loop shutdown had a ripple effect on the rest of the network causing lengthy delays.
Once trains resumed just before 7pm, the Victorian Department of Transport and Planning announced there’d still be some services between 45 and 60 minutes behind schedule.
However, a train travelling between Victoria Park and Clifton Hill stations became stranded when another trespasser caused the Mernda line to grind to a halt.
Most of those on board were understood to be AFL supporters heading to the MCG for the clash between Collingwood and Carlton.
According to some commuters on-board, the train – which looked as if it was about to go over a bridge at the time it was forced to stop – hadn’t moved for over an hour.
Fed up by the ordeal, it’s understood frustrated passengers took matters into their own hands by forcing their way out of the train, before going down a hill to seek alternate transport.
The incident, which was captured on camera, shows commuters who managed to get out of the train, help other commuters down what looks to be about a one metre drop from the edge of the carriage to the ground.
Passengers are then observed standing along the side of the train before walking – or in some cases “sliding” – down a steep hill to get to a road.
At the same time, some footy supporters are heard chanting “Collingwood” while there are screams from other commuters in the background.
“This is like a slide”, the woman filming the video is heard saying as she guides her family down the hill.
The situation caused further disruptions to the network as other trains had to wait for passengers to clear the tracks.
Police and Authorised Officers were called to assist passengers and to ensure the area was safe before services could resume.
It’s understood the driver regularly communicated with passenger’s throughout the disruption and with board announcements from the Network Control Centre advising of the delay and asking passengers not to force open the doors.
“People who access our network illegally affect thousands of passengers as we simply can’t run the train service they deserve,” Rob Hill, Metro Trains General Manager Operations said.
“We share our passenger’s frustration at the impact trespassers have on the network, but forcing doors open is incredibly dangerous behaviour.”
Meanwhile, footage captured at Southern Cross station filmed hundreds of commuters gathering around platforms and stairways as they waited for their train.
Some footy fans still eager to get to the MCG following the ordeal were forced to take alternate routes of travel, with some coughing up almost one hundred dollars to get an Uber to the ground.
Jayden, who didn’t wish to reveal his last name, caught the train in from Melbourne’s west just after 6pm, and only made it to Footscray station where the train they were on stopped running due to the delays.
The Collingwood fan and his sister decided to catch an Uber, setting them back $90 for a 25 minute drive, with several other footy-goers reporting similar pricing for their commutes with the service.
“We left our house at 5.30pm to get some dinner before jumping on the train, but what’s usually a 40 minute commute into the city took two hours,” Jayden told news.com.au.
“I felt like there was little guidance on what to do when we were stranded at Footscray aside from wait, and it was very frustrating.”
“While I understand these things happen, there should be a backup plan to get people into the city especially during busy periods.”
Other commuters took to Twitter to share their disappointment, with some coining the experience a “shambles”.
“How is it that Melbourne, proclaimed one of the best cities to live in, has the entire train system collapse due to one incident with no backup plans,” one person asked.
“The delays towards the city tonight shows the true ineffectiveness of the Melbourne train network,” another person said.
“Tell me why it has taken from 6pm to 8pm to travel from Blackburn to Flinders St with no communication for passengers.”
Another passenger, who was also travelling from Blackburn to Flinders Street said: “I fully understand that incidents happen and trains are held up. However what was inexcusable were the crackly and difficult to understand announcements on the train’s public address system.”
“No one in the carriage knew what was going on.”
The Department of Transport and Planning thanked commuters for their patience as “emergency services conducted investigations and worked to restore services as quickly as possible”.
The network has since resumed to its normal operation aside from planned works on the Frankston, Hurstbridge, Mernda, Stony Point, Werribee and Williamstown Lines.