Today, a train at Southern Cross Station caught itself on some kind of cable, causing some kind of power outage.
Trains between Flinders Street and Southern Cross were stopped. As were many other lines.
Train network crippled, commuters in panic, traffic on roads at standstill.
I was late for uni.
The problem was fixed in about an hour, but it was too late of course, the damage was done. Many trains were cancelled, services up to an hour late and people even more so. And all because of one station.
This easily takes me back to what was said in yesterdays lecture, about the Allies efforts to stop the German war machine. The allies would target the ball bearing plants to try and stop the Germans. Target one thing, and the entire network falls apart.
That happened today.
Of course, I now know that networks doesn’t refer only to the web and internet, but to society, strategy and warfare networks and transport networks. There are also different ways of looking at networks. They can be centralised, de-centralised, or distributed. Now, Southern Cross wasn’t distributed, because otherwise nothing else would be affected. It wasn’t centralised because, take out the centre (Southern Cross) and everything works. The closest must be de-centralised, because while alot of services were affected, some still ran (unfortunately, mine wasn’t one of them). So from this, we see an epic example of how a network can fail, or, more aptly, an example of a type of networks vulnerabilities. It’s also slightly worrying, to see how badly a break in the network can affect people. There was utter confusion. Not just the trains were affected but also the roads. They were completely congested with traffic. So one network affects another. The train network stuffs up the network of roads.
Let us hope this doesn’t happen again any time soon.