Maryborough numbers

 
  Simbera Train Controller

The Horsham scenario is an interesting one as you don't want to say "let's re-instate the passenger service" without understanding what's driving it. i.e. Is it to allow people from Melbourne to do a day return to Horsham? (One of the negatives about the current Maryborough timetable). Or is it to allow Horsham residents to commute to Ararat (or even Ballarat) for the day?
Ballast_Plough

I would say your primary market would be Stawell-Ararat, Stawell-Ballarat and Stawell-Horsham.  You'll also get a fair bit of Ararat-Horsham and a little of Ballarat-Horsham (plus a lot of say Friday night footy trips all the way to Melbourne) but IMO it's the smaller legs that will get the most patronage - there is HEAPS of cross-pollenation between Ararat and Stawell and a fast train service would capture a lot of this travel and induce even more. Right now there just flat out are not enough houses in Ararat to house the people needed to work there (which also means housing is ridiculously expensive for such a small town) and commuting from Stawell is an option many would consider.

I do want to say that I agree with woodford etc who say it's not viable because of the break-of-gauge.  If it were a simple extension it would be justified, but it isn't, and the cost of gauge-converting VLos for such a leg would be hard to justify. It's not unheard of for such hard-to-justify extensions to go ahead, a la Maryborough, but it takes a level of pork-barreling that will never happen in such safe seats.

If, however, Victoria wants to eventually move to SG for most of its country lines (which I think IS a good idea, long-term) I think Ballarat-Ararat would be a good choice to do early in the piece, partially because of the potential for then extending the service to Horsham. But unless and until you do that, it's probably not viable.  It's certainly not viable to run it via Geelong.

As to the pathing issues - I don't really know, but to be honest adding a few more passing loops (if they would even be needed with only a few services per day) is low on the list of obstacles.

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  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Break of gauge is probably not a huge issue - there isn't much difference between jumping off a train at Ararat and onto a bus as opposed to jumping from one train to another. The only way to avoid that is travelling all the way via Cressy but we know that adds time for passengers between Melbourne - Horsham (not an issue for short legs that you described).

Reality is that probably nothing much may change until (if) the Mildura line goes SG via Nth Geelong. At that point you could also convert Ballarat - Ararat which not only gives a continuous gauge service west from Ballarat, it also allows westbound freights to travel via Cressy and eastbound via Beaufort to ease capacity / pathing issues in those sections.
  Simbera Train Controller

Break of gauge is probably not a huge issue - there isn't much difference between jumping off a train at Ararat and onto a bus as opposed to jumping from one train to another. The only way to avoid that is travelling all the way via Cressy but we know that adds time for passengers between Melbourne - Horsham (not an issue for short legs that you described).
Ballast_Plough

To clarify I'm not worried about passengers having to change trains, that's a minor inconvenience as you say - no different to changing to a bus. In fact with the BG on Platform 2 and the SG on Platform 1 it would be even easier.

My concern is entirely financial - having to effectively purchase new VLos (you could gauge-convert existing ones but then you'd need to replace them, given current shortages, so it's much of a muchness really) solely for this project would just make it too expensive.

That said, I'm guessing that's pretty much all you'd need as far as upfront capital costs go, right? Stawell and Horsham stations are already up to scratch because of the Overland, and I'd imagine the track is maintained to a fairly high standard given its importance - maybe just some signalling upgrades? I suppose it depends what speed you'd want to run at?
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
If people want to try something really radical, why not run Ballarat  Maryborough shuttles that connect with train services to/from Melbourne at Ballarat?

That could easily be done with a 2 x V/locity carriage set, and if timetabled correctly (say 2 return shuttle trips AM, and 2-3 return PM trips), it could enable people to get to/from  Ballarat and Melbourne for short trips, and allow Melbournians to have a day trip to Maryborough..and hopefully improve on the 40 or so paying passengers that V/line currently gets per service.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Mr. Bear - there's a few threads now rehashing the concept of pass services between Geelong - Maryborough. On one of them I even drafted a timetable for a Sprinter x 2 which pretty much connected with Warrnambool / Melb trains at Geelong and Ararat / Melbourne trains at Ballarat.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Mr. Bear - there's a few threads now rehashing the concept of pass services between Geelong - Maryborough. On one of them I even drafted a timetable for a Sprinter x 2 which pretty much connected with Warrnambool / Melb trains at Geelong and Ararat / Melbourne trains at Ballarat.
Ballast_Plough
Sounds wonderful.  Don't forget the Maryborough to Ararat bit, via Avoca.  May have to pull a few weeds out first, but that's a minor detail.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

It sometime appears that some people are smokin the weed on this forum..........
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
Sounds wonderful.  Don't forget the Maryborough to Ararat bit, via Avoca.  May have to pull a few weeds out first, but that's a minor detail.
Lad_Porter

Not to mention variable gauge bogies.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It sometime appears that some people are smokin the weed on this forum..........
trainbrain
"Imaginative" is another way to describe it.

I realise there's dozens of armchair planners with squillion-dollar budgets on Railpage but Ballarat-Maryborough-Ararat-Ballarat is one of the strangest ideas I've heard in a long time.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

"Imaginative" is another way to describe it.

I realise there's dozens of armchair planners with squillion-dollar budgets on Railpage but Ballarat-Maryborough-Ararat-Ballarat is one of the strangest ideas I've heard in a long time.
don_dunstan
They could call that service "The Golden Triangle".  The transport of choice for local stoners....

And while they are at it, why not run a shuttle between Maryborough and Inglewood each day.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
They could call that service "The Golden Triangle".  The transport of choice for local stoners....

And while they are at it, why not run a shuttle between Maryborough and Inglewood each day.
Carnot

Let us no stop there, here is one idea for the foamers: why not Geelong - Ballarat - Maryborough - Castlemaine (with shuttles to Maldon / Bendigo)? Shocked
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Maryyborough numbers 2/5/13

0731 up Arriving Ballarat 37
1600 down leaving Ballarat 59

I find the afternoon down is better patonised than the morning up for some reason
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Maryyborough numbers 2/5/13

0731 up Arriving Ballarat 37
1600 down leaving Ballarat 59

I find the afternoon down is better patonised than the morning up for some reason
Blinkey

Davis's has eleven return buses a day from Ballarat to Creswick; that might explain the variation.  The buses might be a better morning option for many who commute.

Sounds like you are a frequent user of the train, Blinkey?
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Davis's has eleven return buses a day from Ballarat to Creswick; that might explain the variation.  The buses might be a better morning option for many who commute.

Sounds like you are a frequent user of the train, Blinkey?
don_dunstan
My use varies a bit but usually once per week but quite often of a weekend as well.
That regular makes it very hard for me to understand the average of 11 passengers. Not once has there been  such small patronage. One mid winters Sunday morning last year, there were about 20.
I do appreciate its only anecdotal observation but if i had to guesstimate the numbers i would have to say an average of about 35 to 45 on the up arriving in Ballarat  and probably 45 to 55 on the down leaving Ballarat  ....
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

My use varies a bit but usually once per week but quite often of a weekend as well.
That regular makes it very hard for me to understand the average of 11 passengers. Not once has there been  such small patronage. One mid winters Sunday morning last year, there were about 20.
I do appreciate its only anecdotal observation but if i had to guesstimate the numbers i would have to say an average of about 35 to 45 on the up arriving in Ballarat  and probably 45 to 55 on the down leaving Ballarat  ....
Blinkey
Maryborough numbers Wed 8/5/2013

1031 up... passengers arriving Ballarat   43
1600 down ...passengers leaving Ballarat  44

I noticed that they have gone a long way in dismantling the Talbot sidings wihth a truck and excavator working pulling up rails and sleepers and loading them onto a truck

In the Budget, the money that was promised in last years budget for the talbot station was reaffirmed for the contruction of a new station... presumeably opposite the surrent privately leased station
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Maryborough numbers Wed 8/5/2013

1031 up... passengers arriving Ballarat   43
1600 down ...passengers leaving Ballarat  44

I noticed that they have gone a long way in dismantling the Talbot sidings wihth a truck and excavator working pulling up rails and sleepers and loading them onto a truck

In the Budget, the money that was promised in last years budget for the talbot station was reaffirmed for the contruction of a new station... presumeably opposite the surrent privately leased station
Blinkey
Sory for the typo.. 1031 should read 0731 up (my mistake)
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Sory for the typo.. 1031 should read 0731 up (my mistake)
Blinkey

Blinkey, I'm not sure if you know, but you can edit (and even delete) your own posts once you have posted a post....just look for edit under your own posts Smile
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Blinkey, I'm not sure if you know, but you can edit (and even delete) your own posts once you have posted a post....just look for edit under your own posts Thanks Bear
xxxxlbear
Thanks bear
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Maryborough numbers for Thursday 30th May

Up arriving in Ballarat - 41
Down leaving Ballarat - 46
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Passenger numbers Monday 3 June

0731 up 52 passengers arriving in Ballarat

Did not catch the Ballarat  to Maryborough down this evening so i don't know the numbers
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Passenger numbers Monday 3 June

0731 up 52 passengers arriving in Ballarat

Did not catch the Ballarat  to Maryborough down this evening so i don't know the numbers
Blinkey
You're doing a good job Blinkey...clearly sufficient numbers to justify the service.

Mike.
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

You're doing a good job Blinkey...clearly sufficient numbers to justify the service.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Thanks Mike but I really would like to try and  get a real handle on the actual numbers on the service. I suppose if people were not using it, then its future would be questionable. There were earlier posts suggesting that that the average patronage  was 13 passengers per trip.

Now that could have been the average when taken over the whole service for the year  but statistically, the number of times I post with REAL numbers for the trip, it becomes increasing  unlikely that this average is correct.

There are 365 X 2 trips per annum. If I could even post the numbers on 10% of these, this is a statically significant figure and some real  numbers developmed on the yearly patronage.

As I have said in the past, I have NOT ONCE seen  as few a people people travelling as the average that was suggested.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It would also be good to get some trend analysis.  Mike, are you keeping a book on these number?

Regards
Brian
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It would also be good to get some trend analysis.  Mike, are you keeping a book on these number?

Regards
Brian
bevans
I'm not the daily traveller....Blinkey is.

Nevertheless, the clearly increasing patronage on the service, long after the novelty value of the trains re-instatement has evaporated stands the train in good stead, and IMO the only reason at this time the train frequency hasn't increased is due to the dire shortage of VLocity cars at present.

It would be a very courageous government indeed that would contemplate cancelling this train when patronage is increasing, we are less than 18 months from the next state election and a Labor seat is involved.

Mike.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
It would also be good to get some trend analysis.  Mike, are you keeping a book on these number?

Regards
Brian
bevans

Well I don't know about Mike - but here's my compilation of observations reported in this thread
All observations at Ballarat

Down  30,52,51,63,59,44,46  Mean (50th percentile)  49  Stdev 10.8  95th percentile 71  5th percentile 28
Up  47,37,43,41,52  Mean (50th percentile)  44  Stdev 5.7  95th percentile  55  5th percentile 33

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