Rail Revival Study: Geelong - Ballarat - Bendigo

 
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Thanks for that story, Dean, not entirely on topic but not far off it either - P/T in Ballarat isn't flash and my friends who live there tell me it's not really easy to use.  The removal of the tram was very regrettable, especially when you consider the original Mt Pleasant terminus was 50 metres from the main gate of Sovereign Hill.

Catherine King should keep trying to get the money, $90 million is a lot of money that's true but then look at the money wasted on the Federation Fund for things like the Portland Tram (VIC) and the Abt Railway (TAS), around $20+ million each.  The Abt Railway in particular was never going to be viable - $90 million on a tram for Ballarat dosen't seem like very much in the light of that sort of thing.

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  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
the original Mt Pleasant terminus was 50 metres from the main gate of Sovereign Hill.
don_dunstan

That's understating it somewhat.  It's about 800m along Bradshaw Street from half way along the Mount Pleasant line, and its up and over a mighty steep hill (probably THE Mount Pleasant).
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
That's understating it somewhat.  It's about 800m along Bradshaw Street from half way along the Mount Pleasant line, and its up and over a mighty steep hill (probably THE Mount Pleasant).
Calgully

I tried to locate the exact spot where the terminus was not long ago with a friend of mine (who is local) and we decided it was at the bottom of that hill on the Buninyong Road - so it was an educated guess.  A few hundred meters wouldn't have mattered if the tram was still there - hell, they could have taken it right to the gate.

Can't find any accurate old maps of the Ballarat system on the net but I did have one from a visit tram museum decades ago (since lost).  I'd be interested to see any maps if anyone has one scanned but I suppose we should start a new thread in the tram section in that case!
  feralmet Station Master

Location: Carisbrook 3464, Vic
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
Gandhi....

In the Maryborough Advertiser:

http://www.maryboroughadvertiser.com.au/wordpress/?p=7850

In the Bendigo Advertiser:

http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/1649976/bendigo-to-geelong-passenger-trains-cheaper-than-proposal-report-suggests/?cs=341

.... enjoy!
  damooops Junior Train Controller

Location: The Revenue Raising State
At $100 million they should just get it done! We should hire this bloke as a consultant for any future rail projects.
Cheers all.
  Simbera Train Controller

I tried to locate the exact spot where the terminus was not long ago with a friend of mine (who is local) and we decided it was at the bottom of that hill on the Buninyong Road - so it was an educated guess.  A few hundred meters wouldn't have mattered if the tram was still there - hell, they could have taken it right to the gate.

Can't find any accurate old maps of the Ballarat system on the net but I did have one from a visit tram museum decades ago (since lost).  I'd be interested to see any maps if anyone has one scanned but I suppose we should start a new thread in the tram section in that case!
don_dunstan

I took some photos of some of the maps in a book about the tramways of Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong if you'd like me to upload them. Might be worth splitting this off into a separate thread first though?

The return of trams to Ballarat is something I've researched a lot and would love to see happen, 90 million does seem very cheap but that makes me wonder what exactly that cost covers - how much of a network would we be getting? They mentioned that costings were done a few years ago, any ideas on who might have done them/where we might find a copy of the report?
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
I tried to locate the exact spot where the terminus was not long ago with a friend of mine (who is local) and we decided it was at the bottom of that hill on the Buninyong Road - so it was an educated guess.  A few hundred meters wouldn't have mattered if the tram was still there - hell, they could have taken it right to the gate.

Can't find any accurate old maps of the Ballarat system on the net but I did have one from a visit tram museum decades ago (since lost).  I'd be interested to see any maps if anyone has one scanned but I suppose we should start a new thread in the tram section in that case!
don_dunstan
Mount Pleasant terminus was at the top of the hill - at Cobden Street.

Here's Mount Pleasant terminus today http://goo.gl/maps/gl3qz

Compare it to photos from happier days
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/trams/ball/Ballarat14.jpg
http://tdu.to/a4741/36_MtPleasant_22Nov1969a.jpg

Interestingly, the newly installed corporate standard 'orange' bus stop signs at this location carry the name "Mount Pleasant Terminus".  That's kind of sticking the knife in and twisting it.
  Simbera Train Controller

Mount Pleasant terminus was at the top of the hill - at Cobden Street.

Here's Mount Pleasant terminus today http://goo.gl/maps/gl3qz

Compare it to photos from happier days
http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/trams/ball/Ballarat14.jpg
http://tdu.to/a4741/36_MtPleasant_22Nov1969a.jpg

Interestingly, the newly installed corporate standard 'orange' bus stop signs at this location carry the name "Mount Pleasant Terminus".  That's kind of sticking the knife in and twisting it.
Calgully
Thanks for the photos there, although the Angelfire one doesn't seem to be working.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
Thanks for the photos there, although the Angelfire one doesn't seem to be working.
Simbera

OK, here is another version of that one  http://www.myweb.net.au/mottram/trams/ball/Ballarat14.jpg
and some more at Mt Pleasant terminus

http://tdu.to/a36967/03231.jpg

https://0655cf80-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites.googlegroups.com/site/richardkfelstead2/Tramway_MtPleasantTerminus_1968.jpg?attachauth=ANoY7cr11A6BUhy-W8ncwISkgscOiQrfCUrMx8SGcA-q2Gzs5T_zQLDa1oTAb-fCjinhJMKeq_hKwofMgmuzMyFitpcPWbRpDUGEBZTSe-Pbcan79FwHPj2ftU_z-9_3m-Bo3_4zDb3ezpR1RdFR-C9ueF8EJDYzgglqSfkQr8I2JFfr43qNnmUPwPt6wOhyzjQoAbtw6NYr1OupKPUhKtQZGPp8c2omS3ndz2gDxJfoyMXGSDih7-NKHEO1eyvxQkoNnV5SpId-&attredirects=0

And to get back to where this thead banched from its original topic, here's a modern day view of the former tram stop (now a bus stop) on the Mount Pleasant line at which a passenger would have disembarked if they were heading to Sovereign Hill.  http://goo.gl/maps/rnZH3  Mount Pleasant is away up the hill to the right, Sovereign Hill main gate is up and over the hill straight ahead about 800m.  Believe me it is quite a hill - and even steeper on the other side.  I wonder whether anyone ever did go to Sovereign Hill by tram?  I believe SH opened in 1970 (?) so there might have been 1 year when it was possible
  Simbera Train Controller

Thanks for those photos!

Sovereign Hill opened 29 November 1970 and the trams were replaced by buses 19 September 1971, so there would have been just under a year. However I believe the bus to Buninyong was running at this point so people traveling to Sovereign Hill very likely would have taken that instead - much closer to the entrance.

Anyway here are the maps I referred to earlier.

Horse tramways of Ballarat constructed 1887-1893: http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/792395135.jpg?1374367259

Tramways of Ballarat East, authorised but not constructed 1891: http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/792395823.jpg?1374367473

Electric Tramways of Ballarat 1971: http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/792396119.jpg?1374367569

All maps from Last Tram at Eleven by William F Scott.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Simbera/Calgully -

Thanks very much for this, it's been very educational.  We were looking for the route/terminus in completely the wrong place, we assumed it went further down Main Road when it actually turned right at Barkly Street and continued down that way.  My mate lives just around the corner from the original terminus in Humphrey street, 5 minutes walk from those shops (which are still there) so he will be interested to hear about this; the whole family could still be using the tram if it was there - its interesting to imagine what might have been.  You are right, it's a long way from Sovereign Hill although when you are at his house you can hear those canons going off when they are firing them for the tourists!

Simbera, I've been looking for those accurate rendered maps for years - I also had no idea about the 'approved but not constructed' route maps.  Ballarat certainly had a very comprehensive tram network, more extensive than Bendigo's; my paternal grandmother grew up in Ballarat and she used to tell me all about catching the trams around in the late 20's/early 30's to go out for a night on the town, shopping or visiting.  Apparently going to the lake gardens on a Sunday was a big deal, everyone used to go there to play croquet, go boating, or just to be seen - especially in the summer.

This has been a very interesting discussion but it might be time to split the thread back into 'trams' as we have dragged the conversation well away from the original thread.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Perhaps trawling up the past, but an interesting video of 'The Revival Alliance', top slogan as well, 'Put the shine back on the Rails'.
It will be of great interest to see how much traction the group can gain, with the up coming election.
There are some fairly big wheels in the Labour party, between Bendigo, with Jacinta Allen and Ballarat, with Catherine King, with them throwing weight around would be of great benefit.
It might be worth saying that the fact the current government wont return the passenger service they got everybody hot under the collar about, could be, to roughly Para phase an article out of I think July's Railway Digest , under the heading 'When the Light's went out in Victoria', could be the catalyst for the opposition to pick up the ball and keep running with it.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH7OIJc5VXI


BigShunter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I tend to agree there is momentum however I don't think the top dogs in the Vic Labor Party get it. You don't have to look very far back to remember the Kosky mess where the party effectively placed their head in the sand with Kosky basically standing there watching Rome burn so to speak. Problem, what problem? This system was collapsing around them.

I cannot find a single person in the Labor Party in Victoria who even understands the problem let a lone the size of the problem. Having said that and I have been accused of bias against the Liberal Party here previously, what is worse, an incompetent Kosky who did not have a clue nor the intelligence to find out or a Liberal Party who lied about their commitment to fixing the rail issues in Melbourne and then did a 180 degree turn and announced a road tunnel that no-one wants? A major lie to the people of Victoria?

I have said it before. Australia has the worse politicians in the world. Anyone care to disagree?

What we are talking about now is the power of free speech and the ability to gain traction by "slotting" one's ideas or goals (Rail Revival Alliance) into a political party's agenda. If the RRA can do this over the period of this year, then who knows what might happen. However, the trick will be not in announcements from either party, it will be in the follow through which is hard to enforce. Remember the same smeg we get at each change of government in this country which is going backward at a great of knots? Ah, yes, we forgot to tell you there is no money left in the bank. Familiar rhetoric that most if not all voters who care about this country hear from these clowns.

The Howard years are now behind us and we are still no further forward as a nation (in infrastructure terms) having had the world's best treasurer (according to himself).

Ah, that feels better! Err, can someone please click "LIKE" on my RP post and promote me? Laughing

Regards
Brian
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This is the clip I meant to post, the previous just a lead up !Laughing



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOOhUw7fGNw

BigShunter.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
It's easy to get partisan about things and say that my political party is (marginally) better than yours (while quietly admitting that neither is all that great).

BUT... regardless of whether Labour or Liberal is in power, major transport projects have fairly consistently alternated between rail and road.

Road - Geelong Bypass
Rail - South Morang and associated works, Sunbury electrification
Road - Peninsula Link
Rail - RRL. New tracks from Spencer St to Sunshine and Werribee
Road - Tunnel from C**ling**d to North Melbourne.
Rail - New gee-whiz tunnel from Dynon to South Yarra... etc

You would expect this alternation of rail and road projects (which has gone on for the last 20 years) would keep both lobbies happy, but of course each wants more of the pie and resents the other getting anything.

And for what it's worth, as a resident of North Carlton I think this new tunnel will be terrific as it will remove a lot of noise and reduce the air pollution of our suburb as well as making it possible to walk across Princes St without risking your life. Smile
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

I tend to agree there is momentum how ever I don't think the top dogs in the Vic Labor Party get it. You don't have to look very far back to remember the Kosky mess where the party effectively placed their head in the sand with Kosky basically standing there watching Rome burn so to speak. Problem, what problem? This system was collapsing around them.

I cannot find a single person in the Labor Party in Victoria who even understands the problem let a lone the size of the problem. Having said that and I have been accused of bias against the Liberal Party here previously, what is worse, an incompetent Kosky who did not have a clue nor the intelligence to find out or a Liberal Party who lied about their commitment to fixing the rail issues in Melbourne and then did a 180 degree turn and announced a road tunnel that no-one wants? A major lie to the people of Victoria?

I have said it before. Australia has the worse politicians in the world. Anyone care to disagree?

What we are talking about now is the power of free speech and the ability to gain traction by "slotting" one's ideas or goals (Rail Revival Alliance) into a political party's agenda. If the RRA can do this over the period of this year, then who knows what might happen. However, the trick will be not in announcements from either party, it will be in the follow through which is hard to enforce. Remember the same smeg we get at each change of government in this country which is going backward at a great of knots? Ah, yes, we forgot to tell you there is no money left in the bank. Familiar rhetoric that most if not all voters who care about this country hear from these clowns.

The Howard years are now behind us and we are still no further forward as a nation (in infrastructure terms) having had the world's best treasurer (according to himself).

Ah, that feels better! Err, can someone please click "LIKE" on my RP post and promote me? Laughing




Regards
Brian


bevans

My only comment is  that (and said in the very nicest way) that I really don't care what the pollies think or who is in power. Unfortunately we act as political victims far too much. We can moan and smeg to each other about the ills of the world and how hopeless the political system is. Well I am afraid that is just a waste of electrons. Get out and do something you believe in, Form a group, join a group, go and kick some smeg, make a stand, twist some arms till they nearly break off. But for Gods sake don't just winge about "them" because if that's all you do then they win everytime. How do you think we got the train back to Maryborough a few years ago? By asking nicely and taking NO when they said it would never happen. NOT Bloody likely fellow RP'ers. Come and join Rail Revival Alliance facebook group, or start something of your own on some matter dear to your heart. No more political victims please becuase its just how they want you
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Oh please.

You do realise this is a 4 year old thread? Don't you?

You do also realise that this concept was killed off under the Baillieu Government 6 years ago after they ran a study to investigate the viability of such a service? Don't you?

And I expect that you are also aware of the pending gauge conversion of the Geelong to Ballarat railway?

Equally, I expect you are aware of the appalling condition of both the Maryborough to Castlemaine line and the Inglewood to Eaglehawk line meaning there is zero chance any passenger train can run between Maryborough and Bendigo without a complete line rebuild, similar to what we have just seen with the Ararat to Maryborough line. This would be hideously expensive. Which is fine if it is on a line that generates a decent amount of traffic, the reason these lines have deteriorated as badly as they have though is that there is no traffic, therefore there is nobody to pay for the upgrade.

Maryborough to Bendigo isn't going to happen, not for the next 20 years at the very least.

On the other hand, do I think there is some merit of running 3 or 4 trains per day from Maryborough to Geelong via Ballarat on the Standard Gauge. Although that would require a new standard gauge line from North Geelong C to Geelong station, and it would also require sufficient standard gauge rollingstock, neither are things V/Line currently have at their disposal. So it won't come cheap.


As for today's little Vlocity via Meredith adventures, they are nothing new. Vlocities have been running out of service on this line for a few years now, usually when the main Ballarat line is closed (like it is this week), it means nothing.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The argument seems to be for trains between Ballarat and Geelong which I do actually agree should be considered.

I read the Laidlaw’s highway between Geelong and Ballarat is do
Busy now it has to be duplicated.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Midland Highway (A300)?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The argument seems to be for trains between Ballarat and Geelong which I do actually agree should be considered.

I read the Laidlaw’s highway between Geelong and Ballarat is do
Busy now it has to be duplicated.
freightgate

Drunk Question

Christmas party time...Cool
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

All I’m going to say is that connecting Geelong (pop. 190,000) and Ballarat (pop. 90,000), two future secondary cities for Victoria, makes a hell of a lot more sense than a certain town of 50,000.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
All I’m going to say is that connecting Geelong (pop. 190,000) and Ballarat (pop. 90,000), two future secondary cities for Victoria, makes a hell of a lot more sense than a certain town of 50,000.
potatoinmymouth

Of course it does and would be easier to do.

Another VLOCITY transfer today via Gheringhap what actually needs to be done to make this work?  Not much I say.

Looking at the Vicroads website shows indeed a plan to duplicate the midland highway for hundred's of millions.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Bendigo – Geelong via Sunshine is 217 Km.
Bendigo – Geelong via Maryborough and Ballarat is 248 km.
Via Sunshine would take about 2 hrs 45 min with a 15 min interchange (tweaking the timetables as required), giving an average speed of 79 km/h.
To complete the trip via Maryborough and Ballarat in the same time would require an average speed of 90 km/h. The current timetabled average speed for a VLocity between Maryborough and Ballarat is 79 km/h.

The cost of a passenger service between Geelong and Ballarat was estimated in the aforementioned report at $250 - $320 million, excluding rolling stock, with $6 -$8 million annual operating cost for 4 – 7 services a day eachway. That was in the BG days. North Geelong – Geelong (if not Waurn Ponds) would now require DG or SG.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Bendigo – Geelong via Sunshine is 217 Km. Bendigo – Geelong via Maryborough and Ballarat is 248 km. Via Sunshine would take about 2 hrs 45 min with a 15 min interchange (tweaking the timetables as required), giving an average speed of 79 km/h.
kitchgp

Now there’s some great numbers.

Bendigo is never likely to need a direct connection to Ballarat, and that obviates the need for a through Geelong service.

Geelong - Ballarat probably makes more sense as an investment/travel driver than certain parts of the Suburban Rail Loop, and that’s coming from a huge fan of the SRL.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Bendigo – Geelong via Sunshine is 217 Km.
Bendigo – Geelong via Maryborough and Ballarat is 248 km.
Via Sunshine would take about 2 hrs 45 min with a 15 min interchange (tweaking the timetables as required), giving an average speed of 79 km/h.
To complete the trip via Maryborough and Ballarat in the same time would require an average speed of 90 km/h. The current timetabled average speed for a VLocity between Maryborough and Ballarat is 79 km/h.

The cost of a passenger service between Geelong and Ballarat was estimated in the aforementioned report at $250 - $320 million, excluding rolling stock, with $6 -$8 million annual operating cost for 4 – 7 services a day eachway. That was in the BG days. North Geelong – Geelong (if not Waurn Ponds) would now require DG or SG.
kitchgp

No Bendigo trains stop at Sunshine.

Sunbury, Footscray, yes and in the case of Swan Hill trains, Watergardens.

Perhaps re-calculate Question

Mike.

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