TransWA Avonlink service to be axed

 
  Jarroo Chief Commissioner

Heard on the radio this morning that the Avonlink service is to cease. Unsure when - looks like this Govt. really is broke.

Sponsored advertisement

  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Does that mean that the Merredin Link is also going to finish? I have been on both the Merredin Link and the Prospector to get from Perth to Northam and return, and have had to pay for standing room only on a few occasions, so there are full services running out there.
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
The AvonLink is a separate service from the Australind, Merredin Link and Prospector. Since the Merredin Link stops at Northam anyway my guess is that the AvonLink services will be folded into the Merredin link timetable with short services stopping at Northam and other services continuing to Merredin (Similar to how some services on the Mandurah line terminate at Cockburn Central)
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
AvonLink will be replaced by coaches, MerredinLink will be "incorporated into the Prospector service and timetable". Transwa are still working on timetables, but at the moment it looks like the changes will be from 30th December.

http://www.transwa.wa.gov.au/Default.aspx?tabid=118&ArticleID=369
  Jarroo Chief Commissioner

Hahaha that's funny - MerredinLink incorporated into Prospector services
More like "to save the Govt. money as its broke MerredinLink and Avonlink services will be scrapped. MerredinLink passengers will now have to catch the existing Prospector service and conform with that timetable, Avonlink passengers will have to travel on a cramped coach instead of your comfortable train"
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
Hahaha that's funny - MerredinLink incorporated into Prospector services
More like "to save the Govt. money as its broke MerredinLink and Avonlink services will be scrapped. MerredinLink passengers will now have to catch the existing Prospector service and conform with that timetable, Avonlink passengers will have to travel on a cramped coach instead of your comfortable train"
Jarroo
Well at least the coaches have toilets!

Also: The coaches have infrequent rest stops at roadhouses where people can buy food and drink from local businesses anyway. There's not a canteen like on the trains but it's better than nothing and the service frequency is doubled.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

The AvonLink is a separate service from the Australind, Merredin Link and Prospector.....
doggie015

I am aware of that, but the Merredin Link service uses the Avon Link railcars during the day, so I was wondering if the Merredin Link was also being axed.

As for the bus - the driver stops where he gets the best kick-back from the local servo, not where the best service is for the bus passengers. Happens all the time on the other TransWA buses, why would this one be any different. It should also be a short direct bus trip without stops, apart from Northam and Midland (I wonder if Toodyay will have its own service direct to Midland via Gidgegannup, or if the Northam bus will take the slow route via Toodyay?), so I don't see the need to stop at any rest/service place along the way.
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
I wonder what they will do with the train?  Is the problem the expense of running the train? Perhaps they could put a bus on train wheels and use that instead.  That way you get the cheap vehicle combined with a smooth, fast ride.
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
...smooth, fast ride.
Kafoopsy
On the rails here? Yeah right!
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

On the rails here? Yeah right!
doggie015
Have you ridden the trains on the SG here? From the comment above, it seems not. Get out and about some time, you might be surprised.
  Wallip Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth
The service has slowly been cut back since the start.

I recall at the beginning the Avonlink set was to be NG to allow it to run right into Perth,however they decided to save cost and build a 4th SG set which meant it could only run to East Perth. Then they decided to stop it at Midland and transfer people to a very limited stop Suburban service, even though on Mon & Fri the set would then run empty to East Perth for the Merriden Service. Later this limited stop service was then change to be a normal peak service.

Now under the "What If" banner.
If they had have build a NG set we either would have
1 - additional patronage due to the ability to stay on the 1 service right into the city, or
2 - cancelled service because there isnt the demand, and suddenly we have a newish set for the Australind.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this set. If it is cancelled to save money, then they wont spend anything to convert it to a Prospector, which currently isnt required anyway.
Perhaps attached it to the prospector service and charge a $20 "Backpacker" or 3rd Class fare.
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

Reported on our local radio the service was losing $1.2 million a year not once have they mentioned how many passengers were using the service, I would like to see how much per passenger the service subsidy was and see it compared against the Perth metro subsidy costs per passenger.
  Jarroo Chief Commissioner

From the ABC website :

The Avon Link train service from Perth to Northam will be cancelled from December.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell says the service was costing about $1 million a year for an average of 30 passengers a day.

Mr Buswell says it is being cancelled because it is unaffordable.

"The Avon Link will be replaced by a bus service that will save taxpayers between $800,000 and $900,000 a year," he said.

"We decided that as part of our budget deliberations.

"At the end of the day it would be great to continue the service, but for the 30 people on average who were using it a day, we just couldn't afford to keep it in place."

The Public Transport Authority's David Hynes says Avon Link's patronage has been poor for several years.
  SKVT Junior Train Controller

Location: Iapetus
I suspect that the savings will be greater than the amount quoted. If the lessons of the Beeching cuts ( and even the 75 axing of the Shopper and Bunbury Belle here in WA  )are anything to go by,  patronage from the Avonlink will be transferred to car rather than  onto the replacement bus. In all likelihood,  after a few months the replacement bus service will be quietly withdrawn due to lack of use. If the Northam residents are vocal enough we might see some sop provided, perhaps in the form of an extension of the TransPerth Wundowie service, although given that Northam will never be a swinging or marginal seat I would not be at all surprised if  their cries   go unheard
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
Have you ridden the trains on the SG here? From the comment above, it seems not. Get out and about some time, you might be surprised.
Bulbous
I probably should... I am basing my experience on the suburban rails within perth...
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
Reported on our local radio the service was losing $1.2 million a year not once have they mentioned how many passengers were using the service, I would like to see how much per passenger the service subsidy was and see it compared against the Perth metro subsidy costs per passenger.
djukinX1016

It's a bit old and I can't find anything more up to date, but for a rough idea some figures for 2006/7 have been recorded in Hansard:

  • Transperth train: $7.94 (based on total cost) or $2.96 (based on operating costs) before the Mandurah Line opened
  • Australind: $60.70/$39.30
  • Avonlink: $103.81/$60.78
  • Prospector: $138.56/$85.75

http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Hansard%5Chansard.nsf/0/79ce35e2df4cf2dec82575c9004afeb3/$FILE/A37%20S1%2020080226%20p344b-345a.pdf
  WAGR Chief Commissioner

I suspect that the savings will be greater than the amount quoted. If the lessons of the Beeching cuts ( and even the 75 axing of the Shopper and Bunbury Belle here in WA  )are anything to go by,  patronage from the Avonlink will be transferred to car rather than  onto the replacement bus. In all likelihood,  after a few months the replacement bus service will be quietly withdrawn due to lack of use. If the Northam residents are vocal enough we might see some sop provided, perhaps in the form of an extension of the TransPerth Wundowie service, although given that Northam will never be a swinging or marginal seat I would not be at all surprised if  their cries   go unheard
SKVT

Yep inclined to agree with your line of thought. But what of the future as it is these rural towns are many kinds of poor services from govt agencies. People will live in these small rural towns if they can commute to the major cities and towns for employment and have first class health facilities, not everyone can afford to live in the larger populated areas. To me things like transport,health, water and electricity should not be looked upon as profit making.

It has been stated that the service is loosing $1M/PA how much is that per WA state tax payer, not much I bet.

AND of course the big Q, what are they going to do with it, where are they SAFELY going to stow it. Can it run on SG bogies for say east Coast work or be upgraded for NG work in NZ. I don't know but would be interested in your feed back
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Is the problem the expense of running the train?
Kafoopsy
The problem is that Liberals do not like running trains, especially outside capital cities EG: Greiner (sorry to bring him up again)

Perhaps they could put a bus on train wheels and use that instead.
Kafoopsy
[img]http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5475/9559670027_c1699ffde5_m.jpg[/img]
Okay, okay who put the doors on the wrong side of the platform!! http://images.travelpod.com/tripwow/photos/ta-0107-28b8-ec7a/puttalam-railbus-anamaduwa-sri-lanka+12995339904-tpfil02aw-8929.jpg

http://www.traintesting.com/images/R3_railbus.jpg Link to their page: [size=2]http://www.traintesting.com/LEVs.htm[/size]

Or what about a "Kombi Rail bus combo"?!
http://69-64-75-184.dedicated.abac.net/gallery/section/image/2004999.JPG

A stretched Kombi maybe?!
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VK-cR1xni3Q/UKf62RLUdPI/AAAAAAAAODM/TIPvfpqMeNI/s1600/i-VW+railbus+T1a.jpg
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

It's a bit old and I can't find anything more up to date, but for a rough idea some figures for 2006/7 have been recorded in Hansard:

  • Transperth train: $7.94 (based on total cost) or $2.96 (based on operating costs) before the Mandurah Line opened
  • Australind: $60.70/$39.30
  • Avonlink: $103.81/$60.78
  • Prospector: $138.56/$85.75

http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/Hansard%5Chansard.nsf/0/79ce35e2df4cf2dec82575c9004afeb3/$FILE/A37%20S1%2020080226%20p344b-345a.pdf
Mouse
Thanks for that info, interesting if those costs have stayed within those ratios then the Prospector is not looking good.
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
I'd say the Australind is in a worse position, especially considering the distances travelled by each service and the sustained drop in Australind patronage over the past 5 years (whereas the Prospector has seen stable to growing patronage and fairly strong revenue growth).
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
I'd say the Australind is in a worse position, especially considering the distances travelled by each service and the sustained drop in Australind patronage over the past 5 years (whereas the Prospector has seen stable to growing patronage and fairly strong revenue growth).
Mouse
Hang on a moment... the Australind is the most used service! Why would the be axing that?
  Mouse Chief Train Controller

Location:
Axing?

It is my opinion that, based on the patronage (remember that there are more Australind services as well, so the load per service will be lower) and revenue/subsidy stats I've seen, it is currently less healthy than the Prospector.

Doesn't necessarily mean the illness is terminal.
  andrew1996 Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
Perhaps they should get car cars for the Australind and Prospector to tow, but patrons can only load/unload their cars if they are traveling the full journey.
  witzendoz Junior Train Controller

Location: Fremantle
We could get everyone using these http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/sears.jpg Be good going down the hill into the city, a bit slow going back up.
  doggie015 Junior Train Controller

Location: On a bus going from esplanade busport to canning bridge so I can catch a train to Esplanade station
We could get everyone using these http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/sears.jpg Be good going down the hill into the city, a bit slow going back up.
witzendoz
Remember that OH&S basically demands that toilet facilities be provided for long journeys as well as a place to safely store luggage. By the time you factor all of that in you have to also add an engine due to the size of the assembly and may as well just call it a train. They could just modify a TransWA bus by replacing the wheels with train wheels. It worked for top gear!

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.