Government blames Labor for V/Line rail woes

 

News article: Government blames Labor for V/Line rail woes

VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine has acknowledged the frustration of North East rail users but placed the blame for service problems squarely at the feet of the former Labor federal government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine has acknowledged the frustration of North East rail users but placed the blame for service problems squarely at the feet of the former Labor federal government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Dr Napthine was responding to a survey highlighting North East V/Line passengers as the state’s most dissatisfied.

“We will not rest until we get a much better service for the people of Wodonga and the North East,” he said.
Government blames Labor for V/Line rail woes


i have to agree partially with napthine. the entire project for the north east sg conversion was poorly done.  this i know has been discussed in detail on other threads.

napthine has been in power for a while so he did have the chance to fix it.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I partly agree with him as well - the Labor party got it wrong, however, the rest of the comments seem like Napthine is trying to gain votes in the area rather than the truth, given his record...
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

Typical spin but agreed with you both Napthine has got it right.
Only way to fix the issue is a massive amount of $$$ Rip it all up and re-do it... at the moment there doing massive amount of band-aid work.. instead of digging out soft spots and fixing them correctly, they just dig them out... and fill it completely with ballast.. Ballast being free draining allows the mud to come back up right away and BANG! Another soft spot...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
How many times do we need to be told they ordered some rolling stock ?

Please.
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
How many times do we need to be told they ordered some rolling stock ?

Please.
freightgate


Yes. Agree.

Whatever the criticism about the Napthine Government the press release or reply always talks about

1. The new rollingstock (not sure if this was readied by Labor)
2. How they still have more to do.

It is becoming tired.

Went through the area a few weeks ago.  The old station area looks like a wasteland.  Fail to see what was achieved by removing the station from the very heart of town then again Wodonga has always been a wasteland.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

It goes deeper than just labor, the line had little maintence for MANY years over successive governments. The track was in appalling condition with at least 90 to 95 percent of the sleepers completely unusable.

In the end Victoria effectively gave the line away rather than stand on its responsibilities as far as I am concerned both parties should hang the head in shame over this debarcle.

woodford
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
I expected this to come out. But I am annoyed with the government's repetitive Stalinist propaganda
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
How many times do we need to be told they ordered some rolling stock ?

Please.
freightgate

None of which will ever go to Wodonga/Albury.

To Minister Mulder's credit after dropping the ball early in the governments term, the 43 cars have been ordered and the budget allocated by this government.

To my knowledge there are no plans to replace the existing rolling stock on the Albury line.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE


Went through the area a few weeks ago. The old station area looks like a wasteland. Fail to see what was achieved by removing the station from the very heart of town then again Wodonga has always been a wasteland.
waynes

My understanding the line was removed from the town to eliminate level crossings and supported by local community.

Reality check, the days of rail lines needing to run through the centre of rural communities, towns and in some cases cities is behind us, it disrupts traffic, noisy, and just slows trains down even if they are not stopping. Most of these places do not generate freight for rail and if they do the freight transfer yard would be out of town or moving out of town. Any industry having a  direct rail connection would be progressively moving out of the town as well. Its also unlikely there is significant walk up traffic to a rural railway station.

The old station area will eventually be redeveloped. The land may not have been released by the relevant owners yet.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
My understanding the line was removed from the town to eliminate level crossings and supported by local community.

Reality check, the days of rail lines needing to run through the centre of rural communities, towns and in some cases cities is behind us, it disrupts traffic, noisy, and just slows trains down even if they are not stopping. Most of these places do not generate freight for rail and if they do the freight transfer yard would be out of town or moving out of town. Any industry having a direct rail connection would be progressively moving out of the town as well. Its also unlikely there is significant walk up traffic to a rural railway station.

The old station area will eventually be redeveloped. The land may not have been released by the relevant owners yet.
RTT_Rules

Shane....Victoria is not Queensland where the banishment of railway stations from regional town and city centres has become an art form.

The Rural City of Wodonga Council wanted the station removed from the centre of town....the locals were far less convinced of the merit of the plan. The Council didn't like the traffic being blocked by the several level crossings in the centre of Wodonga.

In regional Victoria particularly these days where there is a higher frequency of passenger train services and generally less freight services (the NE notwithstanding) than in Queensland, most people and the local councils are of a mind to embrace the service which is usually within walking/cycling distance of the CBD and not banish it to the outskirts of the town.

Nowadays, in Wodonga virtually everyone has to drive to the local station because it's too far to walk. Moreover, imagine Bendigo or Ballarat with their very busy railway stations moved several Km from their CBD's.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

There were a number problems at the old Wodonga station, the first being congestion caused by the High st level crossing. This was severely agrivated by two factors, the first is the presence of the T intersection to the Murray Valley hwy only 50 metres to the south. The second a tight curve on the line immediately to the east of the level crossing, causing frieghts to go at not much better than walking pace.It was NOT difficult to get caught for 20 minutes at this crossing.

Second problem was access to the old station was poor and the parking limited. Access was poor because the drive to the stations car park came off the Murray Valley hwy only 60 metres before the above mentioned T intersection. So one could count on this drive being blocked by traffic trying to get through the mentioned intersection.

Another fact worth mentioning is the old station was NOWHERE near the centre of the town, the new station giving far closer and better access to the majority of Wodonga's population.

Much of Wodonga had been crying to get the above fixed from at least the 2nd world war.

It took successive governements ONLY the short time of 60 years or so to fix the problem, given this we can probably expect the Mernda extension by say 2075 Wink.

woodford
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The Rural City of Wodonga Council wanted the station removed from the centre of town....the locals were far less convinced of the merit of the plan. The Council didn't like the traffic being blocked by the several level crossings in the centre of Wodonga.
The Vinelander

Most of the locals are actually closer to the new station.

The rail line through the centre was a mess - too much land, too much noise, too much congestion, and of course, a massive PITA for freight.

For council, it was less about traffic, and more to do with town centre redevelopment (ie. the railway's blocking of it).

In regional Victoria particularly these days where there is a higher frequency of passenger train services and generally less freight services (the NE notwithstanding) than in Queensland
The Vinelander

Irrelevant, since the large amounts of freight is one of the main reasons it was moved.


Moreover, imagine Bendigo or Ballarat with their very busy railway stations moved several Km from their CBD's.
The Vinelander

Dumb comparison is dumb.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Shane....Victoria is not Queensland where the banishment of railway stations from regional town and city centres has become an art form.

The Rural City of Wodonga Council wanted the station removed from the centre of town....the locals were far less convinced of the merit of the plan. The Council didn't like the traffic being blocked by the several level crossings in the centre of Wodonga.

In regional Victoria particularly these days where there is a higher frequency of passenger train services and generally less freight services (the NE notwithstanding) than in Queensland, most people and the local councils are of a mind to embrace the service which is usually within walking/cycling distance of the CBD and not banish it to the outskirts of the town.

Nowadays, in Wodonga virtually everyone has to drive to the local station because it's too far to walk. Moreover, imagine Bendigo or Ballarat with their very busy railway stations moved several Km from their CBD's.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Hi Mike,
Qld removed the NCL from many towns and cities for good reason. It slowed the trains, it allows road and rail traffic on a moderately busy rail line to have a high frequency of potential interaction and hence a major safety issue, again its the 21st century and you were building the lines from start you simply wouldn't do it. The increasingly longer freight trains slow more due to the number of LX, often tight bends, going the wrong direction on the old alignment. The modern 160 capable rollingstock bought in recent years by Vic and Qld is being dragged back to the 18th century on the rails it runs on. Everyone is slowed down and for what benefit, so that maybe a hand full of daily users who can walk up to the station can continue to do so, meanwhile most users are driven due to distance and their baggage.

How much time/fuel does the through freights and even XPT save now?

Ballarat and Bendigo are commuter stations, so hardly the same issue. The only station on the NCL that has been moved that comes close to being a commuter station is Gympie. Yes I agree this could have been better done and used the old station as the terminus, but the benefit is minimal and QR provided a free bus that actually was better in the service sense. The Nth Gympie station had to be built for the through pax trains so running both stations was just a double up I suppose. At 3hr to the city, Gympie is also barely a commuter train. Most of the NCL stations would have been moved for similar reasons as Wodonga, freight!


The benefit of moving stations out of the CBD is often better parking arrangements for users as well. Gladstone station is in the old CBD, isolated to 99% of the local population for walk up purposes and very limited car parking space.


Vic of all states with its fairly flat landscape has more than its share of serious and deadly LX incidents. so its hard to understand any support for the retention of these in towns, when there are options available.


When you read the issues for both rail and road at Wodonga, seriously you think this is better than what they have now and better for all? My understanding this has been desired by locals for a long time.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks RTT you covered the subject 100%. It is fair to say that the one let down in the relocation of the line and new station is both the present Government and former Government failing in the commitment to operate a shuttle bus service to and from the town centre. They've tried re routing town buses and other arrangements rather than biting the bullet and operating something like a 15 sweater bus with luggage trailer that meets every arrival and departure  and then does a 2 or 3 stop town loop. Sure it's about money but doing that as other places have done and making it free as part of the v/line ticket would largely address the concern and probably be far superior to what was available at the old station.  Of course we could have been even more strategic and not built a station at all and used Albury with a free bus connection and town loop to service Wondonga. This is not an urban network it is a long distance intercity and regional network
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Getting back to  blaming Labor for the woes in the north east remember Labor provided $610 million of state funds in addition to ARTC and Federal Government funding for the gauge conversion and upgrades for the north east. It rightly expected ARTC to deliver high quality infrastructure, so when I hear and justifiably for outside of Victoria there was insufficient funding to do the concrete sleeper ing and other works from Sydney to Melbourne that was not the case within Victoria. Victoria stumped up exactly what was asked of it in terms of co contribution and in fact more. The fact that engineers and others on the ground rightly claim they did not get the funds to do the job needed is without doubt true but how ARTC and it's Alliance Partners then distributed the entire funding pool is perhaps the issue.

In regard to the current Government short of delivering the former Governments RRL projectt they in four years have not invested anywhere near the funding in regional rail infrastructure as did the former Government. They have been in Government 4 years so I think to say that Labor left left them with a serious legacy problem in the north east is way of the mark.

Remember too the Gold and Silver line upgrade program's undertaken previously and the RFR and the swag of new trains paints a different picture than currently being portrayed in the press.

Oh and we have front page headlines in the Border Mail regarding Mudholes yet again on the north east. Are we blaming who this after another 100 + million is being ploughed into fixing mudholes
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Thanks RTT you covered the subject 100%. It is fair to say that the one let down in the relocation of the line and new station is both the present Government and former Government failing in the commitment to operate a shuttle bus service to and from the town centre. They've tried re routing town buses and other arrangements rather than biting the bullet and operating something like a 15 sweater bus with luggage trailer that meets every arrival and departure and then does a 2 or 3 stop town loop.
Trainplanner

Yep...sounds like a FAIL to me. That kind of Queensland mini-bus arrangement is unprecedented in Victoria...and who was the local councillor and land speculator who benefited from moving the station out of Wodonga's CBD Question

There's clearly a perception by the closet airline fans who post in these pages that railway stations like airports need to be 'out of town'. Obviously you don't get it so I won't be adding any further to this part of the discussion.

Note to ZH...it didn't take long for your venom to re-surface..
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Yep...sounds like a FAIL to me. That kind of Queensland mini-bus arrangement is unprecedented in Victoria...and who was the local councillor and land speculator who benefited from moving the station out of Wodonga's CBD Question

There's clearly a perception by the closet airline fans who post in these pages that railway stations like airports need to be 'out of town'. Obviously you don't get it so I won't be adding any further to this part of the discussion.

Note to ZH...it didn't take long for your venom to re-surface..
The Vinelander

Mike,

Just because Vic hasn't jumped on the shuttle bus arrangement doesn't make it a bad idea, but I agree it won't work everywhere.

In some cases yes, railway stations need to be away from suburbia. Look at the new Gold Coast and Springfield lines in Qld, how much walk-up traffic is there? The new outer suburban commuter lines are being built in a similar fashion everywhere. Large station footprint, large car parking space, large area for the Kiss'n'ride and bus transfer.

Wodonga gets 3 return trains services a day + 1-2 buses to Melbourne, a 3 hour ride. Its not a commuter station. I assume it generates maybe 100 fares a day at a guess. How many of these come from within 1000m radius (practical walkable distance for most of population) of the old station? And would you do this for the night service? There is almost as many through XPT services as V/line stopping and nearly 3 x the number of freight services.

Its not a conspiracy, running heavy rail through the guts of a town/city, especially a flat city like Wodonga that makes fly-overs costly just doesn't make sense anymore (with a few exceptions).

If we are all so wrong, why don't you share with us your alternative rail plan for Wodonga?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Again Vinelander ignores the massive amounts of freight and poor line structure that necessitated its rerouting (or the fact the new station is closer for most).

Such a scenario is not present at most other stations in Victoria.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Again Vinelander ignores the massive amounts of freight and poor line structure that necessitated its rerouting (or the fact the new station is closer for most).

Such a scenario is not present at most other stations in Victoria.
ZH836301

The issues shouldn't be what they did to Wodonga, rather when are they going to do more?

On the side but similar note, the sad part for many HSR propoents is that they think/expect the HSR stations will be in the town centre like Wodonga. In reality they will be spaced hundreds of km apart thus by-passing most towns and it will not be in the centre, probably make new Wodonga look like its in CBD.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Interested in the comment regarding the new Wodonga station is now closer to most. On what basis is this ?

If high speed rail Is built or rather when I would imagine the line will stay west of Wodonga because there is very little space east of Albury.

I expect housing and commercial development to start to build around the new transport hub being the HSR terminal.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Interested in the comment regarding the new Wodonga station is now closer to most. On what basis is this ?

If high speed rail Is built or rather when I would imagine the line will stay west of Wodonga because there is very little space east of Albury.

I expect housing and commercial development to start to build around the new transport hub being the HSR terminal.
freightgate

I cannot remember the planned stations for HSR, but was Wodonga on the list? I'm sure there will be a station in the Albury - Wodonga region, but there won't be two stations and it will probably be up to 5-10km from the current station depending on where they can get a near straight alignment.

I wouldn't expect a housing boom around the HSR station though. Expect there to be caveats on noise, ie "HSR and its noise was here first smeg" but also there won't be daily commuting from this area as the fares will/should be too expensive.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Interested in the comment regarding the new Wodonga station is now closer to most. On what basis is this ?
freightgate

A map.

If high speed rail Is built or rather when I would imagine the line will stay west of Wodonga because there is very little space east of Albury.
freightgate

Can't pass Wodonga to the south, and can't come too close to the north of Albury due to terrain.


I'd expect it to continue due northeast from Barnawartha North and pass to the northwest of Aldonga, just south of Jindera.


That would place a station in the vicinity of the Murray Valley Hwy / Hume Hwy interchange - about 10km or so out of town.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
A map ?  That will not tell you were people will arch a train from.

10 kms north of Albury or Wodonga ?  If Wodonga then that is a quite a distance.

10 kms out of town will be a barrier to use by some people.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Current administration blames past administration on a problem that they both have a hand in.

Nothing new then.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE


If we are all so wrong, why don't you share with us your alternative rail plan for Wodonga?
RTT_Rules

Still waiting for Mike's improved suggestion

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