SA to keep Overland running

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
My German friend wanted to catch the Overland to Melbourne, instead I talked her into an Adelaide-Alice trip on the Ghan.

She said 'What about getting to Melbourne?' I said 'I'll fly you there from Alice hunni'.
Aaron
Maybe you should have put her on the train anyway just so she can see the difference in distance and population from Germany which has a major city every few hundred km at most.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I hope that your 'Doctorate' is in other than spelling and comparative statistics. While their status as capital cities, which are centres of government, business and industry, is important, their populations are the important criteria. Montgomery and Tallahassee have urban areas of less than a fifth of Adelaide's, let alone Melbourne's population. Melbourne and Adelaide have multiple ties in business, culture and sport. What similar ties do these small American backwaters have?

My question remains. What comparable adjacent cities in Europe haven't fast and frequent rail connections?

What makes Australia other than a third world country (and not just in the matter of a railway system that is nothing like as good as we had fifty years and more ago – think the NBN) and sinking further and further behind the advanced countries of the world by the day?

Oh, and Perth has two rail connections to Melbourne, even though they are poor and inconvenient ones. For a long time we had frequent comfortable air-conditioned trains, albeit slow and with gauge changes, an inconvenience which (so like much of what happens today) was the result of blinkered thinking.

Again I say to many here – do some travelling with your eyes and minds open, watch what can be seen daily on television and the net and learn, do some reading other than the sports pages, spend some time thinking, and then having done all of these things write something other than We're Australian. You can't expect us to do other than throwing a shrimp or two on the barbie.

It's a good bet that I have lived in the country of my birth for longer than any of you, and that my general education (gained when schools were efficient purveyors of knowledge) is far wider than that of most. I love Australia as much as any of you, but I am ashamed of how far we have sunk from having the best living standards in the world to being well behind in very many ways.

If you don't like what I have said in sheer exasperation, then console yourselves that you won't have many years to wait before getting rid of me, and you'll be able to lotus eat in peace.
SAR526
Very good point about those two US capitals, however you need to apply the same logic to your comparison to Europe.

Find me two cities with a total population not exceeding 6m combined with less than 500,000 people in between over a distance of 800km in the EU not separated by sea. Reality there isn't one unless you go to southern half a Spain which has the desert between Madrid and the southern coast and even there the distance is around 500km and Madrid and the southern coast alone has a population exceeding Australia.

In the Eastern half of the EU, there are few fast trains with average speeds comparable to the XPT and in many parts of Italy trains rarely exceed 160km/hr.

Additionally with EU you have over 600m in an area about the size half of Australia. The other advantages to favour rail in the EU is lack of car ownership, almost complete lack of large car and 4x4 car ownership, lack of space to store caravans and large piles of crap that Aussies take on holidays like boats, camping gear etc and high fuel prices and outside Germanic countries high road tolls on major roads. Our drive across the top of Italy was in excess of 150E in tolls, plus what ever France charged us to Marseillie which I'm sure wasn't far behind. Along with EU's mostly good railways is an even better road system that is well used. Rail in the EU is also changing, sleepers, motorrail and loco hauled is on the way out.

As I am still on our work/holiday OS for a number of years with more to go. Personally I feel the only people who feel Australia is anything but a leading developed economy is Australians with unrealistic expectations.

Yes I support a daily DMU and in busy times they can do a night run to increase capacity. But Spencer Street to Adelaide Parklands. Adelaide station does not have a SG connection, nor does a daily service justify the very significant cost of costly DG, nor does Trans Adelaide want to have its commuter service stuffed around with a interstate service arriving late in peak and the end result will be like Brisbane's XPT which has the same issue is pushed into an ungodly hour.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.
Even though I love rail travel and use it where appropriate, we really have to choose the appropriate form of travel, and just because we are discussing travel between two STATE capitals, doesn't mean that rail travel should be provided for the sake of providing rail travel.

Let's look at the Untied States, how many trains are there between Tallahassee (capital of Florida) and Montgomery (capital of Alabama), a distance of only 178 miles? Exactly ZERO! That's right, none, zilch, NADA. Plenty of other examples in the Untied States, and probably in other confederations as well

And in Australia, what about Perth and Melbourne, no service between those two capitals! Why do you feel the need for Adelaide and Melbourne to be connected by rail? You need a much better justification, apart from the fact that they are two state capitals!

Dave
thadocta

There's no train service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas either!! Caused some problems for me, because I am making that trip in just a few months from today.

I had to hop on the good 'ol Greyhound instead Smile
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I had to hop on the good 'ol Greyhound instead
"mclaren2007"
Choose your seat carefully - the pot smokers sit up the back.Smile
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
I hope that your 'Doctorate' is in other than spelling and comparative statistics. While their status as capital cities, which are centres of government, business and industry, is important, their populations are the important criteria. Montgomery and Tallahassee have urban areas of less than a fifth of Adelaide's, let alone Melbourne's population. Melbourne and Adelaide have multiple ties in business, culture and sport. What similar ties do these small American backwaters have?

My question remains. What comparable adjacent cities in Europe haven't fast and frequent rail connections?

What makes Australia other than a third world country (and not just in the matter of a railway system that is nothing like as good as we had fifty years and more ago – think the NBN) and sinking further and further behind the advanced countries of the world by the day?

Oh, and Perth has two rail connections to Melbourne, even though they are poor and inconvenient ones. For a long time we had frequent comfortable air-conditioned trains, albeit slow and with gauge changes, an inconvenience which (so like much of what happens today) was the result of blinkered thinking.

Again I say to many here – do some travelling with your eyes and minds open, watch what can be seen daily on television and the net and learn, do some reading other than the sports pages, spend some time thinking, and then having done all of these things write something other than We're Australian. You can't expect us to do other than throwing a shrimp or two on the barbie.

It's a good bet that I have lived in the country of my birth for longer than any of you, and that my general education (gained when schools were efficient purveyors of knowledge) is far wider than that of most. I love Australia as much as any of you, but I am ashamed of how far we have sunk from having the best living standards in the world to being well behind in very many ways.

If you don't like what I have said in sheer exasperation, then console yourselves that you won't have many years to wait before getting rid of me, and you'll be able to lotus eat in peace.
Very good point about those two US capitals, however you need to apply the same logic to your comparison to Europe.

Find me two cities with a total population not exceeding 6m combined with less than 500,000 people in between over a distance of 800km in the EU not separated by sea. Reality there isn't one unless you go to southern half a Spain which has the desert between Madrid and the southern coast and even there the distance is around 500km and Madrid and the southern coast alone has a population exceeding Australia.

In the Eastern half of the EU, there are few fast trains with average speeds comparable to the XPT and in many parts of Italy trains rarely exceed 160km/hr.

Additionally with EU you have over 600m in an area about the size half of Australia. The other advantages to favour rail in the EU is lack of car ownership, almost complete lack of large car and 4x4 car ownership, lack of space to store caravans and large piles of crap that Aussies take on holidays like boats, camping gear etc and high fuel prices and outside Germanic countries high road tolls on major roads. Our drive across the top of Italy was in excess of 150E in tolls, plus what ever France charged us to Marseillie which I'm sure wasn't far behind. Along with EU's mostly good railways is an even better road system that is well used. Rail in the EU is also changing, sleepers, motorrail and loco hauled is on the way out.

As I am still on our work/holiday OS for a number of years with more to go. Personally I feel the only people who feel Australia is anything but a leading developed economy is Australians with unrealistic expectations.

Yes I support a daily DMU and in busy times they can do a night run to increase capacity. But Spencer Street to Adelaide Parklands. Adelaide station does not have a SG connection, nor does a daily service justify the very significant cost of costly DG, nor does Trans Adelaide want to have its commuter service stuffed around with a interstate service arriving late in peak and the end result will be like Brisbane's XPT which has the same issue is pushed into an ungodly hour.
RTT_Rules

RTT has identified the nub of the issue.... That is population density... Comparing the very many and efficient commuter style services with any long distance rail in Australia just does not stack up.

The population density aspect comes into play... In Western Europe, in an area like the distance between Adelaide and Melbourne, lets say 800km, is similar to Paris, France to Hamburg, Germany about 900km... (and transiting four sovereign nations) in that area, there must be the best part of 60-70 million people. That kind of population density gives massive scale to implement very fast/efficient/frequent intercity travel. Lets just say, if 0.5% of that population base, daily, needs to move anywhere in those four nations, that is still 300,000 people travelling.

Looking at the North East USA, Washington DC to New York City corridor for example, and a system I know very well, that area has around 50 million people along that corridor that is only 400km. AMTRAK operate about 36 trains daily between those cities on their own dedicated tracks.

Don't loose sight of the fact that the services like those described above are only possible due to the scale of population to support it.

So lets look at the Adelaide-Melbourne corridor... at very best, that is about 7 million people and you apply the same 0.5 percent factor, there is about 35,000 people needing to move. Now the problem with this example is the majority of that 7M, is IN Melbourne. Whereas the European and NE USA example have large concentrations at each end, and numerous large cities along the way. Also in this Adelaide-Melbourne example, you have a fairly ancient track alignment that is largely single track, sharing the rails with goods trains. Certainly not the case in the USA (NE corner) and the intercity high speed trains in Europe I am pretty sure are not sharing tracks with slow moving goods trains.  

So, long distance rail in Australia remains the preserve of tourism, OR Australia invests SQUILLIONS in changing track alignments, track duplication and we all pay a LOT MORE TAX to put in place an infrastructure similar to Europe with a fraction of the population to pay for it or make it viable.

You know.... I love trains and I love travelling on trains, but the reality is, to emulate something like Europe is not realistic with the distances and population density that we have in Australia. That said, I'm sure there is scope to improve and some have suggested various improvements, but frankly that is fannying about the edges compared to the current service.

My thoughts anyway...
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

A lot of persons including myself have an emotional attachment to the Old Lady (Overland). Emotional attachment and happy memories does run a railway.

To compare Australia with Europe or the USA is incorrect and futile. Thankfully I have undertaken long distance travel on both systems.
Europe has high population densities with relatively short distances and travel times between major cities. On long distance trains there are high levels of travel between intermediate points. The frequency of service and the number passengers means that there are high number of places served. Europe also has high levels of tourist travel for whom "getting there is part of the fun".
The USA has a population 15 times that of Australia with government revenues to match. Its long distance passenger services only just manages to survive except on the east and west coast corridors, even those are heavily subsidised. As has been rightly pointed out most US state capitals are NOT connected by a rail service. In population terms Amtrak on cross continent trains probably has a lower market penetration than GSR.

The Adelaide/Melbourne reality is that a practical high speed service would still have an on rail journey time of 5 hours. A business person will still loose some 6 hours out of a business day just getting to Melbourne and still has to get home. Given the relatively low cost of air fares a tourist would rather save the three journey hours and fly. There would not be the utilisation to justify the expense of infrastructure to provide the high speed service.

The Overland was only really an overnight train (it offered sleeping berths in 1890) and considering the journey time only works as an overnight train. It seems that overnight travel cannot be reawakened (unfortunate choice of words) so what we have now and in the future is NOT the Overland.

Let's give the old Lady a decent burial.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Maybe you should have put her on the train anyway just so she can see the difference in distance and population from Germany which has a major city every few hundred km at most.
"RTT_Rules"
You don't think she'll get that experience and feeling between Adelaide and Alice Springs?
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.
Let's look at the Untied States, how many trains are there between Tallahassee (capital of Florida) and Montgomery (capital of Alabama), a distance of only 178 miles? Exactly ZERO! That's right, none, zilch, NADA. Plenty of other examples in the Untied States, and probably in other confederations as well

And in Australia, what about Perth and Melbourne, no service between those two capitals! Why do you feel the need for Adelaide and Melbourne to be connected by rail? You need a much better justification, apart from the fact that they are two state capitals!

Dave
I hope that your 'Doctorate' is in other than spelling and comparative statistics. While their status as capital cities, which are centres of government, business and industry, is important, their populations are the important criteria. Montgomery and Tallahassee have urban areas of less than a fifth of Adelaide's, let alone Melbourne's population. Melbourne and Adelaide have multiple ties in business, culture and sport. What similar ties do these small American backwaters have?

My question remains. What comparable adjacent cities in Europe haven't fast and frequent rail connections?

What makes Australia other than a third world country (and not just in the matter of a railway system that is nothing like as good as we had fifty years and more ago – think the NBN) and sinking further and further behind the advanced countries of the world by the day?

Oh, and Perth has two rail connections to Melbourne, even though they are poor and inconvenient ones. For a long time we had frequent comfortable air-conditioned trains, albeit slow and with gauge changes, an inconvenience which (so like much of what happens today) was the result of blinkered thinking.

Again I say to many here – do some travelling with your eyes and minds open, watch what can be seen daily on television and the net and learn, do some reading other than the sports pages, spend some time thinking, and then having done all of these things write something other than We're Australian. You can't expect us to do other than throwing a shrimp or two on the barbie.

It's a good bet that I have lived in the country of my birth for longer than any of you, and that my general education (gained when schools were efficient purveyors of knowledge) is far wider than that of most. I love Australia as much as any of you, but I am ashamed of how far we have sunk from having the best living standards in the world to being well behind in very many ways.

If you don't like what I have said in sheer exasperation, then console yourselves that you won't have many years to wait before getting rid of me, and you'll be able to lotus eat in peace.
SAR526
Firstly, you obviously do not understand irony. I could have used one of my other ways of referring to the USA - LOTTO (Land Of The Terminally Obese), or LOTFAP (Land Of The Free And Paranoid). Instead, I chose to use Untied States, quite deliberately (which should have been obvious by the fact that I used it multiple times.

Secondly, the quote I was referencing referred to CAPITAL CITIES. If you actually meant two major cities with large populations, multiple facilities WRT health care, sporting and entertainment, health care, etc., then that should have been referenced, rather than the chosen CAPITAL CITIES.

Thirdly, I stand by my claim that Perth and Melbourne are not connected by rail, the connections between the IP and The Overland don't work and are extremely cumbersome if you persist with it. Add to that Canberra and Melbourne.

Lastly, as has been stated, if people are prepared to actually pay what it costs to run a service, then private industry will provide it. Those that can't afford to pay for that service will have to put up with the subsidised service, which in this case is a more than adequate road coach for part of the journey.

Dave
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.
Even though I love rail travel and use it where appropriate, we really have to choose the appropriate form of travel, and just because we are discussing travel between two STATE capitals, doesn't mean that rail travel should be provided for the sake of providing rail travel.

Let's look at the Untied States, how many trains are there between Tallahassee (capital of Florida) and Montgomery (capital of Alabama), a distance of only 178 miles? Exactly ZERO! That's right, none, zilch, NADA. Plenty of other examples in the Untied States, and probably in other confederations as well

And in Australia, what about Perth and Melbourne, no service between those two capitals! Why do you feel the need for Adelaide and Melbourne to be connected by rail? You need a much better justification, apart from the fact that they are two state capitals!

Dave

There's no train service between Los Angeles and Las Vegas either!! Caused some problems for me, because I am making that trip in just a few months from today.

I had to hop on the good 'ol Greyhound instead Smile
mclaren2007
Las Vegas isn't a state capital.

Dave
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Las Vegas isn't a state capital.
thadocta
Neither is Los Angeles.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
State capital is Sacramento.

Dave
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
State capital is Sacramento.

Dave
Debate here, with ironic* overtones and all, has descended to a nadir from which it cannot recover. I will write directly to the Ministers of Transport henceforth.

What I want, but am unlikely to get, is:

1. The cessation of taxpayer subsidies to a private body to run a 'service' useless to anyone but recreational travellers.

2. A glorified overnight bus on rails to run directly from central station to central station. No frills except for comfortable lay back seats. A cross platform change of trains at Ararat and a short standard gauge extension from the old gaol loop approaches along the northern side of the overhead gantries into platform 9 at Adelaide.

This would replace the present indirect subsidised bus/rail connection via Bendigo. Train speeds would be the maximum at present allowable with a fixed path every night that gave priority to human beings rather than inanimate freight, having only minimal effect on its delivery to the end customer.

The advantages: Safety from road trauma. Not inconsiderable numbers of wayside passengers from the larger towns. Many cars removed from the roads, particularly those of the growing number of sporting event (e.g. AFL) commuters. Mid-evening departures and early morning arrivals allowing maximum useful business time in each capital city.

Finally. If governments could run lengthy trains during the Great Depression and afterwards until the 'Economic Rationalism' heresy transferred most of the world's assets to a very, very few individuals with the consequent inaffordability of just about any worthwhile private or public enterprise, and the misery that is about to envelop our world as overpopulation and mass unemployment snowballs, then  governments could at least use their sovereign economic powers to create interest-free loans for essential infrastructure to ameliorate and delay the worst effects of the coming cataclysm on the citizens that they nominally serve.

Now go on talking about the impossibility of having high speed rail in our big country. I'd like that, but I haven't asked for it and I know that we won't get it any time soon – probably never. I just want what is affordable if our beloved homeland is be anything but a back water.

Now, at least on this topic and probably all, I have finished with comment on Railpage. I'll simply look on benevolently as you all have fun.

* SAR526, who taught English, History and Geography and other subjects for more than 40 years, but  who has always been aware that his ignorance of what can be known, like yours, is profound in the extreme.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
State capital is Sacramento.

Dave
thadocta

Good pickup

for future reference when referring to USA, almost none of what you think are obvious state capitals are not state capitals, they are often some pi$$ ant town somewhere else that don't even have a international airport and rarely a interstate rail service.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Don't mention the state capital of Alaska, that place doesn't have road access!!

I was aware that Las Vegas wasn't the state capital, I just wanted to make the point about travelling between large cities by train in the US is much easier than here, most of the time.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Juneau mightn't have an interstate road, but it's got a helluva good port and an 'international' airport which is more than many US capital cities. Incidentally there are several US capital cities without road connection, Jefferson City doesn't have an interstate road either, but it has a 'railway station' that caters for almost as many* patrons a year as Millswood does.

*likely less
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
State capital is Sacramento.

Dave

Good pickup

for future reference when referring to USA, almost none of what you think are obvious state capitals are not state capitals, they are often some pi$$ ant town somewhere else that don't even have a international airport and rarely a interstate rail service.
RTT_Rules
I have heard it said that in all of the lower 48 states and including the country itself no Capital City is the largest city of that state/country in the USA.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Good pickup

for future reference when referring to USA, almost none of what you think are obvious state capitals are not state capitals, they are often some pi$$ ant town somewhere else that don't even have a international airport and rarely a interstate rail service.
I have heard it said that in all of the lower 48 states and including the country itself no Capital City is the largest city of that state/country in the USA.
nm39
One third of the lower 48 states have the largest city in the state as capital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_capitals_in_the_United_States
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
State capital is Sacramento.
"thadocta"
To clarify; Sacramento is the capital of California; Carson City is the capital of Nevada.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
State capital is Sacramento.
To clarify; Sacramento is the capital of California; Carson City is the capital of Nevada.
Valvegear
US State capitols are mostly only minor Cities, Phoenix being the most populous, Montpelier the least populous.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The Victorian government blames the Commonwealth for the progressive running down of the Overland while refusing to assure its funding beyond June 30th... "We are continuing to work through these funding issues" Jacinta Allan said today (ABC News).

Just let it die a dignified death and stop doing these piecemeal extensions.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Won't be a huge loss (at least for SA), after all it'll be one less boring NR-hauled train...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Overland now requires a 5 year funding deal to ensure there is longevity.  I however remind everyone of my view regarding funding.  Victoria in most cases will always seek to blame the feds about funding rather than stepping in and getting the job done.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL

Good pickup

for future reference when referring to USA, almost none of what you think are obvious state capitals are not state capitals, they are often some pi$$ ant town somewhere else that don't even have a international airport and rarely a interstate rail service.
RTT_Rules

A lot of the more interesting political decisions in the US are rooted in 19th century (or earlier) compromises between the (even then) ascendant cities and the rest of the county / state / country in which a considerable number of people lived.  I don't believe that this history has any real parallel in Australia and is probably unique apart from Russia and China both of who went through a very different development path.

One example of this is the interesting situation that a Senator from California, who  nominally represents some 20 million people, having essentially the same power (all other things being equal) as a Senator from Wyoming who nominally represents some 250,000 people.

Or that a lot of state capitals are in the middle of nowhere (or more specifically, tending toward the middle of the state).  Springfield in Illinois is a prime example, which was selected as the capital or its geographic location over Chicago which is in the NE corner of the state.

As to the existence or otherwise of interstate rail service serving those capitals (or anywhere else for that matter) is largely a matter of historical quirks (largely: whether Amtrak took over a passenger route that served somewhere) and luck (how strongly your congressperson / senator agitated to keep that stop open).  There is essentially no rational planning for the routes or stops (well there is, but it gets overruled in Washington).  

Although before anyone gets too smug, that's exactly the same reason is why the main South Line goes over literally the highest point in the Adelaide hills which was as stupid in 1882 as it is today.  Or why there was any number of never-going-to-be-viable lines built throughout SA, many of which we reflect fondly on today Smile.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Won't be a huge loss (at least for SA), after all it'll be one less boring NR-hauled train...
greasyrhys
What about the 82 class trials?
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

No quoting of the whole post
What about these two ideas?

1. Did what they did with the The Ghan, a number of years ago, starting a Ghan consist as "The Alice" from Sydney, but this time from/to Melbourne, OR

2. Add the Overland carriages to The Ghan consist, & run the Overland carriages between Melbourne & Adelaide.

Both with the same Overland stops as now.

But if people and passengers are so concerned, you do have "public servants" (that are MEANT to serve) you can contact. The more letters these mps get, the MORE they may listen.

It was more suitable as an overnight train, as you need to leave your accommodation very early to get to Keswick for it to be day train.

Being a day train now, it doesn't connect with either The Ghan OR the Indian Pacific.

(okay okay - NOT PC Brigade, Parkland(s) - What's "park lands" about that station?)

Were more people travelling on it as an overnight train?

OR maybe a third option: What about say a V/Locity taking over?

By the way, is the official name the The Overland, or just the Overland, without the "The"?

(Slightly off, okay way off topic: Wans't The OverlandER in NZ also in danger of being extinct at one stage?)

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