SA to keep Overland running

 
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Earlier comments in this thread that the Barossa 'locals' wouldn't like the train returning because that would bring additional development in the region only reinforces my argument that development, particularly these days always follows railways.

You do realise that effectively ALL the development of Mt Barker came well after the rail ‘service’ ceased? That all but the most recent developments in Seaford and Aldinga came BEFORE the rail extension? And you realise that Bordertown with its rail ‘service*’ still existing has had a net REDUCTION in development in the last seven years?

Like everything you say, you’re wrong again. Do you even try to research, or even have a basic think about what you post?
Aaron
just fixing @Aaron post

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  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Yeah apparently on an iphone you cannot copy and paste text...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
You do realise that effectively ALL the development of Mt Barker came well after the rail ‘service’ ceased?
just fixing @Aaron post
justarider
In fact Mt Barker's rampant development came after the construction of the Heysen Tunnels that made car and bus commuting to the city much easier. Nothing at all to do with rail.

The arguments around the Barossa reflect the fact that there's already heaps of residential development at Nurioopta and Tanunda and the state government has the sense to understand that the vines are critically important part of who we are and they need protecting from McMansions. The same with the Virginia plains and the fact that most of Adelaide's fresh veggies comes from that area so it's been protected against residential development.

If we do ever attempt a near-Adelaide rail service it will not be in any agricultural areas of importance like the Barossa.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Earlier comments in this thread that the Barossa 'locals' wouldn't like the train returning because that would bring additional development in the region only reinforces my argument that development, particularly these days always follows railways.

You do realise that effectively ALL the development of Mt Barker came well after the rail ‘service’ ceased? That all but the most recent developments in Seaford and Aldinga came BEFORE the rail extension? And you realise that Bordertown with its rail ‘service*’ still existing has had a net REDUCTION in development in the last seven years?

Like everything you say, you’re wrong again. Do you even try to research, or even have a basic think about what you post?
It feels a little strange to include Bordertown in the same paragraph as Mt Barker and Seaford/ Aldinga...

One goes through Bordertown, not to Bordertown, with most traffic not entering the town proper. Perhaps forty years ago, the "first class station" had considerable goods traffic, and several (through) passenger services a day. Now, the goods shed is a memory, the imposing station building is boarded up, and the passenger facility looks like a suburban bus stop shelter. The traffic has all gone to road, and why not - the road has been significantly upgraded, cars, buses and trucks have improved, and a trip to and from "town" is six hours, meaning that you can go to the big smoke, and back, as a day trip. Even the Bluebirds took over five hours to get to Adelaide. The rather pathetic remaining passenger rail service only reflects the need, as while the town itself is small, the towns between there and the outer suburbs of Adelaide are a lot smaller still.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Shunter, Nhill Races today, 3 days of working bees and copious quantities of beer, but never the less we'll saddle up for another crack, in about 20 minutes.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

If copying and pasting (on mobile or otherwise) switch to source code view first - far right button, bottom row if on mobile. That prevents RP from trying to match the source formatting.

Indeed, if you’re not doing anything fancy with your post like quoting or formatting, source code view is more reliable overall (and if you are brave, learning the syntax is a more reliable formatting method too).
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Nhill Races bought to you by Big Coight Productions. See Ya
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Earlier comments in this thread that the Barossa 'locals' wouldn't like the train returning because that would bring additional development in the region only reinforces my argument that development, particularly these days always follows railways.

You do realise that effectively ALL the development of Mt Barker came well after the rail ‘service’ ceased? That all but the most recent developments in Seaford and Aldinga came BEFORE the rail extension? And you realise that Bordertown with its rail ‘service*’ still existing has had a net REDUCTION in development in the last seven years?

Like everything you say, you’re wrong again. Do you even try to research, or even have a basic think about what you post?
Aaron

A momentary lapse of reason...

I was comparing Victoria where regional railway development has definitely been followed by population growth, compared to SA where the reverse is apparently the case...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
No one here in SA bar the rail enthusiasts are really going on about getting country rail service back again because they know that it would cost them the taxpayer billions of dollars to actually do it and would take years to do, meanwhile the trucks and buses are doing a roaring trade and the locals can depend on the trucks and buses a lot more than they can on the rail. Take a rail destination like Burra for instance what is there at Burra that would entice either passengers or freight back to the line there, well passenger wise even the buses do not bring hoardes of tourists to the place the buses stop there yes though more for refreshments on a long trip than to let people see the sights. Freight wise there is nothing there at all unless a new huge lode of copper ore is found and mined, it could happen but it has to be found first which could take years to do.
DJPeters
David, never say never but the options are really restricted here because of our topography and population distribution. I would say that Whyalla/Port Augusta would be your very, very best bet but you'd have to consider the very slow timings that killed it the last time around. The Iron Triangle also has the Flinders Ranges and all those attractions right at their doorstep so there's possible tourist traffic as well as an existing population base that might use it.

If you had stacks of money (which we don't) you could always look at either Gawler-Kapunda, Gawler-Hamley Bridge as near-Adelaide destinations with 3000 DMU shuttles to Gawler; if you wanted to go really crazy you could even think of rebuilding Snowtown/Kadinia/Wallaroo and Moonta. But would there really be a demand for it - and would the locals even want it? It's a shame that Yorke Peninsula Railway never made it - that would seem to suggest there's not much of a tourist market there.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Just looking at the state of the line from Kadina to Wallaroo (on Google Earth/Maps of course) - can any other poster say if it was dual gauge? Appears to be from the photos. If so you have to wonder why it failed, obviously there was obviously some $$$ put into it at one stage if they dual-gauged it. Also Wallaroo is a surprisingly large port, must go back and have a look sometime.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The Snowtown to Wallaroo line was made dual guage when the Adelaide to Crystal Brook line was standardised.

It has in its time been all 3 of the common guages.

There is now virtually no chance of the line through Kadina being rebuilt.   It has been torn up, landscaped, and a splendid new Aldi store built in the old yard (as splendid as an Aldi supermarket can be).

The line to Wallaroo is now a paved cycling track.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Thank you Kipioneer -  Google Earth is always a few years old but you could clearly see it was dual gauge. I recall the story of the conversion from narrow to broad when I stayed at Moonta not long ago. Impressive railway station, you do have to imagine what it would be like in use now but there's no chance unfortunately as you say.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I don't want to contribute to the on-going vitriol that seems to have infested this thread, but I do want to say this: Whether or not The Overland is longed for this world is not for us to say, but while it still does exist, We may as well use it.

So, I am planning a return trip on The Overland next year, most likely in mid-March (As always, I will be paying full-fare), I haven't got the finer details nutted out yet, but I figure I may as well use it while I can.

It will be my first time on this train, hopefully it won't be the last time.
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Driver

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
No one has posted on this thread for 24 hours and that post was rational and civil.

What’s going on ?

I protest
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I've decided I'm not travelling on the Overland next week, it's simply too expensive. The discount internet-only "Ready Rail" fare @ $109 appears to be a flat fare and I didn't get a cheaper price for getting off the train at Ararat - and I'd then need to add my V/line ticket to Ballarat on top of that. The Overland also didn't leave on the day that I wanted to, whereas the V/line Daylink bus is 7-days a week and is $60 all the way through to Ballarat.

No competition.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Overland arrived into SX around 19:30 today; NR110 two power vans eight cars. I guess some had assumed last trip and booked too soon!
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Hey Don, I might be a bit of a silly sausage, but the only V/Line service to/from Adelaide that I can find is via Bendigo. Am I missing something?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Hey Don, I might be a bit of a silly sausage, but the only V/Line service to/from Adelaide that I can find is via Bendigo. Am I missing something?
potatoinmymouth
Hey Potato... look at "Plan my trip" on the V/line front-page, if you try and book Adelaide-Ballarat it will automatically plan a trip that includes a bus change-over at Dimboola (in reality it's Horsham) @ 40 minutes wait. I will also have to wait more than an hour Ararat for the connecting train (so it says? I'm guessing that's either wrong or summer timetable) at Ararat for the connecting train on the final leg to Ballarat, scheduled to arrive in Ballarat @ 17:41. Usually when I book it it's arrived in Ballarat @ 17:01 from Ararat. I might have to take Mike's advice at Ararat and go and have a beer and some nibbles at the nearby RSL in Ararat, I think I'll get too bored otherwise.

I'll report on my bus/bus/train if you like - the bus was a bit heavily booked by Daylink standards but I know from experience that I only have to put up with that 'till Horsham.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Well, we've inadvertently discovered something of an anomaly.

For those playing at home, Don (and I) got this on the V/Line journey planner/booking platform:

06:50 Adelaide - 12:55 Dimboola (bus)
13:40 Dimboola - 15:32 Ararat (bus)
16:49 Ararat - 17:41 Ballarat (train)

Whereas, when I used the PTV journey planner, I got:

06:50 Adelaide - 13:25 Horsham (bus)
14:15 Horsham - 16:55 Ballarat (bus).

Saves 45 minutes and a lengthy change... you might want to ring and change your ticket!

Obviously this is pretty poor, having two systems with access to the same data produce different results, especially when one of the journey options is so very much via the Cape.

Anyway, looking forward to a trip report - in my view they're the best part of Railpage!

PS (again for the peanut gallery) - the journey proffered for Overland days is as follows:

07:45 Adelaide - 15:33 Ararat (Overland)
16:49 Ararat - 17:41 Ballarat (train)

Note the comparable journey time. Could be shorter in theory if the Ararat connection was tighter, but of course there's a stack of practical problems with that. Also, of relatively little benefit to anyone except Ballarat passengers; the VLocity is only 35 minutes faster to Melbourne than the Overland, which is hardly going to be a deal-maker on a full-day journey.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Potato: It kinda makes sense to me as an occasional user; I believe the bus from Ararat you refer to only runs during school term. From memory it runs to serve schoolkids at terms times but I could be wrong. I'm sure they'll tell me once I get to Ararat and the time I arrive in Ballarat isn't that important so it doesn't matter to me.
  cmjl Station Master

Location: Adelaide
Interesting thread with many different opinions and some good discussion.

To throw in my two cents worth...

I've taken The Overland 6 times in the past three years, twice ADL-MEL and four times MEL-ADL on a mixture of medical and business trips, and have booked MEL-ADL again for a return from a business trip this coming February.  Was a big user of it back in the 1980's during my University years, when for the relatively measly sum of around $50 my mates and I could do a day in Melbourne with overnight rolling accommodation.

In recent years it's always been my preferred mode of travel provided I can spare a day at the beginning or end of my time away for work or medical reasons.

Of these recent travels, the train stopped at Bordertown five times to set-down passengers.  Not many passengers, granted, typically just a sole passenger. Certainly not a hub of activity there - but important to the people who did disembark.

And of the two journeys I have taken ADL-MEL, on both occasions multiple people boarded at Murray Bridge, destined for MEL.  Surprised me a bit.  So there may be some need there.

With regards tourists using the service as a connection, I have first-hand experience of just that, when in Feb this year I got chatting with a retired couple from the UK who were going MEL-ADL to connect two days later with the Indian Pacific.  Again, just a single example, but this couple did spend a lot of money in wineries and restaurants in the Southern Vales while they were here - I know because drove them around in my "classic car" on the Sunday.  I'm a very gregarious traveller and it's amazing how easy it is to make friends on The Overland when you offer access to your personal wireless access point to passengers who discover only after boarding that The Overland doesn't have Wi-Fi!

I'm a realist and understand that The Overland is running beyond its means without government support.  These aren't the heady days of the 1980's when nightly service still saw three or four cars of each class on each service for economy, first sitting and sleeping in each direction.  Or the two months in late 1989 when AN ran even larger Overlands full to the brim because of the pilot's strike.

The question in my mind is whether it is a public transport service or not.  Public transport requires government funding to operate as it is a service to the public.  Rail cruises - to use GSR's terminology - don't qualify.  And The Overland these days is just a rail cruise.

Maybe one day it will be replaced by a more public-transport oriented service.  It won't be as comfortable as the current incarnation, but it may be a little faster and operate regularly enough so that one needn't plan one's travels around it.  That will require government subsidy I'm sure, but I'd be all for that.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I've decided I'm not travelling on the Overland next week, it's simply too expensive. The discount internet-only "Ready Rail" fare @ $109 appears to be a flat fare and I didn't get a cheaper price for getting off the train at Ararat - and I'd then need to add my V/line ticket to Ballarat on top of that. The Overland also didn't leave on the day that I wanted to, whereas the V/line Daylink bus is 7-days a week and is $60 all the way through to Ballarat.

No competition.
don_dunstan

$60.00 is very cheap...but that's because V/Line fares are cheap and that goes to the fundamentals of operating a regional railway system.

To make it work, it must be a similar cost to driving the car. The government picks up the tab for the trade off of less cars on the road.

However you get what you pay for, Daylink Vs the Overland..bus Vs train.

Idea  Yesterday, I had an interesting discussion with the V/Line booking clerk at the end of the phone line which I'll add to my 1/1/2019 trip report.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Overland arrived into SX around 19:30 today; NR110 two power vans eight cars. I guess some had assumed last trip and booked too soon!
hbedriver

OR...people...despite the naysayers and doom purveyors in SA are using the train in numbers, particularly at holiday times that could leave egg on significant numbers of faces. Embarassed

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Potato: It kinda makes sense to me as an occasional user; I believe the bus from Ararat you refer to only runs during school term. From memory it runs to serve schoolkids at terms times but I could be wrong. I'm sure they'll tell me once I get to Ararat and the time I arrive in Ballarat isn't that important so it doesn't matter to me.
don_dunstan

Banter aside...it also makes it a bit difficult to calculate the journey as the Mon to Fri timetable on the Horsham/Dimboola line is different to both Saturday and Sunday.

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/4fab0ff5-e4e9-4636-97af-b66bde30eacd/Adelaide-Melbourne-(Daylink)

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3efaa93c-7229-41ef-8ad2-ffc462665ae2/210-Nhill-Melbourne-(via-Horsham)-(1)

I had a similar experience when travelling to suburban Leawarra station on Christmas day and the Journey Planner gave two differing travel options a few days apart, yet Christmas day is obviously the same date every year.

Mike.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I think the trip planner has it wrong and that the bus I take at Horsham at 14:15 will take me all the way through to Ballarat arriving 16:50. I'm making this conclusion based on the fact that this is exactly what happened when I caught it earlier in the year - either way it doesn't matter because I make my own way once I'm at Ballarat.

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