Future of Overland train service in doubt

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 25 Nov 2019 19:16
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The only reason the Vic government would bother to prolong the service is because how bad it'd look on them if they discontinued a rail service in this day and age.
Dangersdan707
That's likely one of the reasons that they subsidise an external service on fixed contract periods rather than bringing it into the VLine system as a permanent service, because it can be cancelled by a non-decision instead of an action.

Everyone involved can plausibly deny responsibility and point the finger at someone else.



As I said before, won't lose them any votes and won't win them any critical votes - whichever way they choose to go. For the average punter, the future of the Overland wouldn't rate in the top 100 of their 'concerns'. Other than the odd gunzel, it's highly unlikely to influence their voting choices.
That of course depends in where in the state you live and what your individual circumstances are but I do take your point.
bevans
That different people vote on different priorities is true, but the point is that the Overland is such a small deal that the handful of votes which might theoretically change hands over the issue would be comprehensively swamped by the thousands of votes than can change hands over more important issues.

If Labor want to make some gains in Western Victoria, funding the Stawell Gift would be a wiser investment. It has far greater significance to the region than a train which for the vast majority of its history has passed through the region in the dead of night.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Public Transport is not a cost but a necessity. One should not nor should they any longer think of public transport as a cost to the taxpayer.  This argument is long gone.  The argument now is how well can we run the service to ensure maximum productivity return and therefore adding not cost but economic value.

Such has been the argument in many other countries for public transport.  Locally look at the success of Vline.  We need investment in the lines beyond the current big 4 or big 5 lines for this productivity to take shape and start to deliver more benefit.

Until we as a state start thinking like this we will continue to go backwards.

What is really required now when it comes to Public Transport of an inter-state variety is to have a national rail passenger body (like amtrak) which delivers and maintains services for the benefit of the country not the individual states.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Public Transport is not a cost but a necessity. One should not nor should they any longer think of public transport as a cost to the taxpayer.  This argument is long gone.  The argument now is how well can we run the service to ensure maximum productivity return and therefore adding not cost but economic value.

Such has been the argument in many other countries for public transport.  Locally look at the success of Vline.  We need investment in the lines beyond the current big 4 or big 5 lines for this productivity to take shape and start to deliver more benefit.

Until we as a state start thinking like this we will continue to go backwards.

What is really required now when it comes to Public Transport of an inter-state variety is to have a national rail passenger body (like amtrak) which delivers and maintains services for the benefit of the country not the individual states.
bevans
I find It a bit hard to refer the Overland as Public Transport ! (It's a struggling tourist train) Given V/Line run parallel fully Independent public transport services.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

That of course depends in where in the state you live and what your individual circumstances are but I do take your point.

Regarding the cost of power, SA recently had a major drop in the price of wholesale power making it one of the lowest producers in the country a point which has been missed by the media and especially the Liberal party leader in the state of South Australia.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/24/south-australias-clean-energy-shift-brings-lowest-power-prices-on-national-grid-audit-finds?CMP=share_btn_tw

Perhaps the SA Government has been right on the renewable s approach afterall?
The reality is not nearly as good as it looks in that article. For a start, it's the wholesale price that's dropped, not the retail price which is still the very highest domestic electricity charge in the world. That will change next week h'sowever when we lose that title - to Victoria - which will overtake us to have the highest domestic electricity charges in the world. World-class aren't they.+

Secondly, solar and wind provide lots of energy at times that the grid simply doesn't need it, which is why the wholesale prices of that energy is dropping to bugger all. There still has to be things like diesel generation and gas peaking plants to ensure that the grid remains stable and these pieces of redundancy are extremely expensive to maintain on stand-by. And the irony is that we wouldn't need them at all if we still had Playford Power station operating in Port Augusta, so they're a necessary part of providing part-renewable energy to the grid.

Yay South Australia - the highest penetration of unreliable energy sources in the nation and all we had to do for that privilege was pay the highest domestic electricity charges in the world. Lucky us.
don_dunstan
Victoria is not far behind, labor and the Looney Greens want to close all the coal fired power in the Latrobe Valley, we have an abundance of coal that will alst for 2500 years, and new technologly can produce cleaner power We are all being hoodwinked , my late brother used to work in the old SEC, he had obtained plan for more power stations from the early 1980's with heaps of baseload power and decommissioning of the older power stations at the sametime when new ones were to come Online. There iwas also the idea of a thing about using Fusion as the ultimate source of power, it would hold power in the size of a car battery. The basics have been discovered by that underground testing area where they have fired ions from one direction to meet up with ions fired in another direction. When they meet that produces all the clean energy that is required. It just has to be mastered properly.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

That of course depends in where in the state you live and what your individual circumstances are but I do take your point.

Regarding the cost of power, SA recently had a major drop in the price of wholesale power making it one of the lowest producers in the country a point which has been missed by the media and especially the Liberal party leader in the state of South Australia.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/24/south-australias-clean-energy-shift-brings-lowest-power-prices-on-national-grid-audit-finds?CMP=share_btn_tw

Perhaps the SA Government has been right on the renewable s approach afterall?
The reality is not nearly as good as it looks in that article. For a start, it's the wholesale price that's dropped, not the retail price which is still the very highest domestic electricity charge in the world. That will change next week h'sowever when we lose that title - to Victoria - which will overtake us to have the highest domestic electricity charges in the world. World-class aren't they.+

Secondly, solar and wind provide lots of energy at times that the grid simply doesn't need it, which is why the wholesale prices of that energy is dropping to bugger all. There still has to be things like diesel generation and gas peaking plants to ensure that the grid remains stable and these pieces of redundancy are extremely expensive to maintain on stand-by. And the irony is that we wouldn't need them at all if we still had Playford Power station operating in Port Augusta, so they're a necessary part of providing part-renewable energy to the grid.

Yay South Australia - the highest penetration of unreliable energy sources in the nation and all we had to do for that privilege was pay the highest domestic electricity charges in the world. Lucky us.
Victoria is not far behind, labor and the Looney Greens want to close all the coal fired power in the Latrobe Valley, we have an abundance of coal that will alst for 2500 years, and new technologly can produce cleaner power We are all being hoodwinked , my late brother used to work in the old SEC, he had obtained plan for more power stations from the early 1980's with heaps of baseload power and decommissioning of the older power stations at the sametime when new ones were to come Online. There iwas also the idea of a thing about using Fusion as the ultimate source of power, it would hold power in the size of a car battery. The basics have been discovered by that underground testing area where they have fired ions from one direction to meet up with ions fired in another direction. When they meet that produces all the clean energy that is required. It just has to be mastered properly.
trainbrain
25000 years that is.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Public Transport is not a cost but a necessity. One should not nor should they any longer think of public transport as a cost to the taxpayer.  This argument is long gone.  The argument now is how well can we run the service to ensure maximum productivity return and therefore adding not cost but economic value.

Such has been the argument in many other countries for public transport.  Locally look at the success of Vline.  We need investment in the lines beyond the current big 4 or big 5 lines for this productivity to take shape and start to deliver more benefit.

Until we as a state start thinking like this we will continue to go backwards.

What is really required now when it comes to Public Transport of an inter-state variety is to have a national rail passenger body (like amtrak) which delivers and maintains services for the benefit of the country not the individual states.
I find It a bit hard to refer the Overland as Public Transport ! (It's a struggling tourist train) Given V/Line run parallel fully Independent public transport services.
Nightfire
and this there is the problem. What is the train, tourist, PT or both?

If its PT, its run by GSR, warning sign No#1 as they are drip fed funding, 2y, 1y, 3mth what ever. Just a bucket a cash, are they required a frequency outcome which is what other Private PT operates are required. where timetables are dictated as condition of contract. The state funds the service, the fares go to the state etc. NSW previously (13 years back) tried to cut the Brisbane XPT to 4 x week, Qld who co funds it said No, we fund 7 x a week, no less!

Bevans says PT is a necessity, agree it is, but if the train is not PT then the train isn't. A two day a week service is not PT, Mt Isa, Charlieville and longreach have 2 days a week service. Kalgoolie has 10 x a week, Rocky 7, Moree/Armidale 7, Canberra 21, even Griffith has now 2 per week. Does a city the size of Adelaide 8h from Melbourne deserve just 2 a week? Is it even worth the effort? What are you actually trying to achieve in doing so?

Others will claim about the air option, blah blah blah blah to adnausem. Yes, so do the bulk of above. How many flights between Canberra and Sydney per day? The train is not even fast, its bloody slow compared to driving 50% longer, yet 3 trains a day fill 3-4 cars per trip!

I also agree with Don's comments about the SA Premier, I'd pull the funding too! The current arrangement is a mess, but that doesn't mean I agree with terminating the service.

The numbers are no doubt certainly there, run it 6 days a week (ideally 7, but this needs more rolling stock) in both directions. If you can fill the Canberra XPL, WA Prospector, Qld  RTT, NSW NW services, Ararat, Marybourgh you will fill a 3-4 car V/locity.

- 7 days a week service needs 5 driver cars and 4 trailers or use N class sets.

- Funding is per route km in each state.

- Time tabled meet with Ararat V/locity.

Whats in its for Vic?
- Western Vic has a rail service, a real rail service
- Likely cheaper than funding GSR
- Bonus points for the Vic govt, you bring in a daily service Ballarat to Bendigo at same time

Whats in its for SA?
- Admittedly not as much as SA, but many a Sth Aust heads to Mel for various reasons, reference back to Qld funding XPT.
- A few rural towns on route to Mel have easy and daily access to either city.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

If Labor want to make some gains in Western Victoria, funding the Stawell Gift would be a wiser investment. It has far greater significance to the region than a train which for the vast majority of its history has passed through the region in the dead of night.
justapassenger
I was under the impression that the Stawell Gift folk had rejected the offer of Government funding
  doyle Junior Train Controller

I'm on the overland again now at Murray Bridge , and I can assure you that this train is more PT than tourists.
It actually is a combination of both
  doyle Junior Train Controller

I'm on the overland again now at Murray Bridge , and I can assure you that this train is more PT than tourists.
It actually is a combination of both
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

What is really required now when it comes to Public Transport of an inter-state variety is to have a national rail passenger body (like amtrak) which delivers and maintains services for the benefit of the country not the individual states.
bevans
Like this is ever going to happen.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

We wouldn't be able to handle those kind of population growth figures here anyway - Sydney and Melbourne each absorb about 110,000 new residents every year - that's more than a brand new full MCG. No way could we cope with that here, we barely have enough water for the people who already live here. And what would the people do here apart from be good new consumers?

The cash splash in NSW and VIC is exponential and totally unsustainable - the only reason either of those states was able to build their hugely ambitious public works programs (almost exclusively for Sydney and Melbourne mind you, growth in regional VIC/NSW is non-existent) is -
  • Asset sales such as Port of Melbourne, NSW power networks, land titles offices etc etc
  • Borrowed money. Okay while you can do that at historically cheap rates but you can't be AA1 customers and keep spending like you are.
Getting back to my own state of South Australia, there's bugger all jobs, we're still hovering around the nation's highest unemployment, the most expensive electricity - who would want to set up a major new industry here to sustain that massive new amount of people? Growth for growth's sake is costing Australian taxpayers an unsustainable amount of cash and diminishing the standard of living for those people who have lived here all their lives. Something's gotta give.
don_dunstan

To make money you sometimes need to spend money. Before this spend Sydney had record levels of no spending for 16+ years. These projects are not just about future growth in Sydney and Melbourne but making up for previous growth where nothing was done but some new roads. If there is a significant difference in retail and wholesale prices then the issue would seem to be private company greed and so if you want to argue against privatisation you have a point.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Any sign of the rumoured extension being confirmed yet?

I find It a bit hard to refer the Overland as Public Transport ! (It's a struggling tourist train) Given V/Line run parallel fully Independent public transport services.
Nightfire
This is the problem with the Overland - nobody knows what it is, so it's impossible to put a focused effort into improving it to the point that it serves that particular purpose properly.

The Indian-Pacific and Ghan under AN and Serco were exactly the same. When Allegro took over they cut the public transport component from those trains and brought in the right tourism expertise to turn them into premium tourism packages. They now only do one thing, and they do it pretty darn well.

I'm not sure that a similar focus could be brought to the Overland, because it doesn't have the pull of the two great transcontinental journeys.

I also agree with Don's comments about the SA Premier, I'd pull the funding too! The current arrangement is a mess, but that doesn't mean I agree with terminating the service.
RTT_Rules
A better decision for SA would have been to cut the Overland and put out a tender for a real public transport service with the minimum level of service specified.

If nobody could put forward a compliant bid, they could leave the tender open until someone does.

If Labor want to make some gains in Western Victoria, funding the Stawell Gift would be a wiser investment. It has far greater significance to the region than a train which for the vast majority of its history has passed through the region in the dead of night.
I was under the impression that the Stawell Gift folk had rejected the offer of Government funding
duttonbay
They rejected an insulting offer that was basically a hostile takeover.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

I have never worked for the railways but I have driven alot on fwys. There is time estemits on some fwy but no timetable. We have delays daily yet this is expected. The Railways are different in a state with no federal money for vital expensive infrastructure. Bang for buck or keeping seats?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I have never worked for the railways but I have driven alot on fwys. There is time estemits on some fwy but no timetable. We have delays daily yet this is expected. The Railways are different in a state with no federal money for vital expensive infrastructure. Bang for buck or keeping seats?
C2
Wrong forum topic?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I have never worked for the railways but I have driven alot on fwys. There is time estemits on some fwy but no timetable. We have delays daily yet this is expected. The Railways are different in a state with no federal money for vital expensive infrastructure. Bang for buck or keeping seats?
Wrong forum topic?
justapassenger

Or maybe text speak... Smile
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Is it dead yet?

"No, it's not dead, it's just resting".
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
"No, it's not dead, it's just resting".
"don_dunstan"
"Beautiful plumage!"
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

What the overland shows is why such PT services really don't work while being run by a private company. The Ghan, IP and the new Great Southern work as a holiday train but at costs that the typical PT user can not justify paying. PT needs volumes to make it viable and not just from a money making point but from the how will the economy benefit by sending a train to pick up x amount of passengers.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It looks like a 3 month stay of execution. The Govt should really think of long-term solutions instead of propping it up and doing nothing in the meantime:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2899749530045031&id=119588958061116
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It looks like a 3 month stay of execution. The Govt should really think of long-term solutions instead of propping it up and doing nothing in the meantime:
Carnot
As predicted by many of the posters here the VIC govt has once again squibbed at announcing the closure of an interstate train they pay for in its entirety. And have a listen to this incredible spin from the Andrews government press release:

“Given the South Australian Liberal Government's cut to the service, Victoria will use the next three months to continue discussions with Journey Beyond about the future of the Overland.

“This gives the South Australian Liberal Government three months to reassess its cut in funding for the service — which is primarily used by South Australians.”

I could have saved them hundreds of thousands by telling them Steve Marshall will not change his mind and they're just wasting money. Hooray for my Premier Steve Marshall refusing to give in to the emotional blackmail from the Victorian government.

Let them waste their money on it, the answer will still be the same at the end of March.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
It looks like a 3 month stay of execution. The Govt should really think of long-term solutions instead of propping it up and doing nothing in the meantime:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2899749530045031&id=119588958061116
Carnot
And I thought it was just a rumour RazzLaughing
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It looks like a 3 month stay of execution. The Govt should really think of long-term solutions instead of propping it up and doing nothing in the meantime:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2899749530045031&id=119588958061116
And I thought it was just a rumour RazzLaughing
bingley hall
Fairfax/Nine also ran a story about "Overland given three month reprieve" but nothing any more substantial than the ABC's repetition of the press release.

Any moment now we'll be hearing from the cavalcade of Railpages who are going to use it now it's saved for three months (?)
  doyle Junior Train Controller

I actually do use the service every 3 to 4 weeks
To go to western Victoria and 4 or so times to Adelaide
But I drive to the Mount as I just can't cope with the bad buzz bus
  doyle Junior Train Controller

If anything comes of this 3 month extension It probably should be run from Hamilton meet a vlo at Ararat and continue to at least Bordertown and return daily meeting another vlo at Ararat to sxs
Just a thought
  doyle Junior Train Controller

Don maaate relax ... Your premier our premier I was told in no uncertain terms by our old premier you know the one hit by a rolled magazine some years ago not to trust any of them (politicians)

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