Mildura passenger service

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
A tale about a flight to Mildura.

Vinelander Snr had to travel to Melbourne for a heart operation and as he passed the preliminary Alzheimer's test which is conducted on all nonagenarians before a major operation, his procedure went ahead and all went very well.

Yesterday, before the COVID-19 lockdown announcement we made our way by taxi to the airport from Richmond and both of us flew on the 14:55 Rex flight to Mildura.

The flight, including extra $$ for luggage worked out to be $152.00 each and the taxi from Richmond to the airport, $79.00. We were met in Mildura by one of dads mates so avoided the cost of a taxi. This was the basic airfare, no date changes, forfeiture if cancelled and was purchased three days ahead. The flight had 16 pax. I couldn't complain about the Rex service. The provision of a wheelchair to meet the taxi and the lift up and down from the aircraft door...all good.

Much has been written in these pages about how noisy a V'Locity is, which I've never understood, as the only place they are noisier than the rest of the carriage is in the centre of the car where the air-con return air duct is and I find that to be a good place to sit as the white noise drowns out the droning of other pax.

However the noise inside that aircraft took the concept of the word noise to a different level. Ear ringing, temporary tinnitus inducing noise after the 70 mins flight.

All up after departing Richmond by taxi at 13:00, we arrived at home in Mildura at 16:45, just short of 4 hours, compared to 9 hours by Metro & V/Line. As we are both seniors, V/Line would have been free or at worst around $26.00, or $54.00 if paying full fare. However as dad had just had a serious heart operation it was decided the 6 hour bus from Bendigo to Mildura was just too much.

As dad's carer I had planned on staying a few days before returning by V/Line to Ballan, however how long may I be staying in Mildura...who knows, but I do have my work computer with me so I best get to work now.

So there it was, my first flight to Mildura.

Mike.

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  skitz Chief Commissioner

Just to calibrate all the risk conversations into some perspective, thousands of truck drivers sit in front of their loads in nothing but a tin box.  Heavy mass, dangerous goods, the lot.  Despite being able to swerve and brake better the level of protection is basically nothing and their probability of an accident is magnitudes higher.   Of course the truck industry in Australia kills in the order of 60 per year, too  (2018, of 188 in heavy vehicle accidents 29% were trick occupants), yet our society is almost totally apathetic to this.  A DMU being speed restricted has little to do with actual risk, just perceptions.
  8502 Chief Train Controller

The delivery of a passenger rail service to Mildura would not be a difficult job there simply is NO willingness to be creative or innovative in the PTV.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

@simstrain In Victoria, DMUs are limited to 80kph on any section with unprotected level crossings, while loco-hauled trains can travel at 115kph.
railblogger
And this is my whole point. In what world is it safer to be running a loco hauled service faster then a DMU service. Only in Victoria would this thinking seem logical. Instead of fixing the problem lets just make it look like we are doing something about the problem even though we really aren't doing anything because to do something will cost money.

So unfortunately for persons like vinelander a regular rail service will never return to Mildura. Heck they are lucky enough as it is that the rail line is even open for freight traffic especially after the debacle that was the SG conversion.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
So in other words the drivers in a vlo have more chance of surviving because of the crumple zone then the driver of the loco who will be stuck in his driver cabin tomb.
Simstrain
No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

Drivers in the vlo who died would have also died in a loco because the press penetrated the cabin in a secondary impact. A loco at a higher speed probably would have meant the heavy Stone would still have penetrated the leading carriage of a loco hauled service from the side killing the mother or maybe even more passengers.
Simstrain
You're making a whole lot of assumptions there. Each accident is unique and injury/death to drivers and passengers is determined by many many factors, however for me personally i've seen enough reports and photos + video to rather be driving a solid loco than a DMU in a LX crash.

The solution is to fix all the level crossings and not just putting your head in the sand and reducing speeds for DMU's.
Simstrain
Its getting tiresome pointing out that the government and V/Line do not have a magical money tree with endless amounts of cash, just because something is not being done does not mean that people are putting their heads in the sand or aren't aware of the solution.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
If the introduction of a passenger rail service to Mildura is reliant on the upgrade of all 100 or so unprotected level crossings on that line, it will never happen.

Successive state governments of both sides have shown no real interest in a restoration of that service. Telling them that doing so requires that sort of expenditure will just continue the disinterest.

Arguing over the validity of current policies regarding DMUs and unprotected crossings on this forum will not change those policies. Regardless of how stupid they are.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

all i all on this forum is a big YAWN.......................it ain't gonna happen ........time to close thsi site adoministrator.
  Andrew_Curran Beginner

Next time, try QantasLink. Better. And Uber are cheaper than taxis. Didi even cheaper.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What is the line speed through 100 level crossings for the current freight trains ?
  Lachlan's Train Channel Junior Train Controller

Location: probably taking a photo of 7901V
What is the line speed through 100 level crossings for the current freight trains ?
freightgate
most of them 80, some still with a lower speed. can't recall what speed exactly
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
all i all on this forum is a big YAWN.......................it ain't gonna happen ........time to close thsi site adoministrator.
trainbrain

Next time please check your grammar and spelling. Then move on to another thread if this one doesn't interest you.

M.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Next time, try QantasLink. Better. And Uber are cheaper than taxis. Didi even cheaper
Andrew_Curran

Thankyou for your suggestions Andrew Curran...but I've never even heard of Didi and I don't use UBER.

Funnily enough a taxi was waiting outside the hospital, so without adding undue stress to my elderly father the taxi pulled right up to the turning circle. No waiting for an UBER which I believe has to be called for by using an App which I haven't even downloaded or thought to do so as I use PT, not taxis in my day-to-day travels.

Qantaslink would have had us waiting at the airport for 6 hours as that flight doesn't leave until 19:30. Slightly inconvenient, yes when one was discharged from the hospital at 13:00.

Moreover, Qantaslink averages out at around $100.00 more expensive each way than Rex. Rex is the budget airline to/from Mildura. Virgin no longer flies there.

Mike.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.
jakar

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
simstrain
And your point is?
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

all i all on this forum is a big YAWN.......................it ain't gonna happen ........time to close thsi site adoministrator.

Next time please check your grammar and spelling. Then move on to another thread if this one doesn't interest you.

M.
The Vinelander
mi mi mi we are touchy...................no need to chq my gramma,,,, some people just do not like tongue in cheek comments, u being one of them.......................
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
all i all on this forum is a big YAWN.......................it ain't gonna happen ........time to close thsi site adoministrator.

Next time please check your grammar and spelling. Then move on to another thread if this one doesn't interest you.

M.
mi mi mi we are touchy...................no need to chq my gramma,,,, some people just do not like tongue in cheek comments, u being one of them.......................
trainbrain

Agreed.

M.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
And your point is?
jakar

And my point is your point about the facts / theory of how a driver is supposed to survive an incident on a vlocity are completely wrong? They make no sense whatsoever and as I said that is not why a crush / crumple zone is there for. For the driver to be able to do that at the speed a vlocity can travel at would require the driver to be able to see a significant distance and then assume he can't stop the train before hitting the vehicle.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
And your point is?

And my point is your point about the facts / theory of how a driver is supposed to survive an incident on a vlocity are completely wrong? They make no sense whatsoever and as I said that is not why a crush / crumple zone is there for. For the driver to be able to do that at the speed a vlocity can travel at would require the driver to be able to see a significant distance and then assume he can't stop the train before hitting the vehicle.
simstrain
You don't seem to understand plain English.   No matter what you think about the abilities of DMUs, they will not be providing passenger service on the Mildura line while there are over 100 unprotected level crossings.   That is the rules.   No ifs, buts or maybes.
As Victoria does not have any money for changing the Xing statistic and, if, and that is a big if, passenger service will actually make a re-appearance.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
And your point is?

And my point is your point about the facts / theory of how a driver is supposed to survive an incident on a vlocity are completely wrong? They make no sense whatsoever and as I said that is not why a crush / crumple zone is there for. For the driver to be able to do that at the speed a vlocity can travel at would require the driver to be able to see a significant distance and then assume he can't stop the train before hitting the vehicle.
You don't seem to understand plain English.   No matter what you think about the abilities of DMUs, they will not be providing passenger service on the Mildura line while there are over 100 unprotected level crossings.   That is the rules.   No ifs, buts or maybes.
As Victoria does not have any money for changing the Xing statistic and, if, and that is a big if, passenger service will actually make a re-appearance.
Donald
Really for any passenger service to be effective you have to talk about removing any and all level crossings in order to make the line a hundred percent safe for traversing rail traffic - especially if we're talking about increasing speeds to a level where rail can provide a service that is actually competitive with car and air travel (medium distance). Less trafficked lines like Mildura I'd imagine wouldn't be in the running.

I don't know if it would be cost effective to do this but in any case if they were to look at removing all the level crossings on main lines then to save money they probably need to look at a system of prefabricated underpasses and overpasses (depending on the topography of the area they're to be installed in) made modular and off-site similar to these prefabricated systems already operating overseas:

Contenches Concrete Solutions

If you were going to do small underpasses for local traffic you'd have to make sure the structure is resilient enough to survive being struck by a high-load (as we know from experience that this happens constantly) or else sufficient clearance is given for most traffic - otherwise if the route is frequented by trucks then an overpass would probably be the only way to go. You'd also have to accept with remote country underpasses that they need really good drainage, a wet week would see many submerged.

You can't rely on a N-Class set to protect the driver and passengers as the Kerang crash showed - the only truly permanent solution is to remove all the level crossings full-stop.
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
No, not at all. Part of the drivers survival in a Vlocity is having the time and ability to react and exit the cab before impact which has been proven to not always be the case.

This is not why a crush zone is built in to a DMU or any vehicle for that matter.
And your point is?

And my point is your point about the facts / theory of how a driver is supposed to survive an incident on a vlocity are completely wrong? They make no sense whatsoever and as I said that is not why a crush / crumple zone is there for.
simstrain
Lol, i made it perfectly clear in a post above that i am a driver, yet you as an obviously clueless keyboard gunzel are trying to tell me I don't know what i'm talking about? The front of the Vlocity is the crumple zone. I'll give you one guess where the driver sits, surely even you can't get that wrong? No one apart from you is questioning the purpose of the crumple zone. If you have issues with its location, direct your complaints to Bomabardier, i'm sure they'd love to hear from you.

For the driver to be able to do that at the speed a vlocity can travel at would require the driver to be able to see a significant distance and then assume he can't stop the train before hitting the vehicle.
Simstrain
Ding ding ding, we have a winner!!!! Maybe, just maybe, that the reduced speeds over certain level crossings are to give the driver time to assess the situation and vacate the cab before potential impact?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You don't seem to understand plain English.   No matter what you think about the abilities of DMUs, they will not be providing passenger service on the Mildura line while there are over 100 unprotected level crossings.   That is the rules.   No ifs, buts or maybes.
As Victoria does not have any money for changing the Xing statistic and, if, and that is a big if, passenger service will actually make a re-appearance.
Donald

Well that's Victoria's problem. I don't care either way as I have only ever been to Mildura once and that was to drive through it on my way to Adelaide. Considering how many deaths have occurred with Loco hauled services over the years I'm only interested in pointing out that it is a stupid rule with no basis in facts or reality. It is just a heads in the sand decision and if Victoria don't have money to be putting in to the rail line then maybe they should hand the line to someone else. I'm not the ARTC's biggest fan but it would seem they are more competent then whoever runs rural rail in Victoria.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
It is sad there is such a strong current of not wanting to make rail work for the very people who pay the bills. Victoria is and always will be a state who finds excuses for not making progress on most things people kn the state feel is important.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
It is sad there is such a strong current of not wanting to make rail work for the very people who pay the bills. Victoria is and always will be a state who finds excuses for not making progress on most things people kn the state feel is important.
freightgate
You do realise there is not one person on these boards whose opinions actually mean anything? None of us are the decision makers, none of us are actually in a position to do a damn thing about it.

This doesn't mean we don't actually want to see a Vlocity (or better) running at 160km/h (or higher) between Melbourne and Mildura, we just understand the reasons this doesn't happen.

Some of us accept this reality and understand how things work, others are just in denial.

If certain other members of Railpage were put in charge of this state, it would go so far into debt so quickly that everything would just fall into a heap.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Next time, try QantasLink. Better. And Uber are cheaper than taxis. Didi even cheaper

Thankyou for your suggestions Andrew Curran...but I've never even heard of Didi and I don't use UBER.

Funnily enough a taxi was waiting outside the hospital, so without adding undue stress to my elderly father the taxi pulled right up to the turning circle. No waiting for an UBER which I believe has to be called for by using an App which I haven't even downloaded or thought to do so as I use PT, not taxis in my day-to-day travels.

Qantaslink would have had us waiting at the airport for 6 hours as that flight doesn't leave until 19:30. Slightly inconvenient, yes when one was discharged from the hospital at 13:00.

Moreover, Qantaslink averages out at around $100.00 more expensive each way than Rex. Rex is the budget airline to/from Mildura. Virgin no longer flies there.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Mike
Uber is only used via App, you down load app, upload credit card details. When you request a car you can choose which one based on drivers rating and car type and yes the car will come to same location as taxi and you can follow it on the app. You know the price before you even confirm the booking. Basically removes all the unknowns in the traditional taxi system including rude drivers, smokers, crappy cars etc. Although I'm not sure where Australian taxi's are these days. My only experience with Uber as a caller was once in UK, but been passenger from other more than a few times. Its not a bad system and certainly helped modernise the taxi industry.  

FYI the system used in Dubai our taxi system was moved onto the local name for the Uber app (Careem), so operates exactly like Uber from your phone. There are no longer call centres. However taxi's are only ones allowed to wait at taxi ranks and pick people up from the side of the road. I can from work call for a taxi for my kid to go from A to B and I pay for it via credit card on my phone automatically and follow the drive on my phone. I know who the driver is, the number plate, taxi company (roof colour) and car type. ie Camry or Van. I could also select Lexus taxi (upmarket), Green Taxi (Tesla) or mini buses. All registered. Its actually one of the best transport App's I've come across anywhere. Very user friendly and basically one stop shop.

Yes, the small prop planes are deafening. I used to carry ear plugs when they flew to Gladstone.

Glad to hear your dad is doing well and continues to do so.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Next time, try QantasLink. Better. And Uber are cheaper than taxis. Didi even cheaper

Thankyou for your suggestions Andrew Curran...but I've never even heard of Didi and I don't use UBER.

Funnily enough a taxi was waiting outside the hospital, so without adding undue stress to my elderly father the taxi pulled right up to the turning circle. No waiting for an UBER which I believe has to be called for by using an App which I haven't even downloaded or thought to do so as I use PT, not taxis in my day-to-day travels.

Qantaslink would have had us waiting at the airport for 6 hours as that flight doesn't leave until 19:30. Slightly inconvenient, yes when one was discharged from the hospital at 13:00.

Moreover, Qantaslink averages out at around $100.00 more expensive each way than Rex. Rex is the budget airline to/from Mildura. Virgin no longer flies there.

Mike.
Mike
Uber is only used via App, you down load app, upload credit card details. When you request a car you can choose which one based on drivers rating and car type and yes the car will come to same location as taxi and you can follow it on the app. You know the price before you even confirm the booking. Basically removes all the unknowns in the traditional taxi system including rude drivers, smokers, crappy cars etc. Although I'm not sure where Australian taxi's are these days. My only experience with Uber as a caller was once in UK, but been passenger from other more than a few times. Its not a bad system and certainly helped modernise the taxi industry.  

FYI the system used in Dubai our taxi system was moved onto the local name for the Uber app (Careem), so operates exactly like Uber from your phone. There are no longer call centres. However taxi's are only ones allowed to wait at taxi ranks and pick people up from the side of the road. I can from work call for a taxi for my kid to go from A to B and I pay for it via credit card on my phone automatically and follow the drive on my phone. I know who the driver is, the number plate, taxi company (roof colour) and car type. ie Camry or Van. I could also select Lexus taxi (upmarket), Green Taxi (Tesla) or mini buses. All registered. Its actually one of the best transport App's I've come across anywhere. Very user friendly and basically one stop shop.

Yes, the small prop planes are deafening. I used to carry ear plugs when they flew to Gladstone.

Glad to hear your dad is doing well and continues to do so.
RTT_Rules

Thanks for the UBER info Shane but I manage just fine without taxi's of any kind.

It was only that dad was just discharged from hospital that we got the taxi. If he wasn't in that condition we would have departed the way we got there which was by train to West Richmond after catching the train from Broadmeadows and the 901 from the airport, all on our Myki's for around $5.00.

He's in rude health now, thanks for asking, having started weeding the vegie patch and setting tomato seeds for the Summer crop. He's put down a deposit on a new puppy as his Maltese Shiatsu departed this mortal coil a few weeks ago. He says the new puppy will keep him young. It would drive me insane.

Now the lockdown's over and he's driving again, which he shouldn't be doing...not the Fairlane, which needs a thorough detail, cue Mike for that job, but he also has a Hyundai he uses for his shopping car so he'll be at table tennis today and tomorrow night. I hope he takes it easy.

Now the regional lockdown has ended, after a family get together at the 'Workers' The Mildura Working Men's Club on Friday night, fingers crossed I'll be catching the V/Line bus to Swan Hill on Saturday morning then the revised timetable, 1 hour connection...who knows why, but it gives enough time for lunch at the RSL opposite the station. Then the N Class to Footscray to connect with the DOWN Ballarat.

After feeding my cat and attending a community function I decided to throw caution to the wind and DRIVE the MINI back to Mildura on Monday morning and work from Mildura next week. I haven't driven my car to Mildura for well over 10 years.

By then dad will have had enough and the welcome mat will be removed from the front door Exclamation

Mike.

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