Re-opening the Cobram line to Passenger Traffic

 
  fullofrubbish Assistant Commissioner

Location: Brunswick
With continual on and off discussion in this forum about bring back passenger traffic to the Mildura & Leongatha lines, I thought why not discuss something that hasn't been mentioned for along time around the traps....

Passenger rail back to Cobram. What do you think? [/url]

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  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Collectively, we on this forum believe that rail will solve everything. Rightly or wrongly, the powers to be will look at the whole picture and assess whether there is a public transport shortage. If there is a shortage, the next step is to establish a strategy - which could be bus or rail. If the average Joe doesn't mind to an extent as long as they get to where they want in the best possible time and the cheapest option is bus, that's probably what will happen. The enthusiast side of me would love to see rail everywhere but realistically it's an expensive ask. I think Leongatha has gone down this path and can't see Cobram being any different.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
And really for a 45min journey to either Benalla or Shepparton and subsequent transfer to a train, the discomfort factor of long coach trips is minimal.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The current State Government under Minister Peter Batchelor did investigate re-opening the passenger rail service between Shepparton and Cobram.

The subsequent report which was available on the DOI website recommended against re-opening owing to poor patronage projections beyond Shepparton, and also need to substantially upgrade track quality between Shepparton and  
Strathmerton .  So it will NOT happen.

Any upgrade on this line would be better to concentrate on upgrading the Mangalore - Mooroopna section to Class-2 track to allow operation of loco hauled at 115kmh and DMU's at 130 kmh. Currently owing to weight of rail, not fully CWR, and old rail especially between Mangalore & Murchison East
passenger train speeds are restricted to 95 - 100 kmh .
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria
I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.

There are over 15,200 people along the trunk from Shepparton to Cobram, 70km of track, 15km of which is closed.

This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).

There could be three station stops, Numurkah (town population of 4,600), Strathmerton, for safeworking with the Tocumwal line, and Cobram, 5,500.

A much better and cheaper line to return than Mildura, for population vs. kilometre (214 persons per kilometre Cobram vs. 98 persons per km Mildura).
  Somebody in the WWW Banned

Location: Banned
This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).
"toxation"

Forgetting that a large amount of Bairnsdale comes from towns beyond there which are fed by coaches and people driving there - Lakes Entrance, Orbost, etc, the former of which gets a lot of summer and weekend visitors. Essentially a railhead for East Gippsland.

There's not really any 'feeder population' for a Cobram service - apart from the Griffith bus which runs to Shepp at present.

Public money can be spent on better things than Cobram people having a 45-minute part of a 3hr trip be on a bus instead of a train.

Difference between Cobram and some of the other places is that Cobram/Numurkah people only have a comparatively small part of their trip by bus, while people from some places, for example Horsham/Dimboola pre-Ararat re-opening, have or had a majority of their trip on a bus, and a train for the last leg, while it is the reverse for you.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Toxation, bit hard to use the Bairnsdale line as a comparison seeing as it is RFR standard (partway). The standard of track pre RFR was much better than the current Cobram line. The $$ to upgrade the Bairnsdale line would not have been as much as it would cost to upgrade the Cobram line and this decision would all be about $$.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.
"toxation"


Would any improvements to the bus improve its attractiveness or is it a matter or irrational dislike for buses?

Regardless, the alternative is there to be used and they are welcome to ignore it should they choose to do so. One does wonder why they don't park and ride at Shepparton?
  dalts 1985 Banned

Location: Banned
Collectively, we on this forum believe that rail will solve everything. Rightly or wrongly, the powers to be will look at the whole picture & assess whether there is a public transport shortage.

If there is a shortage, the next step is to establish a strategy - which could be bus or rail. If the average Joe doesn't mind to an extent, as long as they get to where they want in the best possible time & the cheapest option is bus, that's probably what will happen.

The enthusiast side of me would love to see rail everywhere but realistically it's an expensive ask. I think Leongatha has gone down this path & can't see Cobram being any different.
"Ballast_Plough"


Really for a 45min journey to either Benalla or Shepparton & subsequent transfer to a train, the discomfort factor of long coach trips is minimal.
"drwaddles"


Reintroducing services to Cobram may be harder then you think...
For a start, I'm lead to believe, the current site of Cobram Stn, has since been wholely, or partly redeveloped, for the local shopping centre, this a new Cobram Stn, would need to be built, that is if the rail reservation is even still their from the towns outskirts to the town centre...

A stop at Numurkah at the former Numurkah Stn site, is no longer possible, as it is now a private residence, infact a funeral parlour now I believe.


http://www.vicsig.net/infrastructure/stations/
TH-20070116-numurkah-stn-building-jh.jpg
  NottaGunzel Banned

Location: Banned
Someone looks around to try and justify the opening ( re-opening ) of another old line and  -  WHAMMO  Idea   -  idea  Idea   -  what about Cobram  Question

There used to be a rail service to Cobram  Idea

The rails are still in place  Idea

Sounds like a good idea  Rolling Eyes

NOT !  Rolling EyesRolling EyesRolling Eyes

The "Romantic Days" of Rail are over  Sad

Maybe it's another cause for "Super Wilfy"  Laughing
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria
This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).
"toxation"

Forgetting that a large amount of Bairnsdale comes from towns beyond there which are fed by coaches and people driving there - Lakes Entrance, Orbost, etc, the former of which gets a lot of summer and weekend visitors. Essentially a railhead for East Gippsland.

There's not really any 'feeder population' for a Cobram service - apart from the Griffith bus which runs to Shepp at present.
...
"Somebody in the WWW"


Again, I disagree. Perhaps if a more attractive service is provided, then more people would flow. Eastern Victoria is sparsely populated, as is the Riverina around Griffith. Orbost (under 3000) and Lakes Entrance (under 5000) and their surrounds is quite comparable to the Riverina adjacent to us. Griffith has a base of 16,000, plus those along the way, Finley (2,000), Tocumwal (2,000) and Barooga (1,500).

There's plenty of feeder population, the problem is, it's in NSW, and any government of the day will use that as an excuse not to have the stats for train services. This is the unfortunate outcome of our broken federation.

Toxation, bit hard to use the Bairnsdale line as a comparison seeing as it is RFR standard (partway). The standard of track pre RFR was much better than the current Cobram line. The $$ to upgrade the Bairnsdale line would not have been as much as it would cost to upgrade the Cobram line and this decision would all be about $$.
"Ballast_Plough"


The aspect about RFR is really not important. It's only RFR to Traralgon. And I believe the track between Cobram and Shepparton would be cheaper to restore to service than the line from Sale to Bairnsdale. It's on more stable ground, there are no substantial bridges, and the Cobram line from Strathy is already 47kg CWR, and to add to that, it's only 25 year old rail (I'm aware resleepering would need to occur). Only 55 kilometres of track, which is one of the six lines of significant importance for freight in Victoria (and possible inland railway route) would need to be brought up to class 2 track.

Collectively, we on this forum believe that rail will solve everything. Rightly or wrongly, the powers to be will look at the whole picture & assess whether there is a public transport shortage.

If there is a shortage, the next step is to establish a strategy - which could be bus or rail. If the average Joe doesn't mind to an extent, as long as they get to where they want in the best possible time & the cheapest option is bus, that's probably what will happen.

The enthusiast side of me would love to see rail everywhere but realistically it's an expensive ask. I think Leongatha has gone down this path & can't see Cobram being any different.
"Ballast_Plough"


Really for a 45min journey to either Benalla or Shepparton & subsequent transfer to a train, the discomfort factor of long coach trips is minimal.
"drwaddles"


Reintroducing services to Cobram may be harder then you think...
For a start, I'm lead to believe, the current site of Cobram Stn, has since been wholely, or partly redeveloped, for the local shopping centre, this a new Cobram Stn, would need to be built, that is if the rail reservation is even still their from the towns outskirts to the town centre...

A stop at Numurkah at the former Numurkah Stn site, is no longer possible, as it is now a private residence, infact a funeral parlour now I believe.


http://www.vicsig.net/infrastructure/stations/
TH-20070116-numurkah-stn-building-jh.jpg
"dalts 1985"


Not so. The Cobram railway station is in its entirety, nothing has changed. Tracks all in place, the line even continues to the Silos. What's better is that the station is so close to town. It's immediately adjacent to Safeway.

Numurkah may indeed be an issue, however I'm betting that VicTrack still own the premises, no doubt on 12 monthly contract. That's of little issue.

Our biggest problem in town is that the council is so hell bent against the idea. Not interested. Jasper has tried with them, and they're not interested. They want the land to develop. Wrong attitude in my opinion. Once they lose the station and yard, it most likely will never happen.

Look, I will appreciate that there are arguments for and against, but I feel the positives outweigh the negatives.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
No comment on the bus/park and ride questions I asked?
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
One question for you: Why Cobram?

Would it not make far more sense to simply upgrade the line through to Tocumwal (9km from Cobram)? The line is still at a far superior standard to the Cobram line and would take a lot less money to upgrade.
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria
No comment on the bus/park and ride questions I asked?
"drwaddles"


I'm sorry, I thought I had commented on everything.

I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.
"toxation"


Would any improvements to the bus improve its attractiveness or is it a matter or irrational dislike for buses?

Regardless, the alternative is there to be used and they are welcome to ignore it should they choose to do so. One does wonder why they don't park and ride at Shepparton?
"drwaddles"


I don't think the issue is the level of service. The opinion of those that I have spoken to (and it is indeed not everyone in the town) is that the bus is not comfortable in terms of service continuity.

I've travelled on the bus. I dislike it. That is all. I and plenty of uni friends of mine in Melbourne would be more likely to travel by train all the way to Cobram, than to hop off at Shep and transfer. As a result, they car pool, or go it alone.

In terms of driving to Shepparton and parking. I don't know. People don't do it. I certainly don't. If I drive to Melbourne, it's all the way. If the train service returned, I'd go by train.

Like I said, I don't know the opinions of the majority. Hopefully that'll be different in a couple of months.

One question for you: Why Cobram?

Would it not make far more sense to simply upgrade the line through to Tocumwal (9km from Cobram)? The line is still at a far superior standard to the Cobram line and would take a lot less money to upgrade.
"TheRev"


It might make more sense, indeed. I'm not sure what to say. It's obvious why I myself have supported Cobram. I also think that the government is less likely to reinstate a service that terminates interstate than one that terminates in a Victorian town. I am open to correction. If V/Line brings trains back to Toc, I'd still be pretty happy. But I will always vouch for Cobram.
  SN7 Chief Commissioner

Tocumwal would be a better option than Cobram, Practically a mini bus could operate to Tocumwal feeding the trains, to & from Cobram 15-20 minute trip.

Patronage figures on Griffith - Shepparton Coach Services connecting trains are increasing actually, on most weekends two coaches are utilised ex Tocumwal, on the 1300 ex Griffith (Sundays) and they are both full by Numurkah. The passengers south of Numurkah unable to board the coach(es) are placed in taxis.

Shepparton whilst having the largest population in the area should not be the end of the line.

With bugger all money in the last state and federal budgets for regional rail - despite V/Line recording near 1 Million passenger journeys in April - (Highest on record) - politicians aren't interested at all post RFR of railways, until election time. 2 years away...  

The MIA area including Griffith Served by V/Line is also highly patronised in fruit picking season.  

The report on reopening should probably be binned as the information relevant at the time has changed substantantially. As have petrol prices.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.
"toxation"

They'll get over it.

There are over 15,200 people along the trunk from Shepparton to Cobram, 70km of track, 15km of which is closed.
"toxation"

Could I please have a break down of that population.

This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).
"toxation"

Bairnsdale itself is at least 11,000 - as Somebody said, this is the railhead for East Gippsland, to popular destinations like Lakes Entrance

There could be three station stops, Numurkah (town population of 4,600), Strathmerton, for safeworking with the Tocumwal line, and Cobram, 5,500.
"toxation"

2006 Census has Numurkah at 3700

A much better and cheaper line to return than Mildura, for population vs. kilometre (214 persons per kilometre Cobram vs. 98 persons per km Mildura).
"toxation"

Interesting maths - that would give a Mildura line population of less than 45000.

Given the municipality population is over 50000, and you haven't bothered with any of the populations between Mildura and Ballarat, I suggest you try again.

It's immediately adjacent to Safeway.
"toxation"

Yay, Melbourne visiters can shop at Safeway Cobram eleventyone!
  fullofrubbish Assistant Commissioner

Location: Brunswick
Thanks guys for the debate so far.

There has been a few mentions of the long talked about inland railway via Tocumwal from Melbourne to Brisbane. Obviously this route would be build as standard gauge.

My concern is if firm decisions are never made about these things, it could be a precursor to not providing sufficient maintainence or upgrade work to the BG between Seymour and Shep, and ending up with a situation similar to the Albury line debacle of the last 6 months (i.e speed restrictions, late running etc)
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
I'm fairy sure it is going via Junee not Tocumwal.

As far as the dislike for the bus - get over it. You can't expect to have a one seat trip (which isn't a one seat trip anyway unless you are walking to the station and only going to within walking distance of Spencer Street).

The alternative is there.
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria
I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.
"toxation"

They'll get over it.
"ZH836301"


Well, for 15 years they haven't. Maybe petrol price will have an influence, maybe it won't.


There are over 15,200 people along the trunk from Shepparton to Cobram, 70km of track, 15km of which is closed.
"toxation"

Could I please have a break down of that population.
"ZH836301"


You can see the full breakdown of that population if you visit my website. I've done the work once, not doing it again.


This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).
"toxation"

Bairnsdale itself is at least 11,000 - as Somebody said, this is the railhead for East Gippsland, to popular destinations like Lakes Entrance

There could be three station stops, Numurkah (town population of 4,600), Strathmerton, for safeworking with the Tocumwal line, and Cobram, 5,500.
"toxation"

2006 Census has Numurkah at 3700
"ZH836301"


I then explained how Cobram can act in the same manner for the Riverina in the area adjacent to and north of Cobram and Tocumwal. Re: Numurkah; the CBD and substantial built up area around the town is complemented by the outlying population to achieve 4,600, again this is shown on my website.


A much better and cheaper line to return than Mildura, for population vs. kilometre (214 persons per kilometre Cobram vs. 98 persons per km Mildura).
"toxation"

Interesting maths - that would give a Mildura line population of less than 45000.

Given the municipality population is over 50000, and you haven't bothered with any of the populations between Mildura and Ballarat, I suggest you try again.
"ZH836301"


Err, no. This is using census data for the major centres along the line between Ballarat and Mildura as quoted in the Mildura pax services thread. I will admit that these are based on the 2001 data however. I will in my own time compile a set based on 2006.


It's immediately adjacent to Safeway.
"toxation"

Yay, Melbourne visiters can shop at Safeway Cobram eleventyone!
"ZH836301"


You fail to interpret that what I meant was a railway station in town is always going to be seen as more beneficial than one out of town.
  drwaddles In need of a breath mint

Location: Newcastle
What website? All I see is a link to the model railway site.

You have, yourself, ruled out any improvements that could be made to the bus journey to improve it so I guess you'll just have to wait for that train that won't come. Tocumwal is more likely to get a service with a bus to Cobram.
  luznug Banned

Location: Banned
Luznugs reasoning of why rail is the safest and healthiest way to travel
The motorcar is the equivalent of eating fast food.
The Bus is Bake Beans on Toast
Flying is equivalent to eating endanged fauna
And rail is a (velocity) Salad Roll.
Riding a bike is Organic Lentil Soup.
Walking????? Does anyone walk anymore?

Gee sorry I forgot to mention $$$$ in all this so here I go.
Victoria is about to loose 150 million dollars a year thanks to the tabloid pressure of the GST on petrol.
MR KRudd. Is now nothing more than a Coward in my eyes bending to whim of Road Lobbyists.
Two dollars eighty is all you will save on a 65-litre tank of petrol.
Times that by a 52 weeks and it’s a grand total of One Hundred and Forty Five dollars and Sixty cents.
But lets get back to the saving of 2 bucks eighty a tank so it now costs Ninety-four dollars and twenty five cents to fill the car every week at $1.45 litre for arguments sake.
Times that by 52 and we have $4,901 up in smoke, not  the $5,046. 60 with the  GST.

We have 136 people killed with fast food motor vehicles so far this year in Vic.
If any company, organistaion, country or individual was responsible for that many murders of Victorians (Australians) We Aussies would want justice or at least the Government to step in and cease this senseless taking of lives.
But no it’s our beloved Car that’s killing us and we love our Cars more than life itself!
What will all our conversations be about when the Mildura or Cobram buses smash head on into a truck over the remaining year be about?
So get real people its not just the environment that we are putting at risk every time we turn the key and yes I have the statistics to prove it.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
One question for you: Why Cobram?

Would it not make far more sense to simply upgrade the line through to Tocumwal (9km from Cobram)? The line is still at a far superior standard to the Cobram line and would take a lot less money to upgrade.
"TheRev"


I dunno. "far superior"?

Compare this, at Strathmerton,




to this track at Strathmerton ...

  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
^Look here

Well, for 15 years they haven't. Maybe petrol price will have an influence, maybe it won't.
"toxation"

Seems more like an excuse for some to continue carrying around the old Melbourne v Rural chip on the shoulder

You can see the full breakdown of that population if you visit my website. I've done the work once, not doing it again.
"toxation"

Confirms exactly what I suspected - selective manipulation

You say no stops south of Numurkah - yet you include populations below here

You say nobody will drive to catch the train - yet you include areas out of PT range

And you do not make fair comparison, by comparing different sized catchment areas

I then explained how Cobram can act in the same manner for the Riverina in the area adjacent to and north of Cobram and Tocumwal. Re: Numurkah; the CBD and substantial built up area around the town is complemented by the outlying population to achieve 4,600, again this is shown on my website.
"toxation"

NSW towns don't matter, unless there is a contribution from their state (or if sufficient benefit can be shown to our state to justify otherwise)

Err, no. This is using census data for the major centres along the line between Ballarat and Mildura as quoted in the Mildura pax services thread. I will admit that these are based on the 2001 data however. I will in my own time compile a set based on 2006.
"toxation"

So you're saying it's alright to count area populations for the Cobram line, but not Mildura

Ie. You are again manipulating statistics

You fail to interpret that what I meant was a railway station in town is always going to be seen as more beneficial than one out of town.
"toxation"

You fail to interpret that an empty block of land in the middle of a town centre is less beneficial than an active one

No wonder you council wants to knock this on the head
  NathanCastle Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gippsland
I really disagree. Many people that I've spoken to about it won't travel on the bus to Shepparton because it's a bus.

So, they'll endure the 2h45m trip to Melbourne in a car than to go by bus connecting to rail.
"toxation"

They'll get over it.

There are over 15,200 people along the trunk from Shepparton to Cobram, 70km of track, 15km of which is closed.
"toxation"

Could I please have a break down of that population.

This compares with the 14,560 people along the Bairnsdale corridor, with a distance of 68km (from Sale).
"toxation"

Bairnsdale itself is at least 11,000 - as Somebody said, this is the railhead for East Gippsland, to popular destinations like Lakes Entrance

There could be three station stops, Numurkah (town population of 4,600), Strathmerton, for safeworking with the Tocumwal line, and Cobram, 5,500.
"toxation"

2006 Census has Numurkah at 3700

A much better and cheaper line to return than Mildura, for population vs. kilometre (214 persons per kilometre Cobram vs. 98 persons per km Mildura).
"toxation"

Interesting maths - that would give a Mildura line population of less than 45000.

Given the municipality population is over 50000, and you haven't bothered with any of the populations between Mildura and Ballarat, I suggest you try again.

"ZH836301"


The number of people who live In a railway corridor Is really not irrelevant In outer country Victoria.
It Is more the number of people who will use at train service on a daily basis.
  toxation Chief Commissioner

Location: Cobram, Victoria
^Look here

Well, for 15 years they haven't. Maybe petrol price will have an influence, maybe it won't.
"toxation"

Seems more like an excuse for some to continue carrying around the old Melbourne v Rural chip on the shoulder

You can see the full breakdown of that population if you visit my website. I've done the work once, not doing it again.
"toxation"

Confirms exactly what I suspected - selective manipulation
"ZH836301"


No, no selective manipulation at all. I haven't made my own breakdown of the Mildura line, like I said. Only the two Gippsland lines and the Cobram line. In all three of those statistical breakdowns, I included the statistical divisions immediately adjacent to the line, and, not touching a statistical division that is already serviced (eg. Congupna and North Shepparton were not included in the Cobram breakdown, as they are adjacent to Shepparton division.

You say no stops south of Numurkah - yet you include populations below here
"ZH836301"


Certainly do, as they are localities closer to Numurkah than Shepparton.

You say nobody will drive to catch the train - yet you include areas out of PT range
"ZH836301"


Err, no. I said that of the people I have spoken to, which I did say was not the majority, they were not interested in driving to Shepparton, 45-50 minutes drive away to catch the train, and instead preferred to drive the whole distance to Melbourne as a result. You appear to have selective assumptions.

And you do not make fair comparison, by comparing different sized catchment areas

I then explained how Cobram can act in the same manner for the Riverina in the area adjacent to and north of Cobram and Tocumwal. Re: Numurkah; the CBD and substantial built up area around the town is complemented by the outlying population to achieve 4,600, again this is shown on my website.
"toxation"

NSW towns don't matter, unless there is a contribution from their state (or if sufficient benefit can be shown to our state to justify otherwise)
"ZH836301"


And if you had in fact read what I had said properly, you would have seen that I acknowledged this as an issue that a government would use in its defence of reinstatement, because of our broken federation.


Err, no. This is using census data for the major centres along the line between Ballarat and Mildura as quoted in the Mildura pax services thread. I will admit that these are based on the 2001 data however. I will in my own time compile a set based on 2006.
"toxation"

So you're saying it's alright to count area populations for the Cobram line, but not Mildura

Ie. You are again manipulating statistics
"ZH836301"


Again, no I'm not, I have demonstrated figures that I have gained from elsewhere, and reaffirmed my knowledge that these were 2001 figures, and again reaffirmed that I would do my own study with 2006 figures. No manipulation, smoke or mirrors at all.


You fail to interpret that what I meant was a railway station in town is always going to be seen as more beneficial than one out of town.
"toxation"

You fail to interpret that an empty block of land in the middle of a town centre is less beneficial than an active one

No wonder you council wants to knock this on the head
"ZH836301"


An empty block of land in the middle of town is unproductive. I couldn't agree more. Fact is, it's not empty, and it has great potential for rail transport, in my opinion.

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