Maryborough numbers

 
  stick Locomotive Fireman

How are the official figures calculated?  I'd say it's more likely that it's a systemic error rather than a conspiracy, if there is indeed a discrepancy between official and observed numbers.  For example, if you based it on the number of tickets sold, a number could be fare evading.  I've never been on the Maryborough service but I used to travel regularly between Ballarat and Ararat (which could be roughly analogous in many ways) and it was an extremely rare event for someone to go through the carriage inspecting tickets.
Simbera
We do tallysheets on each train which are always submitted. Very rare to fare evade on a Maryborough, I dont recall it at all. As for the Ararat it started this way but now averages 50 plus every morning and most of us do do the tickets on them.

Sponsored advertisement

  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
why not have more connecting buses with the Maryborough train. like the Donald bus does on friday nights or even have the Mildura bus be a train to Maryborough.

you could have the Mildura bus met the Maryborough train in the Morning for a service to be in Melbourne by 8am and then have an evening train arrive into Maryborough at 10/11pm before the bus goes to Mildura.

it would mean that the Mildura bus will have to change but would mean less time on a bus.
beanzs27
The main Mildura service is a train to Swan Hill, which means much longer on the train than going to Maryborough.  The connecting bus then cuts the corner in NSW from Robinvale, and in my opinion it's the best possible service to Mildura nowadays.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
According to the timetable, a trip from Maryborough to city via bus to Castlemaine, then train, takes about two hours 45 minutes.  Via bus to Ballarat, then train, takes a little over three hours.  By train all the way takes about two hours and 20 minutes at present, possibly could be improved.

So if you value your time, and don't want the inconvenience of changing vehicles, you would go by train - and hope for a more user friendly service.
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Monday 0731 up Maryborough to SCS
33 On at maryborough
9  on at clunes
5 on at Creswick

1600 Down SCS to Maryborough Today
4 off at Creswick
11 off at Clunes
37 off at Maryborough

I make the point that in all the times that I have travelled There has NOT ONCE been the anything as small as the average which was worked out at 11 passengers. I don't know hav PTV gets their numbers but they appear to be grossly understated.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
It's quite simple really - the PTV figures are averages (i.e. total passengers over 12 months) and despite anecdotal reports here of 40 odd people on some occasions, it also means that there have been days where next to nobody has travelled.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
40 isn't even enough to fill a full size road coach Confused

The Geelong  - Ballarat service has similar numbers and it seems to do okay with 1 road coach.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I think they get it quite well - a pass rail service is not justified. A bus is a better option.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
For what it's worth I travelled Mel to Ballarat on the 1600 Maryborough train yesterday and as the Maryborough set departed from Ballarat I counted 51 passengers on board.
  Simbera Train Controller

We do tallysheets on each train which are always submitted. Very rare to fare evade on a Maryborough, I dont recall it at all. As for the Ararat it started this way but now averages 50 plus every morning and most of us do do the tickets on them.
stick
Yeah, when I've traveled on the Ararat service more recently I've always had my ticket inspected, but my trips were too rare to draw any statistical inferences from them.  The number of passengers is certainly a lot higher than it used to be.

It's quite simple really - the PTV figures are averages (i.e. total passengers over 12 months) and despite anecdotal reports here of 40 odd people on some occasions, it also means that there have been days where next to nobody has travelled.
Ballast_Plough
Do you have any evidence for this?  Seems like people have been getting pretty consistent figures, and it's not like they're picking the busiest service and ignoring the quiet ones - there is only one service per direction per day.  Unless the weekends are dragging the average down?
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Bear and Bent...you don't quite 'get it' do you Question
The Vinelander

Totally 'get it' as you put it.

Sure, I am passionate about certain areas of railways, but I am not a rabid foamer.
I would always prefer a rail option to any other option, but what is the point of running trains on a line where the only 2 return services each day carries 40 passengers per service?

So which is more economically viable The Vinelander?
1. A rail line which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to maintain (plus people to timetable in train paths, and operate signals), plus station staff, plus the cost of running trains staffed with at least 2 crew, and which carries only 40, on average,  paying passengers per service/train (which is what, a  2 carriage V/Locity at a minimum) OR
2. A road coach with 55 or so seats, with 1 driver, running on roads whose maintenance costs is shared between all registered road users.

Pulling a figure out of my head, if the average cost of a ticket for the 40 passengers is, say, $20, then that is $8,000 in total for a trip from Ballarat to Maryborough. Could you run a 2x V/Locity carriage set from Ballarat to Maryborough(including fuel, 2 person crew, rail line upkeep, station staff wages) for $8,000?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Pulling a figure out of my head, if the average cost of a ticket for the 40 passengers is, say, $20, then that is $8,000 in total for a trip from Ballarat to Maryborough.
"xxxxlbear"

Pulling that same figure from my head gives just $800.  Your argument is strengthened when the multiplication is correct.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Pulling that same figure from my head gives just $800.  Your argument is strengthened when the multiplication is correct.
duttonbay

Sorry, massive brain fart Embarassed
My excuse-I've just gotten home from a day volunteering at a heritage railway, and my brain has wound down!!

The economics is even more depressing-$800.
No-one can run a train for that much. $800 would barely get the train out of the depot (or indeed, the stabling yard), let alone running a timetabled V/Line service.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
I think they get it quite well - a pass rail service is not justified. A bus is a better option.
Valvegear

I dont know much about bus operation - so can anyone help me here?

1.  What's the seating capacity of a typical Vline bus such as runs Ballarat to Maryborough?
2.  Is it permissable for buses to carry standing passengers?
3.  What happens when a bus is at capacity?  Do people get left behind or do they rustle up a second bus?
4.  Is it ever the case that on Vline bus routes a second bus is provided in convoy to take overflow passengers?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I tend to agree with Mike.  I have seen the service on two occasions. Both occasions had circa 30 people on board. I would not believe I thing I read from vline.  We need someone to take the numbers for us and report back here.
bevans
30 people is still a bus load.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I dont know much about bus operation - so can anyone help me here?

1.  What's the seating capacity of a typical Vline bus such as runs Ballarat to Maryborough?
2.  Is it permissable for buses to carry standing passengers?
3.  What happens when a bus is at capacity?  Do people get left behind or do they rustle up a second bus?
4.  Is it ever the case that on Vline bus routes a second bus is provided in convoy to take overflow passengers?
Calgully

Calgully, I stand to be corrected, but as far as I know:
!. The coaches are generally comparable across the state. I am not sure of the exact number, but with the coach I catch from Geelong to Ballarat, the minimum seating is at least 50, but may be withing the range of 52 to 56 depending on make and model of the coach used.

2. I am assuming no, but having said that, with my experiences on the Geelong to Ballarat coach, if the coach leaves the station full, and further passengers are waiting at coach stops, they are taken aboard, and stand (unless they are elderly, inform, or disabled, in whch case, a fitter seated passenger is nicely asked to give up their seat to stand).

3. When coach capacity has been reached, I have seen V/line ask for anyone travelling a short distance (for example Geelong station to Bannockburn) to step aside (or leave the coach if already seated), and taxis are ordered for them, thereby leaving seats for those travelling further on.

4. Yes. On certain services, the Geelong to Anglesea/Apollo Bay coach service, certainly extra coaches are used on peak services during holiday periods (especially during the summer months), and incedently, extra services are timetabled in as well for the Christmas / January period. Not sure but I wouldn't be surprsied if extra coaches are used during the ski season for the V/Line Snow Coach from Southern Cross to Mt Buller.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I dont know much about bus operation - so can anyone help me here?

1.  What's the seating capacity of a typical Vline bus such as runs Ballarat to Maryborough?
2.  Is it permissable for buses to carry standing passengers?
3.  What happens when a bus is at capacity?  Do people get left behind or do they rustle up a second bus?
4.  Is it ever the case that on Vline bus routes a second bus is provided in convoy to take overflow passengers?
Calgully
xxxxlbear has already comprehensively answered this question but my personal experience as a frequent traveller on the Hamilton road coach from Ballarat is that they always put on a second coach or mini-bus.  At busier times like Easter and Xmas they always seem to know the times when the bus will be over-booked and act appropriately; Trotter's Coaches is the V-line contractor on that route.

Over the recent Xmas period I was waiting for the Ballarat-bound bus at the small town I usually visit and the bus went straight past me - I was furious until I noticed a mini-bus not far behind it was pulling over to pick me up.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Totally 'get it' as you put it.

Sure, I am passionate about certain areas of railways, but I am not a rabid foamer.
I would always prefer a rail option to any other option, but what is the point of running trains on a line where the only 2 return services each day carries 40 passengers per service?

So which is more economically viable The Vinelander?
1. A rail line which costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to maintain (plus people to timetable in train paths, and operate signals), plus station staff, plus the cost of running trains staffed with at least 2 crew, and which carries only 40, on average,  paying passengers per service/train (which is what, a  2 carriage V/Locity at a minimum) OR
2. A road coach with 55 or so seats, with 1 driver, running on roads whose maintenance costs is shared between all registered road users.

Pulling a figure out of my head, if the average cost of a ticket for the 40 passengers is, say, $20, then that is $8,000 in total for a trip from Ballarat to Maryborough. Could you run a 2x V/Locity carriage set from Ballarat to Maryborough(including fuel, 2 person crew, rail line upkeep, station staff wages) for $8,000?
xxxxlbear
It's not always about $$...

For the present and at least into the medium term...say the next 5 years the bus from Geelong to Ballarat has to remain a bus, due to the removal of many of the platforms at the former stations, and the removal of all the former station infrastructure.

All the stations between Ballarat and Maryborough have been made DDA compliant, all have car parking, appropriate signage, lighting and all the paraphernalia that goes into making a modern railway station.

If, after Minister Guy's reported comments in the media this week about building up the population in Melbourne's outer west and the present government wants to attempt to redeem itself after the TAFE cuts, it would do well be politically expedient and heed some of its own advice and set to and do the same work between Ballarat and Geelong...and order some extra sets to run the service.

Mike.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
The Vinelander, it is ALWAYS about money when we are dealing with governments, (and councils), and most businesses.
$$$ will always be the number 1 factor in whatever government or private bussinesses do.
Even with heritage/tourist railways, although some wont admit it, money, and the making of money (income) is the number 1 factor in whether they succeed or fail. That and having the manpower (volunteers) to make things work.
The operators of our railways are not benevolent organisations. Nor are they altruistic.
Whatever they do, cost, and risk,  assessments are always done.

Why would V/line operate a railway line that bleeds money from their cash reserves?
A line that operates in the red will always be at the forefront of V/Lines attention.

The Ballarat to Maryborough train service is, at this point in time, is a nice thing to have....it revives an old line, brings back memories for some old timers, and gives rail buffs another route to run their steam trains on.

BUT...
* The train service doesnt perform a huge community service, have a look at the loadings of the train....what, only about 40 people, on average, use the train. Not a massive community uptake by any stretch of ones imagination.
* The train certainly doesnt pay its way. To operate the service, V/Line would have to redirect money from other areas to keep the line open and operating.

And if anything, when you compare the number of seats in a 2 x VLocity car set to the number of paying passengers on a particular service, then the Ballarat  Maryborough section has to be one of the worst perfomig lines, if not the worst, that V/Line has,.

If anything, V/line should have re-opened the Dandenong to Leongatha line to passenger trains....each service would probably attract alot more locals than the Maryborough train, and be alot more econonically viable!! Laughing
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The Maryborough service isn't a huge burden (relatively) given that it's essentially a long-distance Ballarat train, and not a standalone operation.  The track needs to be kept in good condition anyway due to the not insignificant amount of grain and Mildura freight that the line carries.

As for Ballarat - Geelong, it's probably only Meredith and Bannockburn (perhaps Lethbridge?) that would have stops...
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
The Maryborough service isn't a huge burden (relatively) given that it's essentially a long-distance Ballarat train, and not a standalone operation.  The track needs to be kept in good condition anyway due to the not insignificant amount of grain and Mildura freight that the line carries.

As for Ballarat - Geelong, it's probably only Meredith and Bannockburn (perhaps Lethbridge?) that would have stops...
Carnot

There are up to, surprisingly, 15 stops between Geelong & Ballarat. I wont go through each stop as the timetable is freely available on the V/Line web site. Meredith and Bannockburn are only but 2 on the route. Bell Park is a stop that interestingly a small number of people use. And the people who do get on the outward bound coach generally get the raw end of the stick because if the coach is full leaving Geelong station, then they're the ones who have to stand, and dont get the benefit of Geelong station provided taxis.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Well the economic rationalists now won't need to feel anxious anymore. With b triple and b double truck operation set to expand across the state you'll soon be able to go and tramp across a whole heap of rail trails when nothing's left except a very few regional commuter lines and the interstate network.  The reality is the Maryborough service which has been discussed in other threads is there based on a political decision and as I described earlier in this post forms a run on run off extension to a Ballarat service. Like numerous regional services around the world it does not run for profit. It runs out of something called Government and social policy. The same system that funds numerous unviable roads and unviable health care systems and unviable education systems et al.
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

63 on the down service to Maryborough tonight leaving Ballarat. Friday is probably busy night. Interestingly it was only a  2 car velocity  one was pulled at SCS as defective
  Blinkey Junior Train Controller

Well the economic rationalists now won't need to feel anxious anymore. With b triple and b double truck operation set to expand across the state you'll soon be able to go and tramp across a whole heap of rail trails when nothing's left except a very few regional commuter lines and the interstate network.  The reality is the Maryborough service which has been discussed in other threads is there based on a political decision and as I described earlier in this post forms a run on run off extension to a Ballarat service. Like numerous regional services around the world it does not run for profit. It runs out of something called Government and social policy. The same system that funds numerous unviable roads and unviable health care systems and unviable education systems et al.
Trainplanner
I am not sure what services on VLine run at a "profit". They get a wacking subsidy to operate their services and I am not sure which, if any, make money. Same could be said fot Metro train, the trams and the bus system.Not sure where this argument leads except closing down everything that does not run at a profit. That not likely or desireable
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Yeah, when I've traveled on the Ararat service more recently I've always had my ticket inspected, but my trips were too rare to draw any statistical inferences from them.  The number of passengers is certainly a lot higher than it used to be.

Do you have any evidence for this?  Seems like people have been getting pretty consistent figures, and it's not like they're picking the busiest service and ignoring the quiet ones - there is only one service per direction per day.  Unless the weekends are dragging the average down?
Simbera

No - my point is that the service has been running for something like 2 years and this thread has mentioned figures for about 10 days which is hardly a representative sample.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Trainplanner is right, all you bean counters can whinge and moan all you like, it is a service, what Public Transport runs at a profit? All public transport is heavily subsidised, I should know as I work in the industry. Even a lot of the Vline coach services are run at a LOSS. People need to commute, if the Governement of the day decide to withdraw a particular service ( be it train or bus/coach) they will do it.   Any saving remnant from this forum is that it gives GUNZELS something to do, whilst they live of the Public purse themselves...........

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.