Day of Steam

 
  Camo3801 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Western Sydney
Would it be possible to have steam trains running between Sydney and Gosford for a whole day. E.g. Have 2 trains running at one time, once either train is at Sydney or Gosford, another loco comes on to take the train back. Loco's could be 3237, 3265, 3526 and 3642.

If anyone is confused, here's an idea;

Early morning transfer of two locos to Gosford,  lets say 3237 and 3642.

3265 pulls 5 carriages from Central to Gosford. 3237 pulls another 5 carriages from Gosford to Central.

Once 3265 pulls into Gosford, it will then be turned and watered, and 3642 will take the train to Central 20-30 minutes after arrival of 3265. And the same idea with 3237 and 3526

This goes on for the rest of the day, with whatever loco waiting at Central or Gosford to take the return run.


Thoughts of this being able to happen in the near future?

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  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Thoughts of this being able to happen in the near future?
Camo3801
Are you paying the rollingstock hire fees? Smile
  Camo3801 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Western Sydney
Are you paying the rollingstock hire fees? Smile
Graham4405
Make it a public event. I'm sure plenty of people would be interested. At least each train would be over 2/3 full. Make it both family and gunzel enticing.
  MC3801 Train Controller

I think it's a fantastic idea. I am still wondering when 3526 and 3237 will return to service.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Make it a public event. I'm sure plenty of people would be interested. At least each train would be over 2/3 full. Make it both family and gunzel enticing.
Camo3801
You write as though these services would run to the normal timetable, replacing the modern rollingstock. Standard fares would not cover the hire costs for the heritage rollingstock. Not sure what those costs are like in NSW, but here in Queensland they have become ridiculous making the cost of tickets for such trips very expensive.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I think it's a nice idea, but not one that's workable.

Graham4405, one question. Is the bulk of the cost in operating the locomotive or the carriages? I ask, because in theory it should be possible to increase revenue per locomotive run by maximising its haulage per run, i.e. operating with more carriages to carry more fun-seekers, within the locomotive's limits. While it obviously cannot match the standard government railway fare, surely this is a means to keep them affordable?

I recall this year's fares for the Queen's Birthday long weekend steam shuttles to/from Clyde being somewhere around the $20-25 bracket. Gosford is approximately four times the distance from Central as Clyde. This, if scaled proportionally, results in a rather high fare in the $80-100 bracket. I'm inclined to suspect that most of the costs are fixed, so let's randomly pick a fare of about $50.

Not cheap. I believe a tour out to Gosford is viable, and surely they've been done, but not a day where the regular Gosford service is operated exclusively by steam. I rather think that the grander ideas are no longer practicable, and that heritage services should focus on events that have broad appeal and make money. Heritage railways are a business and need to operate profitable events and services in order to stay afloat and keep our beloved locomotives and rolling stock in operational condition. More so than government railway ventures, heritage operations need to have a viable business case to be pursued.

I think this idea is nice, and it'd be lovely to have a steam day rather than the usual OSCar day, but I don't believe it has a sound business case.

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