New whispers circulating about an uncertain future for CLs long distance passenger trains . Heard on The Vine, suspects the State Government wants more cost savings in the pass rail scene & may be looking at the easiest branches to trim.
I'd like to see the running costs for the Broken Hill and Griffith trains.
Theres really no justification to run a once a week service to anywhere.
On a population basis, Griffith & Broken Hill are similar sized towns to Armidale which gets a daily service.
BHQ XPLorer averages around 70PAX per trip, first class usually being sold out, however it must be noted the type of patronage this train caters to (predominately OAP's, Seniors & Retirees) is vastly different to the usual clientele that is usually carted around on most services.
GFF XPLorer sadly is AMEXed more then it runs... Hence most are now skeptical of booking for the fear it will be AMEXed at last minute (or as has happened two consecutive wkends in a row recently) XPL was blown out defective at G'burn & pax transferred to ST23 Daylight XPT
Anyone know how the Broken Hill Xplorer is crewed?
MD, IIRC someone here on RP posted a long long time ago that the BHQ Xplorer's crew, run out of Dubbo, and are ferried to Parkes for a crew change there.
XPL is crewed by a DBO Driver SYD - PKE (this driver having travelled PASS WT28 Ex DBO Sun. Afternoon) & a SYD PSS & SPA (w/- PA being rostered if the numbers on the previous Fri. are showing 120+Pax).
The SYD Crew stays in PKE Mon. for 26Hrs, while a DBO Crew of Driver, PSS & SPA is taxied from DBO Mon. Afternoon to work XPL PKE - BHQ - PKE, Tues. a DBO Driver Is Taxied over to PKE, the DBO Crew ex BHQ returns via taxi to DBO, INCOMING DBO Driver & SYD PSS & SPA work train back to SYD, DBO Driver travels PASS WT27 Ex SYD back to DBO on Wed. morning.
MD, you don't have any more information about this?
But are they likely to cut country passenger trains near the end of the year, close to an election? But I think you're correct.
A source as stated that the Canberra Xplorers may be the first to go.
If it's correct, I'd say they would just leave the Sydney - Brisbane & Melbourne XPTs, maybe even just have one train for Sydney to Melbourne.
There's been a few rumors flying around:
No#1 is: The 3 Return CBR XPL's 7 Days a week are only a trial...
(& these may in the near future be converted to ENDVR Operation to save on crewing coats)
No#2 is Armidale / Moree XPL replaced with an XPT to Tamworth with coaches Armidale & Ex Werris Crk to Moree, XPT set would be taken off The West & New England XPL would be given to The West in a direct swap, this a net saving of one crew member on roster @ Dubbo Depot. The North West 2 Car XPL Set would become a spare. That could then be used on a second weekly BHQ XPL???
No#3 is trimming of Nth Coast XPT Services to a AM & PM only (mirror image timetabling) Twice Daily XPT Services to Casino, being extended to Lismore, this BNE becomes permanent coach connection Ex Casino / Lismore. With patronage declining on NT31 / 32 post OCT. 20 '13 Timetable change, prior to the timetable change, Car A Sleeper on NT31 would be always 3/4 Full, now it struggles to get 4 persons per train, meanwhile NT33 / NT34 is mostly full, even as a 5 Car Consist, especially Car A Sleeper on NT34, is usually 3/4 Full now.
No#4 is axing of The Overnight XPT Services betwn MEL & SYD (& V.V)
Such changes will be designed to maximize the longevity of The XPT & XPL Fleets, while minimising the current exhaustive running of the fleet, to get as many extra years as possible out of the current fleet
A lot will rest on the upcoming EBA as to what changes are rammed thru.
This report: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/Prod/Parlment/committee.nsf/0/5d81a2253954ef35ca257ca000181020/%24FILE/Report%201-55%20-%20Inter-regional%20Public%20Transport.pdf
should shed some more light on NSW.TL Regionals future...
Pay particular notice to Chapter 7: Page 108 & after...