Councils yet to get funding answer for passenger rail feasibility study

 
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Personally I do like the idea, and believe it has got some merit. The biggest hurdle to overcome however is rollingstock.

As there is no spare rollingstock at the moment, some would need to be ordered. As it is we are already short of rollingstock for the RRL due to open in April, and also seeing as the N class and N set combinations for other long distance lines are already over 30 years old, new long distance carriages and locomotives really will be required soon, or at the very least a decent mid life re-fit of what we already have.

Add to that the ageing H cars will soon need to be put out to pasture (these are getting past 60 years old if you go right back to their spark days) and most likely the P and A class locomotives are pretty much done, so we will soon likely need new interurban commuter sets, or at the very least more vlocities to cover the gap when these things finally get the golden handshake.

So dedicated SG stock to service a few vital as they may be towns in the Wimmera, is still quite a few years away.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Get V/line to take over for a start - the train needs to be refocused on the needs of the towns along the line rather than a 'rail cruise' type thing that GSR does. The service itself needs to be sped up from the current 11.5 hours, it's way too slow to be competitive with private vehicles; that might mean some money needs spending on crossing protection/removal along the route - as I understand it this is the main obstacle to higher speed running.

Another 'must' is that they have to make sure east-bound and west-bound trains meet the broad-gauge Ararat service as much as possible - this has also been a significant failing of the current Overland in my opinion; the lack of a timely interchange to Ballarat. Also I think they also need to ditch Adelaide Parklands terminal and run the train into Adelaide station again, it would only require a few km's of dual gauge but it makes the service so much more useful if you arrive in the city without a car.

I think it will probably all be too hard for the time being though.
don_dunstan

It all sounds nice, but would be a total money pit, to set up and operate, add the fact that there Is so few votes to win.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Any extended service beyond Ararat to Stawell and Horsham if it ever got up would be a VLP sg  DMU set shuttling back and forth to Ararat connecting there (cross platform transfer) with VLP  bg  DMU services to/from Melbourne.  But it aint going to happen any time soon as it chews up another 3 car VL set and the rollingstock is needed elsewhere for much more urgent use. Also patronage would be limited and the existing train/coach service via Ararat raelly offers  Stawell and Horsham quite a competive service travel time wise .
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
A bit more news on the issue today in the Wimmera Mail Times.
There is plenty of noise coming from all directions regarding rail services.
If you read the article, old ZH will shred all the reasons put forward for the service to be returned to Horsham or where ever and perhaps he's right, but if enough people make enough noise, their voice will be heard !

http://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/2680637/wimmera-passenger-rail-lines-feasibility-study-councils-urge-state-government-to-pay/?cs=225

BigShunter.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
How about the councils pay for all the consultant's coke... and they put it to a local vote whether to do so first.

Something like, "Which would you prefer:"

a/ A pointless rail survey filed within a government filing cabinet
b/ An all expenses paid round the world 'fact' finding mission for clowncillors
c/ Increased support of local clubs and recreational facilities


Let them know what they're missing out on with this fool's errand.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It seems as though the solution must naturally be a train, doesn't it?

I seriously doubt that people are going to center their lives around what is probably going to be a single train a day.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
It seems as though the solution must naturally be a train, doesn't it?

I seriously doubt that people are going to center their lives around what is probably going to be a single train a day.
railblogger

It would only work if it was actually faster than driving or a bus. At the moment it's abysmal and there's no prospect of it improving any time soon.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
What could a feasability study come up with?
Ultimately, for a train to be returned beyond Ararat, some one will have to meet the running costs and I bet
the Councils wont be offering to do that.
So , about the only outcome will be a train is feasable if the Vic Govt foots the bill.
Since the Govt isnt conducting the feasability study, it seems to me like a total waste of time, unless the Govt states upfront
they will meet any costs involved in any train based proposal.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
What could a feasability study come up with?
Ultimately, for a train to be returned beyond Ararat, some one will have to meet the running costs and I bet
the Councils wont be offering to do that.
So, about the only outcome will be a train is feasable if the Vic Govt foots the bill.
Since the Govt isnt conducting the feasability study, it seems to me like a total waste of time, unless the Govt states upfront
they will meet any costs involved in any train based proposal.
MD


No local government entities off-set the cost of V/Line's rail services so why should any service that may be implemented west of Ararat be any different.

Sadly the catchment is there but, its a safe Nat seat so no support from the Napthine administration, and Labor has nothing to gain by looking into the proposal further.

The only way this proposal is likely to get up is a Greens balance of power result in a few weeks.

Mike.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Who would conduct the feasability study?
On what basis would it be determined that a train was feasable, if the Govt simply says we wont fund it?
Govts do NOT have to fund trains.
Railfans unfortunately seem to think that Public transport = trains .
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Mike

Why do you say the catchment is there ? Why specific areas are you referring to ?

I don't doubt there is a market for services but I am unsure how big a market and to where passengers might be headed ?  Are we to assume these trips will be to ballarat.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Mike

Why do you say the catchment is there ? Why specific areas are you referring to ?

I don't doubt there is a market for services but I am unsure how big a market and to where passengers might be headed ? Are we to assume these trips will be to ballarat.
freightgate

I think that's the central issue, the potential market is wedged at Ararat because a sizeable part of the market headed from the Wimmera will be going to Ballarat. You could probably fix this by making sure that every train from the west has a reliable connection but the other problem (mentioned previously by someone else) is that the bus was actually slightly faster than the train from Horsham to Ararat because of the Murtoa diversion.

The Wimmera has been pushing hard for restoration of the train (21 years now) but realistically the Ararat service is as good as it gets.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Mike

Why do you say the catchment is there ? Why specific areas are you referring to ?

I don't doubt there is a market for services but I am unsure how big a market and to where passengers might be headed ? Are we to assume these trips will be to Ballarat.
freightgate




Echuca has up to eight V/Line services a day including two trains -

http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/timetables/echuca.pdf/echuca

Population of Echuca - 13,652

http://profile.id.com.au/campaspe/population?WebID=200



Population of Stawell - 8,270

http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/living-in-victoria/melbourne-and-regional-victoria/west-victoria/stawell#.VGFytTSUeSo

Population of Horsham - 15,890

http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/living-in-victoria/melbourne-and-regional-victoria/west-victoria/horsham#.VGFy3jSUeSo

Horsham has seven V/Line services a day, not including the twice weekly 'The Overland'

http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/timetables/nhill.pdf/nhill

However Horsham has no daily rail services, yet it has a higher population combined with Stawell than Echuca combined with Elmore and Rochester.

Bendigo and Ballarat are about the same size, so they may be included or excluded from the discussion.

I believe its something of a fallacy to say the Echuca has a lot higher number of day visitors by PT because if PTV and V/Line really wanted to increase the tourist market they would accelerate the Echuca trains by making them limited express to/from Bendigo, implementing the higher operating speed from Bendigo to Echuca now the level crossing protection project is 'complete' and the re-joining of the PN sabotaged and cut rails to the Echuca wharf platform would make the arrival in Echuca a real event for tourism.
This could potentially shave 30+ minutes from the journey.
None of these incentives are showing any inclination at all of being implemented with any urgency.

Hence my argument that Horsham would support a re-introduced daily rail service with a change of services at Ararat and after surveying, perhaps a trial of operating the SG service to Geelong/Melbourne.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The only realistic option is a sg V/Locity 3 car shuttle from Ararat - Stawell - Murtoa - Horsham connecting with VLP bg trains at Ararat  cross platform connection .   Cost effective solution , provides an extension of Ararat rail service albeit by sg so saves huge extra cost of running the sg train all the way through to Melbourne.  Also between Ararat and  North Shore there is ZERO passenger catchment on the sg line . So forget any through sg  VLP  trains ex the Wimmera .
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Population
Vinelanderp

Everytime I see this argument I want to dig my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

Population is irrelevant - only traffic is important.

Despite having similar populations, why do you think Melton has far more services towards the city than Mildura?

Similarly why do you think there are so many more flights to Mildura from Melbourne than there are to Armidale?

Truly the argument of a logical simpleton.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The only realistic option is a sg V/Locity 3 car shuttle from Ararat - Stawell - Murtoa - Horsham connecting with VLP bg trains at Ararat cross platform connection . Cost effective solution , provides an extension of Ararat rail service albeit by sg so saves huge extra cost of running the sg train all the way through to Melbourne. Also between Ararat and North Shore there is ZERO passenger catchment on the sg line . So forget any through sg VLP trains ex the Wimmera .
kuldalai


Fair call.

Apart from Cressy, population 122 and half the population of Talbot, V/Line's smallest town with a station there's nothing across Pleurisy plains to stop for.

Mike.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Its not a cost effective option at all.
Whats the capital cost of a 3 car vlocity which is effectively going to be captive between Ararat and Horsham.
Its 116 km from Ararat to Horsham, so around 1 hr 15 mins travel time.
Ararat on SG is in the middle of a single line section so parking the train at the platform blocks the main line, which means the train
cant sit at the platform for very long.
How many trips a day will the train make ?
How will it be crewed?
How will it be fuelled?
You couldnt find a more expensive way of providing public transport to Horsham.
It would be far cheaper to contract GSR to provide a short train to run back and forth.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Everytime I see this argument I want to dig my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

Population is irrelevant - only traffic is important.

Despite having similar populations, why do you think Melton has far more services towards the city than Mildura?

Similarly why do you think there are so many more flights to Mildura from Melbourne than there are to Armidale?

Truly the argument of a logical simpleton.
ZH836301


It's a pity, like your avatar that you didn't...however rail/bus traffic cannot be generated without a significant population at its termini, moreover Melton is a commuter suburb, Mildura is a regional city and has a much larger catchment population...oops there's that word again, than Armidale NSW.

Your point seems flawed and unnecessarily complicated. How many Victorian posters would realise you are referring to Armidale, NSW Question

Population of Armidale, NSW - 25,000

http://www.armidale.info/

Population of Mildura, Vic. - 53,122

http://www.murrayriver.com.au/mildura-rural-city-council-1237/
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Whats the capital cost of a 3 car vlocity which is effectively going to be captive between Ararat and Horsham.
MD

A 3-car Vlocity set costs about $18 million to build. Better to use 2-4 Sprinters instead.

Ararat on SG is in the middle of a single line section so parking the train at the platform blocks the main line, which means the train can't sit at the platform for very long.
MD

Passing loops at each station. Extra cost of course but it does stop ARTC from getting annoyed.

How many trips a day will the train make?
MD

That's what a study is for - to determine what timetable should be used to get maximum patronage.

How will it be crewed?
How will it be fuelled?
MD

Facilities at Ararat.

It would be far cheaper to contract GSR to provide a short train to run back and forth.
MD

Probably not, because they probably won't want to do it anyhow.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The fact the highway is far more direct is yet another reason why Horsham rail is a dud.

Not going to happen - end of story.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
The fact the highway is far more direct is yet another reason why Horsham rail is a dud.

Not going to happen - end of story.
ZH836301

I would say 'no' too. The only scenario for a rail service would be an improved Overland (or a V/Line takeover) and that's unlikely too.

IN fact I was reading today that GSR is presently up for sale by parent company Serco so I wonder if that might also mean a shake-out in operations?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The fact the highway is far more direct
ZH836301

About 20 Km's more direct.

Also add the fact that the Western Highway Is faster between Ararat and Stawell.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The fact the highway is far more direct is yet another reason why Horsham rail is a dud.

Not going to happen - end of story.
ZH836301



The same argument could be said for the Bendigo line which travels via Castlemaine instead of the more direct Calder highway route via Faraday. The Bendigo line adds about 15 Km to the journey to/from Melbourne.

The Ballarat line is about 8 Km longer than the Western Highway...does the same argument apply Question
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Mike, in an ideal world the Kennett cuts wouldn't have happened but the reality is that even with a population base that might justify rail, the road coach service is still slightly faster. Unless the ARTC track is substantially upgraded with many crossings removed there's no point in bringing back a rail service to Horsham/Dimboola, it's just not fast enough and after 21 years absence it's no longer set up for efficient passenger train operation.

And unlike Maryborough, there are NO VOTES IN IT for either side. I don't know how often that needs to be repeated! There's simply no political will there.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Mike, in an ideal world the Kennett cuts wouldn't have happened but the reality is that even with a population base that might justify rail, the road coach service is still slightly faster. Unless the ARTC track is substantially upgraded with many crossings removed there's no point in bringing back a rail service to Horsham/Dimboola, it's just not fast enough and after 21 years absence it's no longer set up for efficient passenger train operation.

And unlike Maryborough, there are NO VOTES IN IT for either side. I don't know how often that needs to be repeated! There's simply no political will there.
don_dunstan

There is another aspect here too in that ARTC would not want a busy Interstate freight corridor  disrupted with more passenger services competing for paths with freight trains .

Forget about  VLP to  Horsham and Mildura and concentrate on what might be achievable in the short term and well supported a 5 times daily shuttle Sprinter operation at 100kmh initially between Geelong and Ballarat .

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