Sleeping, dining cars scrapped on Inlander Rail service

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 17 Mar 2015 16:34
  Bethungra Train Controller

PASSENGERS on the Inlander Rail will be treated like “second-class citizens” with changes that are likely to act as a prelude to the end of the service.
Sleeping, dining cars scrapped on Inlander Rail service

Could this really be the beginning of the end for these services?

I like the comment from the Queensland Rail guy.

Despite the loss of the sleeping and dining cars, Mr Ryan was adamant that “customers can continue to expect the same great service”.

“But carriages may look a little different as the on-board offering has changed,” he said. Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady slammed the move as a masked way to force the closure of the service, with the Inlander becoming less attractive for passengers, forcing a likely drop in patronage.
Queensland Rail

Mr Ryan was ADAMANT customers can continue to expect the same great service.  How will QR staff bring the plates of food to the laps of passengers?

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
In modern times you would expect a dinning and sleeper service for a 20 hour journey.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
In modern times you would expect a dinning and sleeper service for a 20 hour journey.
freightgate


Yeah....like you'd expect ZH... our resident Ebenezer Scrooge to agree with that statement Exclamation

Dining...the word is Dining car on the Inlander also has a club car section for socialising, so it would seem the car will be scrapped along with the old twinette sleepers. The one roomette car on the Inlander which is stainless steel will be grabbed for the Spirit of the Outback I expect.

Pax routine sit up on 20+ hour flights to the UK etc, so sitting up on the Inlander and the Westlander in what have to be described as FAR more comfortable seats than on international flights for an even shorter duration, though it's not my cup of tea, is not the end of the world.

This of course all assumes the trains remain overnighters.

Mike.
  Bethungra Train Controller

Wondering what impact this move may have on passenger bookings?  How many sleepers were/are on the service?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Wondering what impact this move may have on passenger bookings?  How many sleepers were/are on the service?
"Bethungra"


Usually runs with a power car, a roomette, a twinette, a composite economy sleeper, a club car, a sitter and a baggage car. Presumably the train will run with two sitters and power/baggage car from January 1st.
  Bethungra Train Controller

Usually runs with a power car, a roomette, a twinette, a composite economy sleeper, a club car, a sitter and a baggage car. Presumably the train will run with two sitters and power/baggage car from January 1st.
Sulla1

Thks for your reply.  Is the roomette a single carriage or is it multipurpose? What is a composite economy sleeper?
  xplorer2501 Chief Commissioner

Location: Tuggeranong, ACT
Composite sleeper comprises of three triple berths and four twinettes.
  craigfitz1 Train Controller

Sorry and embarrassed to say, but I have lost track of just how many potential 'new' sleeping cars are available once the current round of refurbishments are done?

Are the numbers so tight, that they cannot afford a single one to go on to the Westie and/or Inlander? Are all the refurbs (except the sitters) to go to the SOTO?


Still, at least they didn't just outright cancel the outback services! They limp on to fight another day! .....
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Sorry and embarrassed to say, but I have lost track of just how many potential 'new' sleeping cars are available once the current round of refurbishments are done?

Are the numbers so tight, that they cannot afford a single one to go on to the Westie and/or Inlander? Are all the refurbs (except the sitters) to go to the SOTO?


Still, at least they didn't just outright cancel the outback services! They limp on to fight another day! .....
"craigfitz1"


There's only ten LAR roomettes left to work from - the latest I've heard is that five are being converted to staff cars (possibly with food and beverage facilities), three are being converted to twinettes (joined roomettes by the sounds) and of the last two, one reportedly went to Sims Townsville last week.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I'm bemused by the electric loco hauled train in the photo at the head of this article. Useless media...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Keeping the Inlander and Westie running as seaters only! This must be the govts half arsed approach of keeping the service running without buying new stock?

To be fair I suppose NSW did a similar thing to BH service, ran it for a short while as loco hauled XPT cars, then stopped until an Explorer was made available. The Westie is only a bit longer than the explorer so maybe? But the Inlander is 24hr.

Seems to be more like sticking a comotosed 100year person inside a iron lung with a pacemaker on dialyses with a feeding tube and a bowel by-pass and still saying they are alive so whats the problem?
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
Seems to be more like sticking a comotosed 100year person inside a iron lung with a pacemaker on dialyses with a feeding tube and a bowel by-pass and still saying they are alive so whats the problem?
RTT_Rules

The government will be able to put their hands on their hearts and say that they're providing this vital service for the good of the community.  And of course in 12-24 months time, when nobody is using it, the govt will proclaim that the current model of long distance rail travel is no longer viable in these fiscally troubled times, and they'll can it altogether, and spend the saved money on advertising how much money they saved.

Geez, I'm getting cynical in my old age..

Or... (Assuming that they get the hauling contract), PNQ will have 4 or 5 coaches up the front, and 40 ore wagons behind. Razz
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Or... (Assuming that they get the hauling contract), PNQ will have 4 or 5 coaches up the front, and 40 ore wagons behind. Razz
Johnmc

Chuck a couple of beds into an ore wagon and call it a sleeper... Mr. Green
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
The government will be able to put their hands on their hearts and say that they're providing this vital service for the good of the community. And of course in 12-24 months time, when nobody is using it, the govt will proclaim that the current model of long distance rail travel is no longer viable in these fiscally troubled times, and they'll can it altogether, and spend the saved money on advertising how much money they saved.
Johnmc

Exactly - the old tried and true method - run the service down to the point that patronage drops away, thus giving the excuse to kill it off.

Yes, I am getting cynical in my old age too.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Exactly - the old tried and true method - run the service down to the point that patronage drops away, thus giving the excuse to kill it off.

Yes, I am getting cynical in my old age too.
mikesyd

Yes true but these trains often don't even fill a Toyota Coaster and one now runs on a line a few hundred km that sees very little freight and heavily subsidised freight at that. When is enough enough? I would love to see them remain, but they do need to actually carry people.

Is it just me that finds it ironic that Inlander and Westie timetables are on the same QR fact sheet
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Yeah....like you'd expect ZH... our resident Ebenezer Scrooge to agree with that statement Exclamation

Dining...the word is Dining car on the Inlander also has a club car section for socialising, so it would seem the car will be scrapped along with the old twinette sleepers. The one roomette car on the Inlander which is stainless steel will be grabbed for the Spirit of the Outback I expect.

Pax routine sit up on 20+ hour flights to the UK etc, so sitting up on the Inlander and the Westlander in what have to be described as FAR more comfortable seats than on international flights for an even shorter duration, though it's not my cup of tea, is not the end of the world.

This of course all assumes the trains remain overnighters.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Just out of interest, you seem to not be aware that if one is flying 1st class on international airline services of a long flying time (Australia to England for example), it is usual to provide seats that lie flat, or indeed partitioned seats which also convert to beds.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Just out of interest, you seem to not be aware that if one is flying 1st class on international airline services of a long flying time (Australia to England for example), it is usual to provide seats that lie flat, or indeed partitioned seats which also convert to beds.
xxxxlbear

You also pay a gobsmacking amount of money for that level of comfort, way more, on average, than it costs to provide the airline service.  That is not the case for the rail services being discussed here, not by a long shot.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

You also pay a gobsmacking amount of money for that level of comfort, way more, on average, than it costs to provide the airline service. That is not the case for the rail services being discussed here, not by a long shot.
donttellmywife

I am fairly sure business class and first class subsidise the cattle class seats. I was working out on the flight back from Saigon the other day (economy class) how many cattle class seats are displaced in the business class section and it really does not justify the price charged for a business class seat. Mind you if I won Lotto the one luxury I would indulge in would be traveling first class on long flights and business class otherwise.

It left me wondering who actually travels business class on such a flight and it probably is the usual group of rent seekers writing the flight off on tax. It left me wondering why the write off is not just limited to the economy seat price and if passengers want extra luxury they can stump up for their own fare.

What has this got to do with rail travel in Qld? A lot as most first class train travelers seem to me are pensioners traveling for almost free but upgrading for almost free to first class. Otherwise, these trains would be empty and leads to the conclusion; why should such heavily subsidised services be provided by the tax payer? A road coach would provide an adequate level of service for the passengers on offer.

So in effect Qld Rail are being smart in continuing to provide a bare bones service with the equipment they can run economically, and when that becomes life expired, probably scrap the service altogether.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I am fairly sure business class and first class subsidise the cattle class seats. I was working out on the flight back from Saigon the other day (economy class) how many cattle class seats are displaced in the business class section and it really does not justify the price charged for a business class seat. Mind you if I won Lotto the one luxury I would indulge in would be traveling first class on long flights and business class otherwise.

It left me wondering who actually travels business class on such a flight and it probably is the usual group of rent seekers writing the flight off on tax. It left me wondering why the write off is not just limited to the economy seat price and if passengers want extra luxury they can stump up for their own fare.
nswtrains

The airline will (over time, across routes, etc) set the mix of seats in each class and the pricing of those seats to try and maximise the amount of net income (fares less cost) they receive for the flight.  That typically means that what you say is true (but I wouldn't call it a subsidy) - per passenger business class passengers [on average - noting there are less of them per area of cabin floor space] pay more for what they receive than economy class passengers - if that situation didn't apply then the airline would be better off cutting some business class seats and putting in more economy seats.

This is equally applicable to rail.  

The marginal tax rate in Australia is not 100% (for companies it is only 30%), so a dollar extra spent on deductible travel still means that you have less money in your pocket at the end of the day.  Travel just for fun (loopholes relating to "conferences" for certain professions regularly held in rather exotic locations aside) is not deductible.  

I used to fly business class a lot (if my employer decides that they want me to regularly spend a 14 hour stretch in an aluminium tube on my own time away from my family they can bloody well pay for me to travel in reasonable comfort, in exchange I'll use that time productively) and typically found that most of the people around me were also business travellers.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Read similar discussion when the Brisbane Limited and Murwillumbah MotoRail were replaced by a sit up XPT February 1990 although a sleeper was later added into the XPT consist. Simple maths based on number of sleeper berths and seats said most of the passengers were probably in the seats not sleepers for the overnight southbound trip from Murwillumbah, both on the MotoRail and the XPT. The Gold Coast people I knew that used it were employed and not on a pensioner ticket.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Just out of interest, you seem to not be aware that if one is flying 1st class on international airline services of a long flying time (Australia to England for example), it is usual to provide seats that lie flat, or indeed partitioned seats which also convert to beds.
xxxxlbear


I'm also well aware of lie-flat beds in Business class as I used them last year on my holiday to the UK and were well worth the 4K return special fare I paid.

But I was in the very, very tiny minority on that aeroplane with about 15 other Business pax. The other 200+ were in cattle class and they definitely did not enjoy lie-flat beds...Wink

Having travelled well into the night in QR sitters, I know for certain these seats are far more comfy & roomy than cattle class on overseas airlines.

Mike.
  X Class Locomotive Driver

If the government hadn't flogged off QR's freight operations to the the private sector, I'm of the view that freight could be subsidising passenger services.  Very few (if any) passenger services run at a profit in Australia, but the freight trains certainly do.  Hence the profits made by freight operations could pay for the passenger services.  Not that that seemed to be happening on any of our state systems when they were wholly owned and operated by their respective governments, but it could have.  Now that they are run as separate entities of course I can't expect the freight companies to be paying for the passenger services that they don't run.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
If the government hadn't flogged off QR's freight operations to the the private sector, I'm of the view that freight could be subsidising passenger services. Very few (if any) passenger services run at a profit in Australia, but the freight trains certainly do. Hence the profits made by freight operations could pay for the passenger services. Not that that seemed to be happening on any of our state systems when they were wholly owned and operated by their respective governments, but it could have. Now that they are run as separate entities of course I can't expect the freight companies to be paying for the passenger services that they don't run.
X Class

Why on earth would you want to do that?  That is exactly the sort of nonsense that went on with the state systems, and very much so in Queensland.

What ended up happening with that arrangement is that it took away investment from the relatively profitable freight sector (that money was instead spent on loss making passenger rail systems and loss making freight too).  Without that investment it was difficult to improve the profitable part of freight network, leaving it for example with alignments built by pick and shovel in the days where we take the ability to slice straight through difficult terrain for granted.  Lack of improvement then means that when competition with new modes gets serious, the majority of the freight system cannot compete and is also unprofitable.  Bingo - all parts of the rail system are screwed.  

This isn't speculation - this is history!

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