Byron Bay on line again, and resorting to rail

 

News article: Byron Bay on line again, and resorting to rail

More than a decade after the last NSW Countrylink express train made its final journey north of ­Casino, the rickety tracks winding through the coastal paradise of Byron Bay will again welcome a rail service.

  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Good news if it goes ahead. I'll need to get up to Byron Bay for a ride.

Byron Bay on line again, and resorting to rail

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Good news if it goes ahead. I'll need to get up to Byron Bay for a ride.

Byron Bay on line again, and resorting to rail
GeoffreyHansen

Hoping that once the train is running they will look to extend the operation.  Remember West Coast Rail?  There are examples of private franchises working on Australia.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Hoping that once the train is running they will look to extend the operation.  Remember West Coast Rail?  There are examples of private franchises working on Australia.
BigTrain2015

The problem with using WCR as an example is that they are no longer working...
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Bally Hooley at Port Douglas is probably a closer comparison...

http://www.ballyhooley.com.au/HOME.11.0.html
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Hoping that once the train is running they will look to extend the operation.  Remember West Coast Rail?  There are examples of private franchises working on Australia.

The problem with using WCR as an example is that they are no longer working...
Graham4405
West Coast Rail also received Government funding to run their trains, but their medium - long term future was shot, because they were using locomotives and rolling stock that had previously been withdrawn from Government service because of been life expired (for the use It was put through daily)
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Hoping that once the train is running they will look to extend the operation.  Remember West Coast Rail?  There are examples of private franchises working on Australia.

The problem with using WCR as an example is that they are no longer working...
Graham4405
West Coast Rail also received Government funding to run their trains, but their medium - long term future was shot, because they were using locomotives and rolling stock that had previously been withdrawn from Government service because of been life expired (for the use It was put through daily)
"Nightfire"


I think a better explanation of why WCR stopped working is due to the unfortunate death of one of the main founders and principle advocates of the business, Gary McDonald. There was nothing wrong with the rolling stock - maybe just more maintenance intensive due to its age than brand new stock as would be expected.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Combination of death of key personal and aging rolling-stock requiring a major upgrade with limited contract left to run.

Its very hard to build a railway business on a 10 year contract when the rolling stock has a 30-35 year operational life. Had the govt retained the rolling stock and leased to the successful operator, things may have been different.

From Wiki

West Coast Railway encountered a series of operational difficulties during 2003–04 which adversely affected its business. The death of one of the company's founding principals, Gary McDonald, on 25 April 2003 removed the guiding light and spirit of the company.[13] The closure of the Warrnambool line between Melbourne and Geelong for five weeks in January and February 2004, to allow its rebuilding as part of the 160 km/h (100 mph) Regional Fast Rail project, meant that the company had to replace rail services with road coaches during the period of the works, with a resulting drop in passenger numbers.[3]

In May 2004 only a short time after West Coast Railway's rail services resumed in March, the Victorian Department of Infrastructure issued an alert on stress cracks on the underframes of the B class and S class locomotives, including the units owned by West Coast Railway.[3] Once again the company was forced to replace two of its three daily-return rail services with road coaches.[13]

There had also been a change in government transport policy following the election of the Bracks State Government following the failure of privatisation of V/Line Passenger, with then Opposition transport spokesman Geoff Leigh predicting the proposed re-tendering of statewide regional rail operations in 2006 would result in West Coast Railway being "executed".[14]

Although West Coast Railway stated as late as May 2004 its intention to negotiate a new contract to operate Warrnambool services beyond the expiry of its existing contract in June 2004,[15] with the expected locomotive repair bill to be in excess of A$1,000,000 it decided not to seek a renewal.[3] On 31 August 2004 West Coast Railway operated its final services with V/Line resuming services the following day

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