Any regional Victorian stations deserving of closure?

 
  stooge spark Train Controller

There are alot of regional stations that could be closed, as they have low populations, or aren't really near their townships. Its not political suicide either because these towns populations are just that small.
Heres a list of stations with low populations or maybe aren't justifiable
Low population is anything below 1,000, with few exceptions above it
Little River - Pop: 1,322 but has low patronage, Debatable
Birregurra - 828, debatable
Sherwood park - Part of Warrnambool, but gets almost no patronage.
Talbot - 442
Clarkefield - 320
Malmsbury - 831, debatable
Dingee - 203
Pyramid hill - 558
Elmore - 776, debatable
Heathcote junction - 839, but lose to Wandong
Murchison East - 135, but get most of its patronage through the coach connection to Echuca
Tynong - 456
Violet town - 874
Springhurst - 348
Theres also a few others that dont seem to get many passengers but have alot of people living there, these include:
Creswick - 3,170
Clunes - 1,728
Corio - 15,296
Nagambie - 1,886
Avenel - 1,048
Euroa - 3,275
Chiltern - 1,605
Nar nar goon - 1,012
Yarragon - 1,650
Stratford - 2,617

What is everyones thoughts?

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There are alot of regional stations that could be closed, as they have low populations, or aren't really near their townships. Its not political suicide either because these towns populations are just that small.
Heres a list of stations with low populations or maybe aren't justifiable
Low population is anything below 1,000, with few exceptions above it
Little River - Pop: 1,322 but has low patronage, Debatable
Birregurra - 828, debatable
Sherwood park - Part of Warrnambool, but gets almost no patronage.
Talbot - 442
Clarkefield - 320
Malmsbury - 831, debatable
Dingee - 203
Pyramid hill - 558
Elmore - 776, debatable
Heathcote junction - 839, but lose to Wandong
Murchison East - 135, but get most of its patronage through the coach connection to Echuca
Tynong - 456
Violet town - 874
Springhurst - 348
Theres also a few others that dont seem to get many passengers but have alot of people living there, these include:
Creswick - 3,170
Clunes - 1,728
Corio - 15,296
Nagambie - 1,886
Avenel - 1,048
Euroa - 3,275
Chiltern - 1,605
Nar nar goon - 1,012
Yarragon - 1,650
Stratford - 2,617

What is everyones thoughts?
stooge spark

You shouldn't base it off population, but should consider usage.  A place might have low population but lots of people might drive to the station and get the train so it might be quite a useful part of the network.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Indeed, Clarkefield for instance is quite well used on peak services as it is the interchange for Lancefield Road Coaches.

BG
  stooge spark Train Controller

There are alot of regional stations that could be closed, as they have low populations, or aren't really near their townships. Its not political suicide either because these towns populations are just that small.
Heres a list of stations with low populations or maybe aren't justifiable
Low population is anything below 1,000, with few exceptions above it
Little River - Pop: 1,322 but has low patronage, Debatable
Birregurra - 828, debatable
Sherwood park - Part of Warrnambool, but gets almost no patronage.
Talbot - 442
Clarkefield - 320
Malmsbury - 831, debatable
Dingee - 203
Pyramid hill - 558
Elmore - 776, debatable
Heathcote junction - 839, but lose to Wandong
Murchison East - 135, but get most of its patronage through the coach connection to Echuca
Tynong - 456
Violet town - 874
Springhurst - 348
Theres also a few others that dont seem to get many passengers but have alot of people living there, these include:
Creswick - 3,170
Clunes - 1,728
Corio - 15,296
Nagambie - 1,886
Avenel - 1,048
Euroa - 3,275
Chiltern - 1,605
Nar nar goon - 1,012
Yarragon - 1,650
Stratford - 2,617

What is everyones thoughts?

You shouldn't base it off population, but should consider usage.  A place might have low population but lots of people might drive to the station and get the train so it might be quite a useful part of the network.
james.au
True, but alot of these places are straight in the middle of no other towns, or towns very far away, not to mention their very low patronage.
Indeed, Clarkefield for instance is quite well used on peak services as it is the interchange for Lancefield Road Coaches.

Sunbury is a better interchange for these coaches.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
True, but alot of these places are straight in the middle of no other towns, or towns very far away, not to mention their very low patronage.
stooge spark

True, but without patronage figures, we as armchair experts are unable to really judge that effectively across the whole network.
  stooge spark Train Controller

True, but alot of these places are straight in the middle of no other towns, or towns very far away, not to mention their very low patronage.

True, but without patronage figures, we as armchair experts are unable to really judge that effectively across the whole network.
james.au
We can judge by looking at how many people get on/get off everytime we use a train.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Sunbury is a better interchange for these coaches.
stooge spark
No it isn't.

Firstly Sunbury pax are not supposed to use V/Line they are supposed to use Metro services, Up services stopping at Sunbury are greeted with PIDS message saying "Train Not Taking Passengers"
Secondly and far more importantly it would add quite a bit of time to the trip mainly due to the amount of traffic the bus would have to negotiate to get out of Sunbury.

BG

Edited to remove mistake
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Talbot is in a marginal parliamentary seat, that means it's untouchable. Indeed, it was built after the political party that promised to build it won the seat from the other major party. Now no politician would dare touch it.

Clarkefield is fairly close to the mid sized town of Romsey and many people drive there from Romsey (and Lancefield) to take the train to Melbourne. So Clarkefield station has much higher patronage than would be expected based on it's tiny population.
  stooge spark Train Controller

[quote]No it isn't.

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Firstly Sunbury pax are not supposed to use V/Line they are supposed to use Metro services, Up services stopping at Sunbury are greeted with PIDS message saying "Train Not Taking Passengers"[/font][/size][/color]
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Secondly and far more importantly it would add quite a bit of time to the trip mainly due to the amount of traffic the bus would have to negotiate to get out of Sunbury.[/quote][/font][/size][/color][color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]Firstly, Sunbury pax can just use the metro trains, which are far more frequent.[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]Secondly, your arguement only states traffic out of Sunbury, which is the less importent then going into Sunbury, which is already less painful thanks to the addition of more services into Sunbury.[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2][quote][/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Talbot is in a marginal parliamentary seat, that means it's untouchable. Indeed, it was built after the political party that promised to build it won the seat from the other major party. Now no politician would dare touch it.[/font][/size][/color]

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Clarkefield is fairly close to the mid sized town of Romsey and many people drive there from Romsey (and Lancefield) to take the train to Melbourne. So Clarkefield station has much higher patronage than would be expected based on it's tiny population.[/quote][/font][/size][/color][color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]The government can afford to lose one seat if it can make it up by making other seats theirs.[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]As for Romsey, Riddells creek while a little further, is only that, a little further then Clarkefield, which I think your average person from Romsey wouldn't mind if it meant a 3 minute shorter arrival time, as well as a slightly increased chance to get a seat.[/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][/font][/color]
  A4000Bear Junior Train Controller

Location: Taradale, Vic
It's not wise going on the town's population alone. In the case of Malmsbury, on many occasions when I caught the train from there, as many as half the passengers were from Taradale. Itself a town with a closed station. It's quite likely there are passengers from Elphinstone too, also with a closed station.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As for Romsey, Riddells creek while a little further, is only that, a little further then Clarkefield, which I think your average person from Romsey wouldn't mind if it meant a 3 minute shorter arrival time, as well as a slightly increased chance to get a seat.
stooge spark

To use a ZHism...RUBBISH Exclamation

Slight increases in the chances of getting a seat are completely irrelevant as timetables and train set accommodation is always changing to meet demand.

Moreover as Clarkefield is experiencing patronage increases and its population is on the cusp of growing due to the urban sprawl, it's likely its status will grow exponentially over the next decade.

Regarding the marginal seat of Ripon where Talbot is located... after spending over $2Million reopening the station, no government will ever be 'courageous' enough to close it again.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/few-takers-but-talbots-now-on-track-20130825-2sjz0.html

Increased service frequency on the Maryborough line will see Talbot's patronage increase.

Mike.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
A ZH ism:lol:  One thing, you'll never die wondering with our ZH. Where is the lad,(or laddette)?
  stooge spark Train Controller

It's not wise going on the town's population alone. In the case of Malmsbury, on many occasions when I caught the train from there, as many as half the passengers were from Taradale. Itself a town with a closed station. It's quite likely there are passengers from Elphinstone too, also with a closed station.
Taradale and Elphinstone residents can just use Castlemaine.

"Slight increases in the chances of getting a seat are completely irrelevant as timetables and train set accommodation is always changing to meet demand."

Most of the time its usually to increase capacity, meaning that they still get more of a chance to get a seat.
"Moreover as Clarkefield is experiencing patronage increases and its population is on the cusp of growing due to the urban sprawl, it's likely its status will grow exponentially over the next decade."

Urban sprawl problably won't reach Clarkefield for another 30 years, the station is problably a good 12 km away from Sunbury.
"Regarding the marginal seat of Ripon where Talbot is located... after spending over $2Million reopening the station, no government will ever be 'courageous' enough to close it again."

But why? Ripon is literally just one seat, they can make it up in other seats.
"Increased service frequency on the Maryborough line will see Talbot's patronage increase."

Fat chance, Talbots population is too small to see any increase.

edit: changed quotes to make it easier to read
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Honestly, I couldn't imagine the current Labor government closing any stations, as they have been running a rail revival/improvement agenda. However, it might be possible with a Liberal or future Labor government.
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
I think it's short sighted to close any regional stations that are 'commuting distance' to Melbourne particularly if they are in growth (or potential growth) areas.  Think of areas that are growing now that had stations or lines removed where people are now living and commuting for work.  (eg Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Whittlesea). do you really want to bet a station won't be needed within 5 years?

Also the further people travel in their car to get to the station the more likely they are to continue into an inner suburb or even all the way to their work.  Either option increases the traffic on the roads
  stooge spark Train Controller

I think it's short sighted to close any regional stations that are 'commuting distance' to Melbourne particularly if they are in growth (or potential growth) areas.  Think of areas that are growing now that had stations or lines removed where people are now living and commuting for work.  (eg Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Whittlesea). do you really want to bet a station won't be needed within 5 years?

Also the further people travel in their car to get to the station the more likely they are to continue into an inner suburb or even all the way to their work.  Either option increases the traffic on the roads
HardWorkingMan
Most of these stations are barely "commuting distance" to Melbourne, why would someone from Springhurst for example want to take a train to work in Melbourne? Also most of these towns are again, very small, so its not like an increase in traffic will happen.
  stooge spark Train Controller

I think it's short sighted to close any regional stations that are 'commuting distance' to Melbourne particularly if they are in growth (or potential growth) areas.  Think of areas that are growing now that had stations or lines removed where people are now living and commuting for work.  (eg Koo Wee Rup, Lang Lang, Whittlesea). do you really want to bet a station won't be needed within 5 years?

Also the further people travel in their car to get to the station the more likely they are to continue into an inner suburb or even all the way to their work.  Either option increases the traffic on the roads
Most of these stations are barely "commuting distance" to Melbourne, why would someone from Springhurst for example want to take a train to work in Melbourne? Also most of these towns are again, very small, so its not like an increase in traffic will happen.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
It's easy to close a station, or even a line, if there is no perceived need for it at that time - as for example with the Whittlesea line.  In later times, with population growth, you might wish that the line or station had never been closed, although of course it would have required maintenance and enhancement if it had remained open.

There are numerous examples of re-openings or enhancements, e.g. Maryborough, Ararat, Upfield, Mernda, Cranbourne, electrifications.  Who knows if Mernda will be the last stop on that line , or Cranbourne, or (dare I say it with tongue firmly in cheek) Lilydale?
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Listing stations as "candidates" based on immediate population is quite deceptive. As The Vinelander remarked, Clarkefield serves a wider district; there are also long-term plans that I am privy to that would make it a more significant station.

You suggest Sherwood Park; this serves a university, and usually gets passengers, particularly Friday and Sunday nights (kids to/from home).

Why close Heathcote Junction in favour of Wandong, when HJ always seems to have as many or more passengers than Wandong? At least HJ is on top of a hill so easier to start and stop in both directions, savings in power and brakes.

The stations on the NESG usually have multiple passengers boarding/alighting. Euroa is always busy, Chiltern serves Beechworth, Springhurst serves El Dorado and Rushworth.

Elphinstone is probably not such an issue, but Taradale is a growing town, very nice for tree-changers who don't mind the cold. Seems sensible to consider re-opening the station. Malmsbury always seems to have one or two getting on or off, despite many trains not stopping there.

I've often seen ten or a dozen passengers at each of Little River, Yarragon, Pyramid and Stratford.

Surely whether a train stops, or stations absolutely close, should be based on passenger numbers rather than town populations? Even if little used (e.g. Dingee), the community service value is relatively high. I know one station in Victoria often has passengers arriving as domestic violence victims. These people rarely have easy access to a car; in this situation, more community good is served by providing a train to make their lives a bit easier than the need for an accountant to save a few dollars.
  stooge spark Train Controller

Listing stations as "candidates" based on immediate population is quite deceptive. As The Vinelander remarked, Clarkefield serves a wider district; there are also long-term plans that I am privy to that would make it a more significant station.

You suggest Sherwood Park; this serves a university, and usually gets passengers, particularly Friday and Sunday nights (kids to/from home).

Why close Heathcote Junction in favour of Wandong, when HJ always seems to have as many or more passengers than Wandong? At least HJ is on top of a hill so easier to start and stop in both directions, savings in power and brakes.

The stations on the NESG usually have multiple passengers boarding/alighting. Euroa is always busy, Chiltern serves Beechworth, Springhurst serves El Dorado and Rushworth.

Elphinstone is probably not such an issue, but Taradale is a growing town, very nice for tree-changers who don't mind the cold. Seems sensible to consider re-opening the station. Malmsbury always seems to have one or two getting on or off, despite many trains not stopping there.

I've often seen ten or a dozen passengers at each of Little River, Yarragon, Pyramid and Stratford.

Surely whether a train stops, or stations absolutely close, should be based on passenger numbers rather than town populations? Even if little used (e.g. Dingee), the community service value is relatively high. I know one station in Victoria often has passengers arriving as domestic violence victims. These people rarely have easy access to a car; in this situation, more community good is served by providing a train to make their lives a bit easier than the need for an accountant to save a few dollars.
hbedriver
1. The university near Sherwood Park is gonna be closing down soon, and the station itself doesn't seem to get any patronage during any other part of the day.
2. If that is the case at Heathcote Junction then Wandong can close, no sense have two stops within 2 minutes of eachother on a country service.
3. I have never seen Eurora busy.
4. Wangarrata is much more preferable for Beechworth residents.
5. Rushworth? Now you're just trying to scramble something together, Shepparton is way closer to Rushworth then Springhurst. And El dorado's population is around 250 so its not gonna make a dint there.
6. Taradale isn't growing, nor should it be, if people want a cold area with trees, then can live in Kyenton, Castlemaine or Woodend.
7. Taradale definitly doesn't deserve a re-opening.
8. I have only ever seen 3 or 4 souls ever get off/on at little river, Pyramid hill seems a bit odd, I've only seen 8 or 9 pax get off at Yarragon, and I don't think I've seen anyone use Stratford station, at all.
9. The stations are still quiet, and people using way busier stations would much prefer if they could get to their desto sooner.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
It's refreshing that Stooge is trying to be sensible about costs and isn't one of those starry eyed teenagers without the life experience to understand things like costs versus benefits or where money for idealistic projects will come from.

However, as I and others have pointed out, in the country passenger numbers don't depend on the population living within a 2 km radius, stations like Clarkefield serve a far greater area. Then there's the somewhat wishy-washy concept of "social benefit". Yes, some political ideologues try and use that to promote all sorts of loopy socialist agendas, but even a sceptic like me can acknowledge that a good train service does help areas where people are doing it rough more than it would benefit a prosperous area where everyone has a Bentley to get around in.

Every station has it's own factors that should be considered. I mentioned that Talbot was untouchable because it was in a marginal electorate and even an open supporter of the party that didn't build it acknowledges that neither party would dare to do anything to it. That's the cold, hard reality of living in a liberal democracy; marginal seats get more attention from governments than safe ones. We just have to accept that.

In addition to places like Clarkefield, Malmsbury (and arguably Springhurst) that serve wider areas, Stratford is very close to the decent sized town of Maffra plus it's the only stop on the very long stretch between Sale and Bairnsdale, plus trains already have to slow down to walking pace for the high rickety bridge, so a stop there doesn't add much time to the service.

So I reckon that while passenger numbers should be the most important factor in determining if a station should remain open and how many trains should stop there (the "use it or lose it" argument), other things really have to be considered too. What those things are depends on factors that are unique to each location. That said, once the last classes have concluded at Deakin - Sherwood Park in a months time, I wouldn't object to Stooge running a dozer through the place.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Some very good points made Bogong.    If one looks at regional rail stations then a whole stack of factors come into play more than just current usage or population.  Factors like accessibility, remoteness, connecting road network, other transport services etc, etc all come into play.

Without doubt Springhurst on the North East is one that "springs" to mind.  Very small population, minuscule patronage (something like less than 30 pax per month), and reasonably good proximity to stations either side.   To stop 6 long haul passenger trains per day is just a nonsense.

Wandong/Heathcote Junction.   Both stations are very sub-standard from an infrastructure and passenger amenities perspective.  Both have an accessibility problem with the adjoining standard gauge track and the sensible thing to do is close both and resite a new Wandong station south of the existing station and utilize the relatively modern pedestrian overpass to address safety and accessibility issues and provide a station with decent amenity.  Effectively flip the existing station so you can access the existing car-park and still provide access to Wandong township and still be in close proximity to HJ.

Dingee/Pyramid Hill - Here the factors of isolation, effectively no other other transport services and the surrounding network i would say keep them.

Just a couple of perspectives on why there is no hard and fast rule in these decisions putting aside the complications of politics!!!
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The political factors are probably the most relevant here. The last few state elections have been won and lost around public / other transport issues. The Labour party's build it and they will come approach to RFR worked a treat and it would be political suicide to start closing stations now.

I think you are more likely to see more stations being re-opened in the next 10 > 20 years than closed whether or not it makes economic sense.

And as for the timetabling argument, as pointed out by others on RP over the last few years V/Line seems to relish ADDING stops to services at the moment not removing them. The flagship Bendigo > SC service now stopping at Gisborne, all Bendigo services stopping Kangaroo Flat, extra trains out to Epping / Eaglehawk etc.

BG
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Noting the Tynong and Nar Nar Goon are suggested, I would go further to suggest that the area could be looked at more largely.   I suggest that Garfield be rebuilt with platforms the right length and potentially just out of the town on the Up side to allow for development of car parks (an at the top of the grade).  Close Nar Nar Goon, Tynong and Bunyip.   Longwarry would probably survive.  

The area has a good road adjacent to the railway and the option for commuters to travel forward and backward is good.  

The current 4km pattern of stopping ('stop all sheds') is ridiculous.  From both an absolute need and a timetable utilisation of rolling stock too.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
The only reason for Heathcote Junction was when it actually was a junction.  Local trains to/from Seymour would stop there to allow for pax transfers to/from the Heathcote line, and the station obviously had a signal box to control traffic to/from the branch.  Once the Heathcote branch had gone, the signal box was redundant and was removed, and really the station should have been removed as well since there was no longer any need or reason for it.  Wandong is close enough.

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