Great Southern Rail to launch Adelaide-Brisbane service

 
  Trans-Siberian Station Master

Location: Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
And sans overland, I think that looking again at a Ghan extension to MEL might be a useful examination given the previous time it ran it was the Overland that killed it due to competition (if i have my facts correctly aligned)...
Your facts are not correctly aligned.

The Adelaide-Melbourne sector of the Ghan in the Serco-GSR days was just a normal Overland running in its normal path with a handful of cars from the Ghan attached for through passengers. They weren't competing, they were one and the same.

There was a wait of quite a few hours in Adelaide between the Ghan proper terminating and the Overland-Ghan departing, and the through passengers had to get off the train in that time while their cars were cut out of the Ghan consist and attached to the Overland.

I can't see Journey Beyond repeating it. It is their off-train experiences which have turned the muddled confusion of the AN/Serco trains (which never knew whether they were tourism packages or public transport, and did both badly) into a real tourism success story, and extending the journey to Melbourne would require them to drop one each way so the train can do the full return trip inside a week. They understand the tourism market too well to make the same mistakes the Serco-GSR did.

I wrote a lengthy reply to this, but Railpage swallowed it up.

Basically what is written above by JOP is totally incorrect. The Ghan ran as a totally separate through service and there is plenty of photographic evidence to back it up.
bingley hall

Agree....because fiddling with the route alters the provenance of the named train.

The Trans-Australian which originally began between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, for practical operational reasons had its route "extended" to Port Pirie in the East; then up to Perth in the West; and finally to Keswick Terminal in the East.

The Indian-Pacific being named thus because the service operates between Sydney on the Pacific Ocean, and Perth (originally Kewdale, later East Perth), on the Indian Ocean.

Originally, The Ghan began from Port Augusta...and later, practical operational reasons extended its route to Keswick Terminal.


Originally, if one travelled overnight from Melbourne to Adelaide on the The Overland; one transferred to SAR operated Adelaide to Port Augusta service; before finally boarding The Ghan.

A thought for Journey Beyond; for a helluva experience revive the "Tea and Sugar"...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_and_Sugar_Train

Remember crossing the Westbound "Tea and Sugar" at Tarcoola....where a bloke with a slab of coca-cola hitched a ride with us to Pimba...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vAh-p0-cPA

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  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Your facts are not correctly aligned.

The Adelaide-Melbourne sector of the Ghan in the Serco-GSR days was just a normal Overland running in its normal path with a handful of cars from the Ghan attached for through passengers. They weren't competing, they were one and the same.

There was a wait of quite a few hours in Adelaide between the Ghan proper terminating and the Overland-Ghan departing, and the through passengers had to get off the train in that time while their cars were cut out of the Ghan consist and attached to the Overland.

justapassenger

So just returning to this for a moment........

When the Ghan was extended to Melbourne by GSR in November 1998, The Overland was still a night runner 7 days a week and the Ghan ran once a week in each direction on its own totally different path using Ghan rolling stock. There are pics of the eastbound daylight Ghan ex Adelaide crossing a late running westbound Overland at Belair during this period.

When the Overland changed to the mix of day and night services in May 2000, The Ghan still ran on its own paths and with its own rolling stock. The Ghan departed Adelaide/ Melbourne on Wednesdays, a day on which there was no Overland services, so again there was no "handful of cars from the Ghan attached (to The Overland) for through passengers".

In mid-2002 GSR announced the extensions to Melbourne and Sydney would be withdrawn, with the Ghan to Melbourne withdrawn in November 2002 - a run of three years, so not quite the disaster some want to seem to imagine.

It is possible that on the very odd occasion over that three year period the two trains were combined and some shunting did occur at Keswick, but given the days of operation and pathing it would have been rare.
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Driver

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
Thanks for that Jack Le Lievre
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I remember watching the SG trains departing Spencer Street.  The Melbourne Ghan departed at around 22:15 while the Overland left at around 20:30 on days on which it operated.  When the Ghan was departing I was expecting a horn but to my surprise it sounded a bell or gong repeatedly.  All the staff using the staff's pedestrian crossing on the north end of platform knew what it meant and stopped clear of its way.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I remember watching the SG trains departing Spencer Street.  The Melbourne Ghan departed at around 22:15 while the Overland left at around 20:30 on days on which it operated.  When the Ghan was departing I was expecting a horn but to my surprise it sounded a bell or gong repeatedly.  All the staff using the staff's pedestrian crossing on the north end of platform knew what it meant and stopped clear of its way.
route14
Interestingly, The Overland still uses a bell.

When I travelled on the Overland last month, I observed that when the NR loco was performing shunting moves at Parklands Terminal (Keswick) there was the sound of a bell ringing coming from the loco to signify that it was moving.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect if it was happening on this occasion, it may be the norm for all similar movements at Parklands Terminal.

I also thought it was worth noting, immediately before these moves were made there was an announcement made over the PA advising everybody to "Please stay behind the white line as a light engine movement takes place". I thought the use of the term light engine movement was particularly gunzelly.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
As far as I know the NRs were the first locos with bells.

Bells are a huge advantage in yard work. They are:

  • Generally, not intrusive upon the 'neighbourhood' unlike a whistle.
  • Can be rung continuously if necessary as the movement advances.
  • Far safer than a whistle blast five minutes ago at the other end on the yard followed by nothing to pursue the movement.
  DM45 Station Master

Location: Redland City
Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I arrived on Trip 3 at Acacia Ridge on time. This was in spite of the detour via Unanderra due to fires between Moss Vale and Campbelltown. By the time we passed Hornsby, we were 3 hours late. By some smart footwork and only a couple of crosses, the drivers made up time. The off train tour at Coffs was also cut from 4 hours to 2 hours.  

The off train tours were as follows:

Grampians Tour - Boarded buses at Stawell with the train blocking a railway crossing. The bus shuttles to points of interest were cancelled due to fire danger, so we enjoyed dinner in a large marquee, cooled by large Evap coolers and a breeze outside. The temperature was about 42 deg. but cooling down. Returned to Ararat and departed at about 9:05pm.

Canberra Tour - Boarded buses at Yass Junction, with three vehicles heading to Canberra and one vehicle to the Murrumbateman wine area. There was a lot of smoke around, and it was not possible to see the War Memorial from Parliament House when we arrived.

After entering Parliament House and a short tour, we were treated to an excellent lunch in the Members and Visitors Dinig Room at the top of the building. After lunch, there were four tours - National War Memorial, National Gallery, National Museum and a more indepth tour of Parliament House. We took the War Memorial Tour - just a short glimpse of this wonderful place and an an incentive to return for a more lenghty tour. After a 1 hour 20 minute drive, we joined the train at Goulburn amid a thick cloud of smoke blown in from the south.

The train departed at around 6:00pm after we were informed that the train would be diverted via Unanderra and the Illawarra Line.

Coffs Harbour Tour - Only a tour of the town and the lookout took place - the markets were closed due to Christmas
Carnival activities. We chose to remain on the train in air conditioned comfort at Boambee Beach loop while the train was watered etc. After a Brisbane bound steel train roared past, we arrived at Coffs to take on passengers, departing at around 1:30pm.

On arrival at Acacia Ridge, baggage was unloaded and passengers were taken to their destinations either in buses or limousines. There were about 40 passengers for pick up outside, so we were treated to a tour of the yard - up to the end of the train to load baggage and then out to the driveway to pick up our transport home.

It took about 40 minutes for all passengers to clear the train, which IMHO wasn't too bad for over 200 passengers. it was made easier by the fact that we were asked for our destination on check in in Adelaide and the baggage was loaded by Great Southern staff into each bus.

Overall, it was a great trip - Journey Beyond has done an excellent job in creating experiences which are much improved from the Serco days.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Judging by the train length in the videos must be well patronised.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Judging by the train length in the videos must be well patronised.
freightgate
They have replaced three Platinum Class sleeping cars (10 passengers each) by three Gold class sleeping cars (18 passengers each) on the third trip. Otherwise still 28 cars all up.

Peter
  ThyRiverina Station Master

The load for 6AT8 on the 6th Dec 2019 was,

NR30
NR31
HGM 296
BRG  918
HM   959
BRG  221
BRG  271
BRG  917
AFC  227
DF   226
AFC 306
BRG  999
BRG  267
BRG  269
ARG  941
ARM 951
ARL  249
ARL  925
AFC 301
DF   964
DF   927
AFC 305
ARL  250
ARM 288
ARL  248
ARL  992
ARL  293
BRJ  915
BRG  912
HGM 298

Trailing Gross about 1371.8
Length about 710.4


Wrigleys
  DM45 Station Master

Location: Redland City
The consist of 6AT8 on 20th December was changed from HM959 up to BRG999 as follows:

ARJ243

ARM947

ARL326

AFC 307

DF226

AFC227

The three forward Platinum carriages and AFC306 were removed and AFC227 placed behind DF226. Hopefully the rest of the consist remained the same as it was not possible for me to walk the train at stops as I used to do on the Indian Pacific and The Ghan when I travelled on them.

Don
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
NR112 is the second loco. NR30 and NR31 were both in Melbourne this morning. My guess is they're headed for Spotswood.
  DM45 Station Master

Location: Redland City
Does anyone  know how the Great Southern fared last weekend in NSW?  When I was on trip 3, the Main South was closed from Moss Vale, so we detoured via Unanderra. However , this time, nothing could move north of Goulburn over the weekend due to the devastating fires around Wingello and Bundanoon.

Maybe the train turned north at Cootamundra to Parkes as per the Elvis special trip this weekend. The return trip from Brisbane today should allow the train to proceed safely as planned as the Main South is now open.

My heart goes out to all those people who are affected through loss of loved ones, property and livestock. Also to the poor suffering wildlife.
  ozibob Assistant Commissioner

Location: Parkes Australia
Does anyone  know how the Great Southern fared last weekend in NSW?  When I was on trip 3, the Main South was closed from Moss Vale, so we detoured via Unanderra. However , this time, nothing could move north of Goulburn over the weekend due to the devastating fires around Wingello and Bundanoon.

Maybe the train turned north at Cootamundra to Parkes as per the Elvis special trip this weekend. The return trip from Brisbane today should allow the train to proceed safely as planned as the Main South is now open.

My heart goes out to all those people who are affected through loss of loved ones, property and livestock. Also to the poor suffering wildlife.
DM45
It went via Cootamundra, Parkes, Orange, Dubbo, Binnaway, Werris Creek, then the main north to Maitland.

As a side note this weekend it will travel via Parkes, Dubbo, Merrygoen, Gulgong then down the Ulan line
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Does anyone  know how the Great Southern fared last weekend in NSW?  When I was on trip 3, the Main South was closed from Moss Vale, so we detoured via Unanderra. However , this time, nothing could move north of Goulburn over the weekend due to the devastating fires around Wingello and Bundanoon.

Maybe the train turned north at Cootamundra to Parkes as per the Elvis special trip this weekend. The return trip from Brisbane today should allow the train to proceed safely as planned as the Main South is now open.

My heart goes out to all those people who are affected through loss of loved ones, property and livestock. Also to the poor suffering wildlife.
It went via Cootamundra, Parkes, Orange, Dubbo, Binnaway, Werris Creek, then the main north to Maitland.

As a side note this weekend it will travel via Parkes, Dubbo, Merrygoen, Gulgong then down the Ulan line
ozibob
Isn't it great to see that rail can still 'do things' and make alternative emergency arrangements.

Even in the days of the NSWGR there was an inbuilt culture, ability and capacity to work around problems whether it be instances like this or even running the Broken Hill - Port Pirie ore train via Melbourne. They always seemed to be able to find engines, crews and paths when the going got tough. We used to say that 'there was nothing that they could not do if they had the mind to do it'!

Well done to all concerned in this diversion.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
It is a wonder that when it got to Victoria they didn't provide buses to get past the fires.

No such thing as an alternative route in Victoria.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
It is a wonder that when it got to Victoria they didn't provide buses to get past the fires.

No such thing as an alternative route in Victoria.
Donald

I see the road across Nullarbor has been closed for over a week with no alternative route being available Razz
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Does anyone  know how the Great Southern fared last weekend in NSW?  When I was on trip 3, the Main South was closed from Moss Vale, so we detoured via Unanderra. However , this time, nothing could move north of Goulburn over the weekend due to the devastating fires around Wingello and Bundanoon.

Maybe the train turned north at Cootamundra to Parkes as per the Elvis special trip this weekend. The return trip from Brisbane today should allow the train to proceed safely as planned as the Main South is now open.

My heart goes out to all those people who are affected through loss of loved ones, property and livestock. Also to the poor suffering wildlife.
It went via Cootamundra, Parkes, Orange, Dubbo, Binnaway, Werris Creek, then the main north to Maitland.

As a side note this weekend it will travel via Parkes, Dubbo, Merrygoen, Gulgong then down the Ulan line
Isn't it great to see that rail can still 'do things' and make alternative emergency arrangements.

Even in the days of the NSWGR there was an inbuilt culture, ability and capacity to work around problems whether it be instances like this or even running the Broken Hill - Port Pirie ore train via Melbourne. They always seemed to be able to find engines, crews and paths when the going got tough. We used to say that 'there was nothing that they could not do if they had the mind to do it'!

Well done to all concerned in this diversion.
YM-Mundrabilla
NSWGR = Never Stop Without a Good Reason.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As the ‘Great Southern’ train makes its last run this week to bring to an end its advertised season, it appears it’ll be back again next year making another eight return trips between Adelaide and Brisbane in December 2020 and January 2021. It seems to have been a success for GSR
Twitter

GSR became bold and decided to test this market with it seems a success.  What do you guys think?
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
As the ‘Great Southern’ train makes its last run this week to bring to an end its advertised season, it appears it’ll be back again next year making another eight return trips between Adelaide and Brisbane in December 2020 and January 2021. It seems to have been a success for GSR

GSR became bold and decided to test this market with it seems a success.  What do you guys think?
bevans
I think people should stop calling Journey Beyond GSR! Wink
  DM45 Station Master

Location: Redland City
I believe it was a success, in spite of the problems created by the bushfires, which no one could have predicted in their intensity.

We travelled to Brisbane on trip 3, which diverted to Unanderra, but the train still arrived on time in Brisbane due to a shorter stop at Coffs Harbour and some smart timetabling from Sydney, where we were three hours behind.

The diversions for trip 5 were very well managed, allowing the passengers to remain on the train, albeit arriving very late into Brisbane.

Quite a few of the passengers we spoke to were taking the round trip back to Adelaide,and we could not find anyone who had negative comments about their journey so far.

There were some comments about the arrival at Acacia Ridge Yard, but the transfer from the train to other transport was handled very efficiently over about 45 minutes. We were the last to leave, as our daughter was picking us up outside the gate - we got off the train on to a coach, travelled to the rear baggage car where our bags were loaded, then back to the front to load more bags, then out the front gate to be dropped off.

By this time, the limos and other coaches had departed to their various destinations.

With regard to the 20/21 trip, a friend enquired about a Gold Single berth and was advised that there wasn't one available until 1st January 2021. Given that there was only one Gold single carriage on the train except for trips 3 & 4, it's probably not a good indication of booking numbers, and I would like to see if anyone has any other figures.

On trips 3 & 4, the three Platinum carriages A,B & C were replaced by 1 Gold single & 2 Gold twinette carriages. They also replaced the front Platinum Club with an Exlporer Lounge, but we were allowed to dine in the new Platinum Diner as there were not many Platinum passengers on board.

Journey Beyond Rail have done a great job and I have no doubt that the next journeys will be just as successful. It will be interesting to note the consist for each trip to indicate what the mix of passengers will be.

Regards, Don
  ANR Chief Commissioner

What will happen to Journey Beyond reservations for all their services in light of the Corono virus? Given their target demographic, I feel there will be significantly less bookings. Would they be inclined to cancel trains and run less frequently, or to run using altered consists?
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
What will happen to Journey Beyond reservations for all their services in light of the Corono virus? Given their target demographic, I feel there will be significantly less bookings. Would they be inclined to cancel trains and run less frequently, or to run using altered consists?
ANR
Do we look like their sales and planning department?
  David10 Station Master

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