Mildura passenger service

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
She is causing some rethink at V/line with statements like why we Mildura be happy with a bus when Shepparton and Bairnsdale and Albury would accept that service a very valid point. Mildura is a big city by inland standard and does need a rail service.

I think the idea of up market services running on the line why can’t rail be reimagined for Mildura lines.

Mildura may be a big city but unlike all the big cities that have rail this is almost twice the distance and has an airport that is (pre-COVID) regularly served by regional air carriers.

Again...a point always overlooked by some posters.. Mildura, similar to Albury has flights to Melbourne at regional air fares which are nowhere near as cheap V/Line fares. Unless you travel when the airlines say...which is not necessarily the time or day when YOU want to travel.

Mike.
And somehow the train will be better?
railblogger

I routinely travel to Mildura by V/Line, on the day I want to and on the service that I want to and the fare is always the same...so what's your point Question

M.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
She is causing some rethink at V/line with statements like why we Mildura be happy with a bus when Shepparton and Bairnsdale and Albury would accept that service a very valid point. Mildura is a big city by inland standard and does need a rail service.

I think the idea of up market services running on the line why can’t rail be reimagined for Mildura lines.

Mildura may be a big city but unlike all the big cities that have rail this is almost twice the distance and has an airport that is (pre-COVID) regularly served by regional air carriers.

Again...a point always overlooked by some posters.. Mildura, similar to Albury has flights to Melbourne at regional air fares which are nowhere near as cheap V/Line fares. Unless you travel when the airlines say...which is not necessarily the time or day when YOU want to travel.

Mike.
And somehow the train will be better?

I routinely travel to Mildura by V/Line, on the day I want to and on the service that I want to and the fare is always the same...so what's your point Question

M.
The Vinelander
You =/= a full train.

The train will not get enough demand to be even remotely viable.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Public transport is supply-led.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Public transport is supply-led.
route14
An hourly bus service to Swan Hill/Maryborough/Ballarat/Bendigo would see far greater use than a train to Southern Cross that runs once a day.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Public transport is supply-led.
An hourly bus service to Swan Hill/Maryborough/Ballarat/Bendigo would see far greater use than a train to Southern Cross that runs once a day.
railblogger
We could do a train once a week each way and match NSW's frequency for a lot of places Razz

The biggest isssue to having a train is the lack nothing of noteworthy in population size the middle along the way.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

That does sound like something.  You'll be able to visit Mildura and Broken Hill in one trip.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
The Mildura bound bus broke down in Donald on Thursday night.   Waited all day for the trainistution ... didn't happen.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Ali Cupper continues to take up the fight for a passenger rail service and she should https://t.co/cN4NpEggM9 with the request for a service between Mildura and Maryborough heating up once again.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Interestingly, the article mentions the word “profit”, yet only sets out the capital cost of $22m.

Surely the PBO is sufficiently educated to understand that “profit” = “revenue” minus “costs”.

So, if it’s such a goer, do tell how many tickets must be sold (let’s say per week) to make it “profitable “. Even if said profit only accounts for the directly-attributable costs - crew, fuel, train path.

Why do we continue to look at government money with a philosophy of “but you’re only pi$$ing a small amount against the wall”?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
freightgate
Because it's big $$ to do it properly.

M.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
Because it's big $$ to do it properly.

M.
The Vinelander
Rather its big $$ to do it in such a way to reduce the risk to an acceptable level so the government doesnt have egg on its face when it doesnt work out perfect.

A less governmental operator would no doubt be able to do it cheaper.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
Because it's big $$ to do it properly.

M.
Rather its big $$ to do it in such a way to reduce the risk to an acceptable level so the government doesnt have egg on its face when it doesnt work out perfect.

A less governmental operator would no doubt be able to do it cheaper.
james.au

"A less governmental operator" has nothing to do with it.

This is a meaningless statement as standards and specifications have to be adhered to and the Mildura railway is no special case. It costs mega$ to do infrastructure, be it the Metro Rail tunnel or the Airport railway.
Nevertheless the now Independent Member for Mildura was elected on a platform, pun intended, with a huge swing against the then sitting National party MP who had no interest in the return of passenger trains nor any interest in the local hospital.

Ali Cupper campaigned for the return of the privatised hospital to the public purse. The hospital is now back under the public purse where it should have always been since the Kennett era and to her credit, she is now advocating for the second item of her election manifesto, 'the train' as it's referred to locally.

To do otherwise would be for her to prove to the naysayers and other skeptics that she is a politician who's only interested in being elected to office for the perks and not to faithfully represent her constituents in the growing Sunraysia region of Victoria, which I have no doubt she is giving all her energy to.

https://www.alicupper.com.au/

Mike.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
Because it's big $$ to do it properly.

M.
Rather its big $$ to do it in such a way to reduce the risk to an acceptable level so the government doesnt have egg on its face when it doesnt work out perfect.

A less governmental operator would no doubt be able to do it cheaper.
"A less governmental operator" has nothing to do with it.

This is a meaningless statement as standards and specifications have to be adhered to and the Mildura railway is no special case. It costs mega$ to do infrastructure, be it the Metro Rail tunnel or the Airport railway.
The Vinelander
Don't get me wrong, there are standards to be adhered to and wether they're government or commercial they'll have to do the same things but sometimes things get gold plated to address certain risks that government perceives that a commercial operator does not think are relevant and hence does not apply the gold to..
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Victoria has seen previously the introduction of private passenger rail operators might we see this again.

What would it cost to lease a set and run a service?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I'm not too sure that finding an operator has been the issue for a passenger train to Mildura, I think the prospective passenger numbers versus high running costs are where the stumbling block is.

I can't see how a different commercial operator can get around this.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
We have all seen the horrible example of West Coast Railway; started with a bang and ended with a whimper.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

We have all seen the horrible example of West Coast Railway; started with a bang and ended with a whimper.
Valvegear
And the Shepparton bus company (can't remember their name) that gave trains a go, only to find that it wasn't such a great idea.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Why do the PTV and the government so hate the idea of a passenger train to Mildura.
Because it's big $$ to do it properly.

M.
Rather its big $$ to do it in such a way to reduce the risk to an acceptable level so the government doesnt have egg on its face when it doesnt work out perfect.

A less governmental operator would no doubt be able to do it cheaper.
"A less governmental operator" has nothing to do with it.

This is a meaningless statement as standards and specifications have to be adhered to and the Mildura railway is no special case. It costs mega$ to do infrastructure, be it the Metro Rail tunnel or the Airport railway.
Don't get me wrong, there are standards to be adhered to and wether they're government or commercial they'll have to do the same things but sometimes things get gold plated to address certain risks that government perceives that a commercial operator does not think are relevant and hence does not apply the gold to..
james.au
Standards are all well and good and most are absolutely necessary.
It is where standards are either simply artificial or where they are 'hijacked' for political or other special interest/pressure groups.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

....................................................................................

A less governmental operator would no doubt be able to do it cheaper.
james.au
Of Journey Beyond’s offerings, The Overland probably approximates such a service, but it is only twice a week and subsidised.


Hoys
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
We have all seen the horrible example of West Coast Railway; started with a bang and ended with a whimper.
And the Shepparton bus company (can't remember their name) that gave trains a go, only to find that it wasn't such a great idea.
Lockspike

West Coast railway and Hoys were operating when V/Line as a transport provider was at a very low ebb. In 1993 regional PT patronage in particular was stagnant and had very little advocacy until the Sprinters were introduced and the slow revival commenced.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast_Railway_(Victoria)

Remember, 1993 was the year of the savage Kennett government cuts and this created WestCoast Rail as Kennett was going to close the Warrnambool line beyond South Geelong...completely unthinkable today.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mildura

Mildura no doubt has the demographics for a passenger train marketed as the local MP is advocating for and at V/Line fares will offer families an affordable, comfortable, albeit slowish journey to Maryborough and is a good starting point for the eventual full service V/Line offers on its other regional main lines.

At this point in time, Jacinta Allan cannot mention the elephant in the room in public circles...she knows it's a BIG elephant.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mike interesting post.  1993 was the darkest time for rail in the state of Victoria with the axe just decimating the network.

Passenger numbers are now much much higher but importantly the idea of taking the train now on regional routes is being considered by people who would perhaps have drive 10 years ago.

This is one reason I think a Mildura service would work now the only question is what rolling stock would you deploy?

I would also think that changing at Maryborough would not be an issue allowing connections to bus routes also.  Jacinta Allan knows the writing is on the wall so why not but two additional SG sets and run some trials.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Guys the point im making is that VLine are subject to political oversight and wont (and clearly dont) want to make waves politically.  So i suspect there is some overenigeerining in their process and efficiency that could be obtained (notwithstanding the fact that this provides ample opportunity for graft by the executive, but that is another story).  A private operator on the other hand would strip these out in an instant.  

If VLine were to be less constrained by needing to meet political whims and de-risk the whole thing so a minister isnt embarrassed by a train hitting a cat, costs might be lower as a result and services to Mildura more viable.

I know full well a commercial operator in passenger rail isnt going to happen, not in this country at least.  Even the merged regional operations of VLine, NSWTrainLink and Queensland Rail wouldn't make a profit...
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Gold plating the proposed service would be easily enough to assure it is still-born. Pity.

Cannot help but think that they could readily use one of the existing standard gauge N sets currently used on the Albury; when they are replaced by V’locity trains, instead of losing them, use one as a trial for Mildura. Easy to start/finish at Maryborough, connecting to existing trains through Ballarat.

Timing of the new service could be a few months before the next State election; that would reward the Independent Member, as has happened at Shepparton where that Member successfully fought for more trains daily.

With no capital cost for a new train, and assuming minimal spend to get platforms useable, would be able to assess demand. If they use it (and return the Independent Member), they keep it. If not, not such a lot of money wasted.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Guys the point im making is that VLine are subject to political oversight and wont (and clearly dont) want to make waves politically.  So i suspect there is some overenigeerining in their process and efficiency that could be obtained (notwithstanding the fact that this provides ample opportunity for graft by the executive, but that is another story).  A private operator on the other hand would strip these out in an instant.  

If VLine were to be less constrained by needing to meet political whims and de-risk the whole thing so a minister isnt embarrassed by a train hitting a cat, costs might be lower as a result and services to Mildura more viable.

I know full well a commercial operator in passenger rail isnt going to happen, not in this country at least.  Even the merged regional operations of VLine, NSWTrainLink and Queensland Rail wouldn't make a profit...
james.au
All cat crossing places must be grade separated.

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