What if Australia did an Amtrak

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
If Australia decided to expand the national Rail concept to a federal level and begin operating passenger services between the capital cities what would the best choice be for rolling stock ?

Before you answer the need would be for daylight and overnight trains similar to nightjet in Europe.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If Australia decided to expand the national Rail concept to a federal level and begin operating passenger services between the capital cities what would the best choice be for rolling stock ?

Before you answer the need would be for daylight and overnight trains similar to nightjet in Europe.
freightgate

I wrote a funny article on this last year and it is still getting read. LOL

However the intent may not be there but the opportunity certainly exists.   Sadly I  would like to see more intent as I personally believe the opportunity is real and the very idea of a Federal Passenger Rail Organisation should be explored.

I doubt you meant about High Speed but rather a faster train network between the capitals operated by an authority or department with separate ticketing and train management.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I read it bevans and it made me consider how would you do it rather than if.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I recon a merger of the longer distance travel arms of NSW TrainLink, QR and VLine, plus throw in the Overland, would be an interesting concept.

For starters you'd have everyone on the same reservation system, and second, you'd cut lots of management and administration cost as you'd  have one system/team doing it all, instead of the triplicate system we have now.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
That will never happen, James:

1. It’s logical; and
2. It would involve (at least) 3 state governments work in a coordinated manner.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
If Australia decided to expand the national Rail concept to a federal level and begin operating passenger services between the capital cities what would the best choice be for rolling stock ?

Before you answer the need would be for daylight and overnight trains similar to nightjet in Europe.

I wrote a funny article on this last year and it is still getting read. LOL

However the intent may not be there but the opportunity certainly exists.   Sadly I  would like to see more intent as I personally believe the opportunity is real and the very idea of a Federal Passenger Rail Organisation should be explored.

I doubt you meant about High Speed but rather a faster train network between the capitals operated by an authority or department with separate ticketing and train management.
bevans
I think its a noble idea but you'd have to wait for the next fuel crisis for something like that to happen - I flew back from Melbourne last month for $72 including booked baggage. It was in the middle of the day (11:45am) and it gave me heaps of time to get to Tullamarine - I was home unpacking by 1:30pm (SA time) and had the rest of the day to do whatever I wanted. Those prices are completely ridiculous and it's almost V/line Daylink prices without the ordeal of all day on the bus and a 6:30pm arrival.

Anyway - those conditions might not last forever if there's an embargo on imported fuel or a huge crash in the AU$ - one or the other. You'd have to create the right conditions for interstate rail travel to be favorable on a cost basis before people would even consider it again and at the moment the cut price airlines are killing every other mode of transport right now including private motoring. No way could you beat those prices (or timings) in a car, electric, petrol or diesel.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Also the slight matter of the poor bloody taxpayer.

Would the average voter countenance any government contemplating an activity where huge ongoing subsidies would be involved?

Amtrak (actually the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was subsidised by the US Federal Government to the tune of $US 8.1 billion between 2016 and 2020. Plus State Government subsidies for short haul intrastate routes amounting to $US 234.2 million last year.

Why would any government contemplate subsidised competition with the private airline/long distance bus sector?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
We have already given the major airlines here Billions over the covid period.  Why does everything considered in rail have to make money?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Also the slight matter of the poor bloody taxpayer.

Would the average voter countenance any government contemplating an activity where huge ongoing subsidies would be involved?

Amtrak (actually the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was subsidised by the US Federal Government to the tune of $US 8.1 billion between 2016 and 2020. Plus State Government subsidies for short haul intrastate routes amounting to $US 234.2 million last year.

Why would any government contemplate subsidised competition with the private airline/long distance bus sector?
jmt
I think the USA operates a fairly limited service based on what they can achieve with those subsidies, and the USA is a different prospect to Australia with much more potential traffic.

I like the idea of another ANR though, maybe to pick up traffic that isn't viable in a commercial sense but might need to be provided (again) in the future.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
You want the federal government to run a passenger rail service?

This mob can't roll-out a vaccine without royally stuffing it up, don't let them near public transport.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Also the slight matter of the poor bloody taxpayer.

Would the average voter countenance any government contemplating an activity where huge ongoing subsidies would be involved?

Amtrak (actually the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was subsidised by the US Federal Government to the tune of $US 8.1 billion between 2016 and 2020. Plus State Government subsidies for short haul intrastate routes amounting to $US 234.2 million last year.

Why would any government contemplate subsidised competition with the private airline/long distance bus sector?
jmt

You don't quite get it do you...

Up until COVID, Amtrak had never carried so many pax and at a mere pittance of a drag on the taxpayer.

https://www.progressiverailroading.com/amtrak/news/Amtrak-posts-801-million-operating-loss-in-FY2020--62143#:~:text=Amtrak%20posts%20%24801%20million%20operating%20loss%20in%20FY2020,-%22Our%20dedicated%20employees&text=Instead%2C%20facing%20unprecedented%20challenges%20related,percent%20compared%20with%20FY2019%20revenue.


Read the link and read the tiny loss. Then to suggest Amtrak be replaced by buses is an insult to everyone's intelligence from President Joe Biden downwards.

Mike.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You want the federal government to run a passenger rail service?

This mob can't roll-out a vaccine without royally stuffing it up, don't let them near public transport.
Gman_86
Definetly don't want the feds running passenger rail. Also the vaccine has killed more people in 2021 in Australia then the virus has.

I'm not sure there is anywhere for an Amtrak to succeed in Australia especially if the ARTC is used as an example of federal transport.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
LOL "President Biden" and "intelligence" in the same sentence...
  ANR Chief Commissioner

Buy back the Overland, IP and Ghan, and reinstate Australian National Railways.

Alternatively, as I have suggested before, this could be a couple of passenger sit up cars (and a power car) on long haul freighters Tickets would be cheap with this class only. They would need to solve the problem of food (maybe pax can raid one of the cold storage box cars during a stop at a crossing loop).

If they want lux, they can go to Journey Beyond and lighten their pockets.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Buy back the Overland, IP and Ghan, and reinstate Australian National Railways.

Alternatively, as I have suggested before, this could be a couple of passenger sit up cars (and a power car) on long haul freighters Tickets would be cheap with this class only. They would need to solve the problem of food (maybe pax can raid one of the cold storage box cars during a stop at a crossing loop).

If they want lux, they can go to Journey Beyond and lighten their pockets.
ANR
Maybe footy specials operated in conjunction with the various state governments? ONE time when the planes do get incredibly expensive - that and Xmas/school holidays. Beyond peak services or specials provided in conjunction with the tourism/events industry I dunno how and what would be viable longer term.

Any serious game-changing would require things like higher speed DMU's - and in turn that's contingent on elimination of level crossing dangers. Could the Inland Rail Melbourne to Brisbane route be a service provided by the Commonwealth and the states involved?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
You want the federal government to run a passenger rail service?

This mob can't roll-out a vaccine without royally stuffing it up, don't let them near public transport.
Definetly don't want the feds running passenger rail. Also the vaccine has killed more people in 2021 in Australia then the virus has.

I'm not sure there is anywhere for an Amtrak to succeed in Australia especially if the ARTC is used as an example of federal transport.
simstrain
There is probably alot of value in interstate rail for the SE corner (Brisbane to Adelaide) being run by a common authority to improve what we have, however the problem is most of the passengers are NSW regional, so it gets quite messy as then why not include Qld, NSW and Vic regional services.

However I'm sure somehow there is a better solution than current.

The vaccine has only impacted on more than virus in 2021 because you don't have the virus, for now.

ARTC is a infrastructure owner limited by its funding, lets not go down this stupid argument again.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I'm not sure who a Brisbane to Adelaide train would appeal to - people who don't mind the ordeal of 35 hours or so on a train compared to less than three hours on a plane? Even with Inland Rail completed it would easily be that long.

It's interesting to contemplate the services that a Commonwealth Rail could engage in again but you have to think of who you're appealing to and what reasons they're traveling for. It's no good having a regular Melbourne-Brisbane passenger service if the trains are almost empty.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The feds need to develop and run a national passenger organisation Private enterprise in airlines are already heavily subsidised and rail with green power and investment could fill a large gap.

Why is Australia so against rail development ?
  tazzer96 Chief Commissioner

I'm not sure who a Brisbane to Adelaide train would appeal to - people who don't mind the ordeal of 35 hours or so on a train compared to less than three hours on a plane? Even with Inland Rail completed it would easily be that long.

don_dunstan
Isn't inland rail designed to have a less than 24 hour transit time between brisbane and melbourne?

A bare minimum loco hauled passenger service would be faster than that.  Keep in mind the spirit of queensland is 25 hours end-to-end.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I'm not sure who a Brisbane to Adelaide train would appeal to - people who don't mind the ordeal of 35 hours or so on a train compared to less than three hours on a plane? Even with Inland Rail completed it would easily be that long.
Isn't inland rail designed to have a less than 24 hour transit time between brisbane and melbourne?

A bare minimum loco hauled passenger service would be faster than that.  Keep in mind the spirit of queensland is 25 hours end-to-end.
tazzer96
Fair point, just trying to make an observation about who would actually use these services. For example Brisbane - Melbourne would enable transit between Albury - Wagga Wagga - Parkes - Narrabri etc. but in reality who will want to transit between these places? Don't get me wrong, I think if any interstate services were to work you'd have to include any and all towns like Nhill, Keith etc. Needs to be usable for the population centers it passes through as well as provide potential tourism to those towns.

Let's face it, nobody is going to use these trains because they're really fast -
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
The feds need to develop and run a national passenger organisation Private enterprise in airlines are already heavily subsidised and rail with green power and investment could fill a large gap.

Why is Australia so against rail development ?
freightgate
I'm willing to listen but I can't see where airlines are subsidised.

Airlines make a profit, airport owners make a profit, suppliers make a profit and (AFAIK) the government at least breaks even with Air Services Australia and CASA.

Not many rail services can say that.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@don_dunstan Can't see anyone travelling between such places unless they are on a tight budget.

It is however possible that many pax will travel to and from such places where the amount of money they make cannot justify the cost of a plane ticket.
  Richard stroker Junior Train Controller

A short statement in reference to the thread title "what if Australia did an Amtrak" simple , they won't !

Can someone please start a thread with meaning
  Richard stroker Junior Train Controller

A short statement in reference to the thread title "what if Australia did an Amtrak" simple , they won't !

Can someone please start a thread with meaning

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