Mildura passenger service

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

So we are in furious agreement then.

When I said 'tourist line' it would have been from Woodend not the short stump of a line that it currently is.

My views on the Daylesford line have been mentioned before in these pages and it's a loss to everyone that the line isn't reopened to Trentham at least, with a view of extending to at least Tylden, with a bus to Woodend if connecting to the main line at Carlsrhue is a bridge too far for V/Line.

Mike.
Mike we usually are.

They put a man on the moon 60 years ago but in Victoria we cannot run a project to shift a rail inwards or deliver a rail service back to Woodend for a booming region.  It has become laughable.
bevans
Woodend already has a rail service. Laughing

If you are talking about Daylesford > Woodend or even more bizarrely Tylden > Woodend what form would that service take? Would it be a shuttle running Woodend > Trentham > Tylden etc and back again or would the service run to and from Southern Cross?

If it is a shuttle you are talking about allocating a set or 2 just to run that short trip and then needing to be run back and forth to Melbourne or Bendigo for maintenance. And what about crewing?

If it is going all the way to Melbourne then it could be used as an all stopper enabling other services to and from Bendigo to run Express Woodend > Melbourne with pax for intermediate stations changing at The End however the problem with that is it misses one of the biggest catchment towns on the line in Kyneton which already has it's own short stoppers to cope with the extra load. How would the 2 work together?

Don't get me wrong, I am on record as supporting re-opening to Daylesford but how it would work in reality is a whole different kettle of calamari.

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
If the aim was to re-instate a passenger rail service to Daylesford, the simplest option would be to build a new line on the original corridor. Stations would really only be justifiable at Tylden, Trentham & Daylesford. Frankly, even Tylden is stretching the definition of justifiable.

It really would be a stretch to justify adding stations at Lyonville, Bullarto and Musk. Lyonville's population is around the 175 mark and Musk's is around 150. Bullarto meanwhile is bustling along with half that at 73 (according to the 2016 census data). Carlsruhe wouldn't be worth it (there is nothing there aside from a few farms) and any of the other former stations on that line would be even more pointless. In this case, Woodend would be the junction station, even if the physical junction was still located at old Carlsruhe station.

A single Sprinter could probably handle the pass numbers during the average weekday running a shuttle service Woodend - Tylden - Trentham - Daylesford. Maybe with a 3VL running direct to and from Southern Cross on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays when tourist numbers are expected to be higher.

To achieve this of course the entire line would have to be re-built. The track from Daylesford to Bullarto is fine for a vintage railmotor trundling along at 25km/h, but a Vlocity or Sprinter operating a scheduled PTV service would require new track. As for the rest of the formation, that would need significant work, possibly buying back of land as well. This would not come cheap.

Of course, it would likely mean the end of the DSCR, many of the locals might not thank you for that.


If it had never closed in the first place, it likely would not be getting closed today, but re-opening it? That is another tale.


It is very difficult to put the toothpaste back into the tube.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
If the aim was to re-instate a passenger rail service to Daylesford, the simplest option would be to build a new line on the original corridor. Stations would really only be justifiable at Tylden, Trentham & Daylesford. Frankly, even Tylden is stretching the definition of justifiable.

It really would be a stretch to justify adding stations at Lyonville, Bullarto and Musk. Lyonville's population is around the 175 mark and Musk's is around 150. Bullarto meanwhile is bustling along with half that at 73 (according to the 2016 census data). Carlsruhe wouldn't be worth it (there is nothing there aside from a few farms) and any of the other former stations on that line would be even more pointless. In this case, Woodend would be the junction station, even if the physical junction was still located at old Carlsruhe station.

A single Sprinter could probably handle the pass numbers during the average weekday running a shuttle service Woodend - Tylden - Trentham - Daylesford. Maybe with a 3VL running direct to and from Southern Cross on weekends, public holidays and during school holidays when tourist numbers are expected to be higher.

To achieve this of course the entire line would have to be re-built. The track from Daylesford to Bullarto is fine for a vintage railmotor trundling along at 25km/h, but a Vlocity or Sprinter operating a scheduled PTV service would require new track. As for the rest of the formation, that would need significant work, possibly buying back of land as well. This would not come cheap.

Of course, it would likely mean the end of the DSCR, many of the locals might not thank you for that.


If it had never closed in the first place, it likely would not be getting closed today, but re-opening it? That is another tale.


It is very difficult to put the toothpaste back into the tube.
Gman_86
Levy the development that occur close to those stations for the next 10 years after the service is reinstated?

Some existing residents along the line might really like the idea of being able to catch the train to Melbourne for the day and others might find the potential new commuter belt makes an already bad situation worse - the existing traffic, strain on water and sewerage etc.

Why not add Lyonsville, Bullarto and Musk as full V/line stops - although let's hope they don't completely ruin the stations as the did at Creswick but I guess DDA compels them to do that. Then again maybe the two can't be done at the same time.

If you didn't want to 'ruin DSCR' then you could maybe fund to 'tourist or historical standards' all the way back to Carlshrue the same as the one that runs from Castlemaine as it happens. That's an altogether different business proposition. I could understand that side too, a lot of time and community money already put into that very successful group, a lot of good preserved infrastructure there in addition to new storage that's been built since they've been there.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Prefer if you Mexicans would stay away permanently!!!
changer
Why are you so hostile? By the way it is Melbourne, not Mexico. Just to correct you.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Prefer if you Mexicans would stay away permanently!!!
Why are you so hostile? By the way it is Melbourne, not Mexico. Just to correct you.
Duncs
"South of the River" = Mexico in both US and Australia
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Prefer if you Mexicans would stay away permanently!!!
Why are you so hostile? By the way it is Melbourne, not Mexico. Just to correct you.
"South of the River" = Mexico in both US and Australia
RTT_Rules
Both of which are a long way from Dubai!
  changer Station Master

Prefer if you Mexicans would stay away permanently!!!
Why are you so hostile? By the way it is Melbourne, not Mexico. Just to correct you.
Duncs
No hostil Senor Fawlty!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Prefer if you Mexicans would stay away permanently!!!
Why are you so hostile? By the way it is Melbourne, not Mexico. Just to correct you.
"South of the River" = Mexico in both US and Australia
Both of which are a long way from Dubai!
Duncs
Which is a good thing as I have no desire to visit either as similar problems with both.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Must be another State Election coming up:
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Maybe it is just time for the service to be delivered back to Mildura.  The question on everyone's mind is how.  

Might we see a changing of the cars at Maryborough which would mean more services between Ballarat and Maryborough?
  Tii Junior Train Controller

Maybe it is just time for the service to be delivered back to Mildura.  The question on everyone's mind is how.  

Might we see a changing of the cars at Maryborough which would mean more services between Ballarat and Maryborough?
bevans
Perhaps once the RR revival plans are complete along with the shambles of the Murray basin plan, they can work on Mildura and other regional extensions for the 2022 election promises from Fed/State.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Actually reinstating a passenger train service to Mildura is not that hard to do. Here's how:

  1. Reactivate and rerail the old rail motor dock on the western side (up end) of the platform at Maryborough station, and also lengthen that platform (again at the up end) to accommodate a V Locity.
  2. When the SG V Locities come online for the Albury service, cascade the current SG N Sets over to Maryborough.
  3. So you have a V Locity that goes from Southern Cross to Maryborough direct via Ballarat, as happens now. It pulls into the revived rail motor dock on the left side of the platform. On the right hand side of the platform is the Mildura SG N Set. Allow a 5 minute change over.
  4. The the SG N Set departs Maryborough for Mildura.
  5. Allowing for the travel time from Melbourne to Maryborough. If you run a semi express to Ballarat. So: SCS - Footscray - Sunshine - Melton - Baccus Marsh - Ballan - Ballarat. That can be done in an 1 hour 15 minutes. Then add in an extra hour from Ballarat to Maryborough. So 2 hours 15 minutes. After which at an average speed of 80 kph, you can cover the 385 kms from Maryborough to Mildura in 5 hours, allowing for stops.
  6. So a total travel time SCS to Mildura of 7 hours and 15 minutes. At present travel times via Bendogo at 7.5 hours by train (Train to Swan Hill and coach to Mildura) or 8 hours if you use the coach direct from Bendigo to Mildura.
  7. So even if the train is actually 7.5 hours, you are still better off than using the coach by changing trains at Marybouough.
  8. The line to Mildura is class 3 according to Vic Sig. If not, it can be upgraded easily enough. That gives the N Set a top speed of 100kph. For an average speed of 80 KPH. Later upgrades can then allow for long haul SG Vlocities to be based at Maryborough. With a top speed for V Locities of 115 kph, rising to 130 kph as further track upgrades are completed, you can then reduce the travel time down to potentially 6.5 - 7.0 hours.

I await comments from: Vinelander, Kuldalai, and Bevans.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Would you consider 2 x additional vlocity sets (SG Long distanace) instead of the n set?

would 1 x 6 car set and 1 x 3 car set fit into Platform 1 at Maryborough?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Would you consider 2 x additional vlocity sets (SG Long distanace) instead of the n set?

would 1 x 6 car set and 1 x 3 car set fit into Platform 1 at Maryborough?
bevans
Bevans you just got ahead of my post. Please have a read of it.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Would you consider 2 x additional vlocity sets (SG Long distanace) instead of the n set?

would 1 x 6 car set and 1 x 3 car set fit into Platform 1 at Maryborough?
Bevans you just got ahead of my post. Please have a read of it.
Duncs
If the platform at Maryborough was lengthened slightly, as per my earlier post, it would comfortable take a 3 car V Locity. Further lengthening can accommodate a 6 car Vlocity. It was also need shading and other upgrades etc..
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The advantage of running the loco hauled train would be the higher allowed speeds through the 50+ unprotected level crossings between Maryborough and Mildura. This would not be possible with Vlocities under current rules/guidlines, they would be limited to well under 80km/h. Over the distance involved, that could add more than an hour and make the whole thing unviable.

The disadvantage of course is that these trains are very old, and are being replaced in their current role for exactly that reason.

My suggestion to the current state government would be to commence this as soon as the SG Vlos are introduced into revenue service on the North East, as suggested by Duncs. However I would start it out as a temporary service, under a 12 month trial basis. Get in before the next election, show the locals that you are committed.

If the passenger numbers are high enough (similar levels when compared to other long distance rail services around the state should be the target) then the order of SG Vlos can be extended and the line upgraded (level crossing upgrades, line speed etc) at a later date.

If the passenger numbers are truely dismal, then you will at least have a legitimate reason for not continuing with the service after the 12 month trial is over.

A new run-around track would be requried at Mildura Station, as well as a stabling facility, but that shouldn't be costly enough to stop the re-introduction of this rail service.


The only real obstacle is finding the political will.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Has road 2 been removed from Mildura?

Are the car sheds still in Mildura Yard?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Would you consider 2 x additional vlocity sets (SG Long distanace) instead of the n set?

would 1 x 6 car set and 1 x 3 car set fit into Platform 1 at Maryborough?
bevans
The actual platform face at Maryborough is very long. Probably long enough for 2x 6 car vlos. Fences and things may need to be re-positioned and the furthest ends of the platform could probably use a resurfacing but it is a long platform.

Just to provide an example, This year's Cruise Express Special, operated by Steamrail had Y112, K153 + K190, plus the water gin and 11 cars all within the platform with plenty more space to spare along the platform face forward of the train.

So 12 Vlocity cars shouldn't be an issue.

As for the safeworking implications of a Vlocity loaded with pass arriving into a platform already occupied by another train? That is another issue all together. Mid-platform signals like we see at Southern Cross would likely be required. This is where the $$ would come into it. Maybe it would be cheaper to re-instate the dock platform as Duncs suggested.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Has road 2 been removed from Mildura?

Are the car sheds still in Mildura Yard?
bevans
I believe Mildura station itself was straight-railed several years ago.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Has road 2 been removed from Mildura?

Are the car sheds still in Mildura Yard?
I believe Mildura station itself was straight-railed several years ago.
Gman_86
Yes that is correct. I am have been there myself in 2017 and has been straight railed. But putting in a passing loop for the loco runaround should not be an issue. As the factory that makes recycled plastic sleepers is based in Mildura, so here is a great opportunity to make use of this.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

The platform face at Mildura is stuffed and need replaced, I would move the station with a platform extension towards the Merbein end, the interior of the current station needs a new total refit and the older building that occuppies the downend needs bulldozed..........The new pedestrian crossing would remain in situ............A couple of stabling sidings with security fencing (similar to Echuca and Moree) would be the better option. Forget about the clapped out N Class locos and old rolling stock,they are only blowtorch material for the scrapper. New SD Velocities are the way to go.   Of course this would upset a few of your tear jerkers out there, but hey tissues are cheap from Coles these days.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Here is how its done with one 3 car loco ahuled N set ex North east line running between Maryborough and mildura, initially 3 days a week each way, then two sets run 5 -6 days a week each way .  Sg sets maintained in melb and sets worked on sg via Ararat & MaRoona to Dynon for servicing.

Loco hauled first up, avoids all the level crossings being protected for DMU.  Serious proposal pur up by Rail Revival Alliance and supported by Ali Cupper at Mildura.

No lenghtening platform required at Maryborough.  

Full details how it is done and timetable here.

http://railrevival.org/Rails%20to%20Recovery%20-%20%20Mildura%20Passenger%20Train%20Proposal%20Ver%2011.0.pdf

Funded restoration of tourello Loop in Maryborough / Ballarat section will also help .

Other thing re Maryborough be heavily pushed with Government by multiple parties but falling on deaf ears still after 3 years is the URGENT need for a day return VL service to Maryborough on Saturdays & Sundays.  Not rocket science plenty of free trains.  0816 Dn Wendouree run as double consist split Ballarat leading set to Wendouree, trailing set to Maryboorough.  In the afternoon  1814  Up Ballarat  1/2 originate Maryborough approx 1710, other half originate Wndouree combine at Ballarat depart 1814 to Southern cross as now.
  Tii Junior Train Controller

Reading all the above, suggests it is a lot harder than a quick patch up to get it started to a basic level even for a 12- 24 month trial pending better plans for higher speeds. I'd like to see a long term plan to for for RRR- Version 2 with line improvements all over for greater speed  to the Velocitys limits and extensions to all of the state over the decade ahead. More political will needed and $$$$ to the regions.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Here is how its done with one 3 car loco ahuled N set ex North east line running between Maryborough and mildura, initially 3 days a week each way, then two sets run 5 -6 days a week each way .  Sg sets maintained in melb and sets worked on sg via Ararat & MaRoona to Dynon for servicing.

Loco hauled first up, avoids all the level crossings being protected for DMU.  Serious proposal pur up by Rail Revival Alliance and supported by Ali Cupper at Mildura.

No lenghtening platform required at Maryborough.  

Full details how it is done and timetable here.

http://railrevival.org/Rails%20to%20Recovery%20-%20%20Mildura%20Passenger%20Train%20Proposal%20Ver%2011.0.pdf

Funded restoration of tourello Loop in Maryborough / Ballarat section will also help .

Other thing re Maryborough be heavily pushed with Government by multiple parties but falling on deaf ears still after 3 years is the URGENT need for a day return VL service to Maryborough on Saturdays & Sundays.  Not rocket science plenty of free trains.  0816 Dn Wendouree run as double consist split Ballarat leading set to Wendouree, trailing set to Maryboorough.  In the afternoon  1814  Up Ballarat  1/2 originate Maryborough approx 1710, other half originate Wndouree combine at Ballarat depart 1814 to Southern cross as now.
kuldalai
That Rail Revival proposal is a very realistic starting point. I would upscale it initially to get the 100kph line speeds mentioned in my earlier post. That gives you a 7.5 hour travel time.After which then upscale again to the V Locities.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The advantage of running the loco hauled train would be the higher allowed speeds through the 50+ unprotected level crossings between Maryborough and Mildura. This would not be possible with Vlocities under current rules/guidlines, they would be limited to well under 80km/h. Over the distance involved, that could add more than an hour and make the whole thing unviable.

The disadvantage of course is that these trains are very old, and are being replaced in their current role for exactly that reason.

My suggestion to the current state government would be to commence this as soon as the SG Vlos are introduced into revenue service on the North East, as suggested by Duncs. However I would start it out as a temporary service, under a 12 month trial basis. Get in before the next election, show the locals that you are committed.

If the passenger numbers are high enough (similar levels when compared to other long distance rail services around the state should be the target) then the order of SG Vlos can be extended and the line upgraded (level crossing upgrades, line speed etc) at a later date.

If the passenger numbers are truely dismal, then you will at least have a legitimate reason for not continuing with the service after the 12 month trial is over.

A new run-around track would be requried at Mildura Station, as well as a stabling facility, but that shouldn't be costly enough to stop the re-introduction of this rail service.


The only real obstacle is finding the political will.
Gman_86
Loco hauled via Geelong, meet with V/locity at Ballarat 6 x week return would seem the most logicial and kills a few birds at the same time as it returns  service between Geelong and Ballarat as pushed by others and allows a 2nd set to be conveyed in one movement for a service on the interstate and/or Portland.

Due to Victoria's excess tight restrictions with DMU's, V/locity may not happen for years to come so worthwhile investing in modern rolling stock suited for loco haul, perhaps V/locity B-cars without traction equipment installed for purposes of consistency with existing fleet for spares. As you said could be ordered after a 6-12mth trial.

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