Why are improvements to Victoria’s railways so glacial?

 
  Yappo Locomotive Fireman

The main problem is the speed of the car in australia.  Outside of the major cities, it is almost always faster to either drive, or to fly than take the train.  Sydney to melbourne, brisbane to sydney, melbourne to adelaide.  All on highways in which the speed is pretty much 110 km/h the whole way.

It's just that our trains are even slower since most of the tracks are still stuck in the 19th century, they are rarely maintained unless there's a derailment, and some were built to a tiny loading gauge which was designed for locomotives and rolling stock no bigger or heavier than Thomas the Tank Engine, it's the sole reason why we can't simply import full-size American style locos like those in the Pilbara (converting them to broad gauge is nothing) because they simply are too heavy for the shoestring rails we have (never mind a lot of sections still using jointed track instead of welded, and wooden sleepers instead of concrete or steel), and for whatever reason, we need our trains to be a foot or two narrower than usual as well. Non-upgraded branch line rails are roughly the same weight as Melbourne's T-section tram rails (e.g. Victoria Pde/Kings Way/Dandenong Rd or the 96/109 light rail). No point in having bullet trains if they're still restricted to 100 km/h because of track condition (including mud holes, or partially buckled rails following a week of 40°C heat, but not enough to cause the whole line to be shut down as they didn't turn into spaghetti), poor infrastructure (e.g. weak bridges or bad signal wiring) or anything else that can go wrong (e.g. idiots disobeying level crossings). No wonder the Melbourne-Sydney air route is so popular when there is no real alternative.
The maximum allowable speed isn't high, but you can cover good distance due to there not being many towns in the way on many routes.  Especially if you're on the major highways with bypasses..

E.G.:  I want to visit my grandfather in Cobram.  45-50 minutes to SCS, then nearly 3 hours on the train to get to Shepparton, then I'd have to catch a bus to Cobram, but nowhere near where I want to go.

Or I can be there in under 3 hours door to door by driving.
Djebel
Convenience is of course a huge factor, expecially when PT does have adequate coverage, nor service frequency. We are love be able to drive direct, door to door, from A to B. For your example, it is a no brainer.

Howver, cost is also a major factor for many people. One of the abject, miscalculations that nealry all drivers make is not appreciating enough that the vehicle trip is going to cost them anywhere between 5-10 times more than the PT cost. Add up multiple trips and the differences are huge.

If you drove to Cobram and back 4-5 times a year that difference might be as much as a couple of thousand $ depending on your vehicle type and age.

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  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

What a recent audit has found
bevans
I've been saying for a few years, that governments have been so determined to divest themselves of any responsibility in providing services, that in their haste they neglected to retain expertise 'in house'. The idea was that everything including project management and oversight could be contracted out.
The public interest and a contractor's interest's are not always aligned.
Only now are governments finding they no longer have the ability to exercise oversight.

We as a community of rail enthusiasts have been aware/becoming aware of this in our area of interest, but this audit shows that it's not just confined to railways.
  Djebel Train Controller

The main problem is the speed of the car in australia.  Outside of the major cities, it is almost always faster to either drive, or to fly than take the train.  Sydney to melbourne, brisbane to sydney, melbourne to adelaide.  All on highways in which the speed is pretty much 110 km/h the whole way.

It's just that our trains are even slower since most of the tracks are still stuck in the 19th century, they are rarely maintained unless there's a derailment, and some were built to a tiny loading gauge which was designed for locomotives and rolling stock no bigger or heavier than Thomas the Tank Engine, it's the sole reason why we can't simply import full-size American style locos like those in the Pilbara (converting them to broad gauge is nothing) because they simply are too heavy for the shoestring rails we have (never mind a lot of sections still using jointed track instead of welded, and wooden sleepers instead of concrete or steel), and for whatever reason, we need our trains to be a foot or two narrower than usual as well. Non-upgraded branch line rails are roughly the same weight as Melbourne's T-section tram rails (e.g. Victoria Pde/Kings Way/Dandenong Rd or the 96/109 light rail). No point in having bullet trains if they're still restricted to 100 km/h because of track condition (including mud holes, or partially buckled rails following a week of 40°C heat, but not enough to cause the whole line to be shut down as they didn't turn into spaghetti), poor infrastructure (e.g. weak bridges or bad signal wiring) or anything else that can go wrong (e.g. idiots disobeying level crossings). No wonder the Melbourne-Sydney air route is so popular when there is no real alternative.
The maximum allowable speed isn't high, but you can cover good distance due to there not being many towns in the way on many routes.  Especially if you're on the major highways with bypasses..

E.G.:  I want to visit my grandfather in Cobram.  45-50 minutes to SCS, then nearly 3 hours on the train to get to Shepparton, then I'd have to catch a bus to Cobram, but nowhere near where I want to go.

Or I can be there in under 3 hours door to door by driving.
Convenience is of course a huge factor, expecially when PT does have adequate coverage, nor service frequency. We are love be able to drive direct, door to door, from A to B. For your example, it is a no brainer.

Howver, cost is also a major factor for many people. One of the abject, miscalculations that nealry all drivers make is not appreciating enough that the vehicle trip is going to cost them anywhere between 5-10 times more than the PT cost. Add up multiple trips and the differences are huge.

If you drove to Cobram and back 4-5 times a year that difference might be as much as a couple of thousand $ depending on your vehicle type and age.
Yappo
5-10 times as much to drive?  Going solo, I still save about $30 in fuel compared with catching PT.  It would cost me (rough estimate) $7 for tyres, servicing, etc. -- call it $10 to cover anything I forgot, and I'm still $20 better off.  Not counting taxi fares around Cobram to/from the station.

If family come with me, then each adult is another $72 saving, each concession $36.  None of the costs of driving change appreciably with the extra bodies.  They certainly climb with PT (apart from the taxi fares, ironically Laughing).
  Yappo Locomotive Fireman

The main problem is the speed of the car in australia.  Outside of the major cities, it is almost always faster to either drive, or to fly than take the train.  Sydney to melbourne, brisbane to sydney, melbourne to adelaide.  All on highways in which the speed is pretty much 110 km/h the whole way.

It's just that our trains are even slower since most of the tracks are still stuck in the 19th century, they are rarely maintained unless there's a derailment, and some were built to a tiny loading gauge which was designed for locomotives and rolling stock no bigger or heavier than Thomas the Tank Engine, it's the sole reason why we can't simply import full-size American style locos like those in the Pilbara (converting them to broad gauge is nothing) because they simply are too heavy for the shoestring rails we have (never mind a lot of sections still using jointed track instead of welded, and wooden sleepers instead of concrete or steel), and for whatever reason, we need our trains to be a foot or two narrower than usual as well. Non-upgraded branch line rails are roughly the same weight as Melbourne's T-section tram rails (e.g. Victoria Pde/Kings Way/Dandenong Rd or the 96/109 light rail). No point in having bullet trains if they're still restricted to 100 km/h because of track condition (including mud holes, or partially buckled rails following a week of 40°C heat, but not enough to cause the whole line to be shut down as they didn't turn into spaghetti), poor infrastructure (e.g. weak bridges or bad signal wiring) or anything else that can go wrong (e.g. idiots disobeying level crossings). No wonder the Melbourne-Sydney air route is so popular when there is no real alternative.
The maximum allowable speed isn't high, but you can cover good distance due to there not being many towns in the way on many routes.  Especially if you're on the major highways with bypasses..

E.G.:  I want to visit my grandfather in Cobram.  45-50 minutes to SCS, then nearly 3 hours on the train to get to Shepparton, then I'd have to catch a bus to Cobram, but nowhere near where I want to go.

Or I can be there in under 3 hours door to door by driving.
Convenience is of course a huge factor, expecially when PT does have adequate coverage, nor service frequency. We are love be able to drive direct, door to door, from A to B. For your example, it is a no brainer.

Howver, cost is also a major factor for many people. One of the abject, miscalculations that nealry all drivers make is not appreciating enough that the vehicle trip is going to cost them anywhere between 5-10 times more than the PT cost. Add up multiple trips and the differences are huge.

If you drove to Cobram and back 4-5 times a year that difference might be as much as a couple of thousand $ depending on your vehicle type and age.
5-10 times as much to drive?  Going solo, I still save about $30 in fuel compared with catching PT.  It would cost me (rough estimate) $7 for tyres, servicing, etc. -- call it $10 to cover anything I forgot, and I'm still $20 better off.  Not counting taxi fares around Cobram to/from the station.

If family come with me, then each adult is another $72 saving, each concession $36.  None of the costs of driving change appreciably with the extra bodies.  They certainly climb with PT (apart from the taxi fares, ironically Laughing).
Djebel
Thank you, you've actually proved my point.

Drivers rarely if ever calculated the real operating costs of their trips. Vehicle operating costs in Oz are in order for $9000 a year for a small vehicle to $18,000 for a large SUV - based on vehicles less than 5 yrs old and assuming 15,000km per year.  (US and Canada have a similar range of operating costs). Now that's an urban driving profile. Compare those monthly/annual operating costs with the cost of a myki monthly/annual pass.

Actual vehicle costs include;
1) Rego and insurance per annum - one might also include RACV membership, license training fees & any compliance fees if so relevent
2) Fuel - the obvious one esp atm. You didn't specify your fuel trip cost but it seemed on the low side
3) Service/Maintenance - which you did mention but which is under estimated
4) Tyres and repairs - you mentioned tyres but not vehicle repairs (some covered under warranty)
5) Parking (which includes contingency for parking fines) - I assume not relevent for your trip but usually a significant cost for urban drivers
6) Loan repayments - if applicable
7) Depreciation - usually the largest cost over time which everyone forgets to include

(Contemporary pricing calculations can also include other direct costs such as the hourly rate of your renumeration & medical costs (ie. driver stress related & pollution) and indirect environmental costs. We'll leave these out for this excercise.)

Factors such as driving speed;  type, age & condition of your vehicle; conditions of the road etc will obviously impact upon the variable costs. Nearly all of the motoring clubs now have monthly comparison calculation charts of vehicle operating costs these days, it is relatively easy to crunch some numbers for your vehicle type and age.

Thus, that approx minimal 520km round trip to Cobram cost you hundreds of $$ beyond what you outlined. I'm not going to try to specify a rough figure given I know nothing about your vehicle type and all the other variables. You can give it a go if you wish. In your case, there being no local transport and seemingly no one to pick you up the taxi fares clearly make a large, disproportionate difference to total PT costs.

Every trip is unique and has it's own specific factors, even for the same journey on different days. For your Cobram trip, it clearly makes sense to drive. However, ask any transport expert and they will tell you a journey in a private vehicle is never cheaper than PT and is usually many times more expensive than the cost of using PT. (Don't forget those significant depreciation costs......)

And yes, comparisions will obviously be different with a family but even then a private car trip will still more often than not be more expensive. Indeed, you only mentioned yourself in the Cobram eg.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Thank you, you've actually proved my point.

Drivers rarely if ever calculated the real operating costs of their trips. Vehicle operating costs in Oz are in order for $9000 a year for a small vehicle to $18,000 for a large SUV - based on vehicles less than 5 yrs old and assuming 15,000km per year.  (US and Canada have a similar range of operating costs). Now that's an urban driving profile. Compare those monthly/annual operating costs with the cost of a myki monthly/annual pass.
Yappo
One other cost that drivers rarely fail to recognise is the huge subsidy that is the tax payer to both build and maintain the roads.
  Djebel Train Controller

Thank you, you've actually proved my point.

Drivers rarely if ever calculated the real operating costs of their trips. Vehicle operating costs in Oz are in order for $9000 a year for a small vehicle to $18,000 for a large SUV - based on vehicles less than 5 yrs old and assuming 15,000km per year.  (US and Canada have a similar range of operating costs). Now that's an urban driving profile. Compare those monthly/annual operating costs with the cost of a myki monthly/annual pass.

Actual vehicle costs include;
1) Rego and insurance per annum - one might also include RACV membership, license training fees & any compliance fees if so relevent
2) Fuel - the obvious one esp atm. You didn't specify your fuel trip cost but it seemed on the low side
3) Service/Maintenance - which you did mention but which is under estimated
4) Tyres and repairs - you mentioned tyres but not vehicle repairs (some covered under warranty)
5) Parking (which includes contingency for parking fines) - I assume not relevent for your trip but usually a significant cost for urban drivers
6) Loan repayments - if applicable
7) Depreciation - usually the largest cost over time which everyone forgets to include

(Contemporary pricing calculations can also include other direct costs such as the hourly rate of your renumeration & medical costs (ie. driver stress related & pollution) and indirect environmental costs. We'll leave these out for this excercise.)

Factors such as driving speed;  type, age & condition of your vehicle; conditions of the road etc will obviously impact upon the variable costs. Nearly all of the motoring clubs now have monthly comparison calculation charts of vehicle operating costs these days, it is relatively easy to crunch some numbers for your vehicle type and age.

Thus, that approx minimal 520km round trip to Cobram cost you hundreds of $$ beyond what you outlined. I'm not going to try to specify a rough figure given I know nothing about your vehicle type and all the other variables. You can give it a go if you wish. In your case, there being no local transport and seemingly no one to pick you up the taxi fares clearly make a large, disproportionate difference to total PT costs.

Every trip is unique and has it's own specific factors, even for the same journey on different days. For your Cobram trip, it clearly makes sense to drive. However, ask any transport expert and they will tell you a journey in a private vehicle is never cheaper than PT and is usually many times more expensive than the cost of using PT. (Don't forget those significant depreciation costs......)

And yes, comparisions will obviously be different with a family but even then a private car trip will still more often than not be more expensive. Indeed, you only mentioned yourself in the Cobram eg.
Yappo
1)  Couple of bucks per day, which I have to pay whether I drive the car or not.  Yes, it's a cost but until PT is going to run at suitable hours to get me to work and home again, I have to pay rego and insurance just to be able to earn an income.  So I'd debate how much of it should be included in the cost of this theoretical trip.
2)  $50 of the finest LPG money can buy.  Calculated @ the outrageous price I've been paying for the last few weeks, $0.82/L.
3)  Explain to me how it's underestimated.  I added up how much servicing had cost me over the last 4 years (including repairs), and divided by the number of kilometers I'd driven.  Then multiply by 520 for the distance of this trip.
4)  Repairs I bundled in with servicing.  Tyre wear is a couple of bucks for the trip.
5)  Can't remember the last time I paid for parking.  Definitely not applicable to this trip.
6)  Never take out a loan on a depreciating asset.  Unless you can use it to rort taxes somehow Rolling Eyes.
7)  The car is old.  It's thoroughly depreciated. And a similar argument could apply to rego and insurance -- I pay it anyway because I need the car to get to work.  So how much should be allocated to this trip?
  Upven Train Controller

1)  Couple of bucks per day, which I have to pay whether I drive the car or not.  Yes, it's a cost but until PT is going to run at suitable hours to get me to work and home again, I have to pay rego and insurance just to be able to earn an income.  So I'd debate how much of it should be included in the cost of this theoretical trip.
2)  $50 of the finest LPG money can buy.  Calculated @ the outrageous price I've been paying for the last few weeks, $0.82/L.
3)  Explain to me how it's underestimated.  I added up how much servicing had cost me over the last 4 years (including repairs), and divided by the number of kilometers I'd driven.  Then multiply by 520 for the distance of this trip.
4)  Repairs I bundled in with servicing.  Tyre wear is a couple of bucks for the trip.
5)  Can't remember the last time I paid for parking.  Definitely not applicable to this trip.
6)  Never take out a loan on a depreciating asset.  Unless you can use it to rort taxes somehow Rolling Eyes.
7)  The car is old.  It's thoroughly depreciated. And a similar argument could apply to rego and insurance -- I pay it anyway because I need the car to get to work.  So how much should be allocated to this trip?
Djebel
Also factor in the level of comfort and security you get in your own car, versus the quality (especially on metropolitan) PT. That's worth every cent if you ask me, and was the driving factor in my decision.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
The maximum allowable speed isn't high, but you can cover good distance due to there not being many towns in the way on many routes.  Especially if you're on the major highways with bypasses..

E.G.:  I want to visit my grandfather in Cobram.  45-50 minutes to SCS, then nearly 3 hours on the train to get to Shepparton, then I'd have to catch a bus to Cobram, but nowhere near where I want to go.

Or I can be there in under 3 hours door to door by driving.
Convenience is of course a huge factor, expecially when PT does have adequate coverage, nor service frequency. We are love be able to drive direct, door to door, from A to B. For your example, it is a no brainer.

Howver, cost is also a major factor for many people. One of the abject, miscalculations that nealry all drivers make is not appreciating enough that the vehicle trip is going to cost them anywhere between 5-10 times more than the PT cost. Add up multiple trips and the differences are huge.

If you drove to Cobram and back 4-5 times a year that difference might be as much as a couple of thousand $ depending on your vehicle type and age.
5-10 times as much to drive?  Going solo, I still save about $30 in fuel compared with catching PT.  It would cost me (rough estimate) $7 for tyres, servicing, etc. -- call it $10 to cover anything I forgot, and I'm still $20 better off.  Not counting taxi fares around Cobram to/from the station.

If family come with me, then each adult is another $72 saving, each concession $36.  None of the costs of driving change appreciably with the extra bodies.  They certainly climb with PT (apart from the taxi fares, ironically Laughing).
Djebel

You forgot the $30+k every few years to replace the ever increasingly, unreliable modern vehicle and the $800.00+ per annum rego and how much comprehensive insurance Question

Now we are talking big $$$

Roads are dangerous as well...Russian roulette anyone Question and I don't need to mention the health benefits of actually having to exert oneself to get from Point A to Point B which has many positive health flow ons. EG, walking to railway station with luggage, walking between train and bus, walking at destination, or borrowing the ever convenient local vehicle at destination if necessary and finally the environmentally friendly flow ons of not adding to greenhouse gases.

This is one of the reasons my car over the past few years has become my LAST option for travel after, walking, cycling (e-bike), train, train/bus with e-bike then my 17yo car as the last option.

Mike.
  Djebel Train Controller

The maximum allowable speed isn't high, but you can cover good distance due to there not being many towns in the way on many routes.  Especially if you're on the major highways with bypasses..

E.G.:  I want to visit my grandfather in Cobram.  45-50 minutes to SCS, then nearly 3 hours on the train to get to Shepparton, then I'd have to catch a bus to Cobram, but nowhere near where I want to go.

Or I can be there in under 3 hours door to door by driving.
Convenience is of course a huge factor, expecially when PT does have adequate coverage, nor service frequency. We are love be able to drive direct, door to door, from A to B. For your example, it is a no brainer.

Howver, cost is also a major factor for many people. One of the abject, miscalculations that nealry all drivers make is not appreciating enough that the vehicle trip is going to cost them anywhere between 5-10 times more than the PT cost. Add up multiple trips and the differences are huge.

If you drove to Cobram and back 4-5 times a year that difference might be as much as a couple of thousand $ depending on your vehicle type and age.
5-10 times as much to drive?  Going solo, I still save about $30 in fuel compared with catching PT.  It would cost me (rough estimate) $7 for tyres, servicing, etc. -- call it $10 to cover anything I forgot, and I'm still $20 better off.  Not counting taxi fares around Cobram to/from the station.

If family come with me, then each adult is another $72 saving, each concession $36.  None of the costs of driving change appreciably with the extra bodies.  They certainly climb with PT (apart from the taxi fares, ironically Laughing).

You forgot the $30+k every few years to replace the ever increasingly, unreliable modern vehicle and the $800.00+ per annum rego and how much comprehensive insurance Question

Now we are talking big $$$

Roads are dangerous as well...Russian roulette anyone Question and I don't need to mention the health benefits of actually having to exert oneself to get from Point A to Point B which has many positive health flow ons. EG, walking to railway station with luggage, walking between train and bus, walking at destination, or borrowing the ever convenient local vehicle at destination if necessary and finally the environmentally friendly flow ons of not adding to greenhouse gases.

This is one of the reasons my car over the past few years has become my LAST option for travel after, walking, cycling (e-bike), train, train/bus with e-bike then my 17yo car as the last option.

Mike.
The Vinelander
I was the most recent purchaser of a car in my family.  14 years ago.  Rego I've covered previously, and the car's not worth comp so there's a saving.

Driving is Russian roulette, and then talk about cycling in the same post?  Exercise and e-bike?  I walk a couple of kms every day for work.

Greenhouse gases: which is cleaner LPG, or Vic brown coal for MTM and diesel for the N class and bus?  I know -- I'll stay at home!  That'll save some CO2.

I have no objection to PT, and happily take it when it's a viable option (like going into the city, which hasn't happened for a while).  But the suggestion that it costs me $400-800 every time I go visit my grandfather is laughable.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
PT operates anyway so the greenhouse gases which are unfortunate are a given. Obviously the numbers of pax within the PT vehicle make the greenhouse gases more negligible compared to a petrol/diesel vehicle.

An E-bike does NOT give one a free ride, however it assists in enabling longer rides because head winds and hills are taken less strenuously and if one has confidence that hills and head winds are not the concern they once were, then one tends to explore longer distances on the bike.

This morning for example I was undertaking a working bee at my local station when a V'Locity arrived and amongst the pax were two cyclists. I had to welcome them to Ballan and with curiosity asked where they were from and pedalling to. From Melbourne, looking forward to some fresh air and pedalling to Daylesford, about 35 km away. I offered some advice about extremely busy roads and they were looking at alternatives via minor roads through the forest.
Personally I'd never ride that road to Daylesford. Very little sealed edge for bikes and lunatic car drivers. Certainly not a pleasure in my book.

I'm off to Beaufort on the Ararat in a few mins to ride cross country to Skipton, about 2 hours, overnight then ride the Skipton rail trail back to Wendouree then train home.

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trails/ballarat-skipton-rail-trail/

Bikes work if you want them to and it's a lot of fun with some exercise thrown in for good measure.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

PT operates anyway so the greenhouse gases which are unfortunate are a given. Obviously the numbers of pax within the PT vehicle make the greenhouse gases more negligible compared to a petrol/diesel vehicle.

An E-bike does NOT give one a free ride, however it assists in enabling longer rides because head winds and hills are taken less strenuously and if one has confidence that hills and head winds are not the concern they once were, then one tends to explore longer distances on the bike.

This morning for example I was undertaking a working bee at my local station when a V'Locity arrived and amongst the pax were two cyclists. I had to welcome them to Ballan and with curiosity asked where they were from and pedalling to. From Melbourne, looking forward to some fresh air and pedalling to Daylesford, about 35 km away. I offered some advice about extremely busy roads and they were looking at alternatives via minor roads through the forest.
Personally I'd never ride that road to Daylesford. Very little sealed edge for bikes and lunatic car drivers. Certainly not a pleasure in my book.

I'm off to Beaufort on the Ararat in a few mins to ride cross country to Skipton, about 2 hours, overnight then ride the Skipton rail trail back to Wendouree then train home.

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trails/ballarat-skipton-rail-trail/

Bikes work if you want them to and it's a lot of fun with some exercise thrown in for good measure.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Hope you completed your plan VLP cancelling and terminating trains short like a drunk.
Even better cancels long distance Inter City services, only to advise you an hour later that the same Inter city service will noy have catering today.  VLP brilliance no catering today on a service that is already cancelled.
So many amexes and short terminations/orginations to protect the timekeeping, VLP may as well say everything is bustituted, and text the long suffering punters when they can actually run a train - which is what they are paid to . How long is the Government going to put up with this sort of performance from VLP ???  Doesnt seem they are interested or care ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I received notifications re cancellations and sometimes I wonder how seriously V/Line actually take their 'service' provision.

Nevertheless arrival at Beaufort was uneventful and apart from one heavy shower went smoothly on the 30 km ride to the almost ghost town of Skipton.

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I received notifications re cancellations and sometimes I wonder how seriously V/Line actually take their 'service' provision.
The Vinelander
Judging by the attitude of the "customer service" staff herding us onto busses at Gisborne on Friday evening I would say not seriously at all

Cramming 50 people, some not wearing masks, no questions asked, onto each coach when we are still supposed to be social distancing where possible to reduce the hit to the bottom line

When I complained about it I was told by a particularly terse conductor "what do you expect when a tree falls across the tracks"

No mention of the other coach parked at the end of the carpark. Once the 2 coaches carrying around 100 pax had departed I (who had chosen not to take the Covid Express) spoke to the driver of said coach it seemed he had been told not to do the run but to wait at Gisborne. As he was not used for the next run that I caught an hour later I assume he went home empty
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


You forgot the $30+k every few years to replace the ever increasingly, unreliable modern vehicle and the $800.00+ per annum rego and how much comprehensive insurance Question

Now we are talking big $$$

Roads are dangerous as well...Russian roulette anyone Question and I don't need to mention the health benefits of actually having to exert oneself to get from Point A to Point B which has many positive health flow ons. EG, walking to railway station with luggage, walking between train and bus, walking at destination, or borrowing the ever convenient local vehicle at destination if necessary and finally the environmentally friendly flow ons of not adding to greenhouse gases.

This is one of the reasons my car over the past few years has become my LAST option for travel after, walking, cycling (e-bike), train, train/bus with e-bike then my 17yo car as the last option.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Unless you are wasting money on a Euro car then again this is non relevant. That 2008 Commodore I took you around Sydney in way back when is still in great working condition and going beautifully and so there goes your $30k every few years for a new car argument because of so called unreliability.

The rego certainly isn't $800 a year and servicing it certainly doesn't cost me thousands of dollars a year but only a few hundred dollars for new oil, filters and brake material. The only idiots who pay that much for servicing take there car to the dealers and this cheap servicing normally applies to Japanese cars as well. Anybody who buys an expensive european car deserves the headaches they get and having to buy a new car every year because it breaks down after 12 months.

Now if someone had argued that with petroleum at $1.50 a litre and more that it would cost me $100 or more to fill my tank plus the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion. All those other costs are offsettable by other journeys and the ease of access the car provides to do everyday jobs.

Catching public transport is also not stress free. In fact it is probably more stressful because you have to deal with filthy Joe Public.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

.... the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion.
simstrain
Point of order.

The VLine ticket includes 1 hr travel zone 1/2 in direction of travel.

for return ticket, all day zone1/2.

Do not discard used paper ticket, its your proof to get thru the gates
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line

You forgot the $30+k every few years to replace the ever increasingly, unreliable modern vehicle and the $800.00+ per annum rego and how much comprehensive insurance Question

Now we are talking big $$$

Roads are dangerous as well...Russian roulette anyone Question and I don't need to mention the health benefits of actually having to exert oneself to get from Point A to Point B which has many positive health flow ons. EG, walking to railway station with luggage, walking between train and bus, walking at destination, or borrowing the ever convenient local vehicle at destination if necessary and finally the environmentally friendly flow ons of not adding to greenhouse gases.

This is one of the reasons my car over the past few years has become my LAST option for travel after, walking, cycling (e-bike), train, train/bus with e-bike then my 17yo car as the last option.

Mike.
Unless you are wasting money on a Euro car then again this is non relevant. That 2008 Commodore I took you around Sydney in way back when is still in great working condition and going beautifully and so there goes your $30k every few years for a new car argument because of so called unreliability.

The rego certainly isn't $800 a year and servicing it certainly doesn't cost me thousands of dollars a year but only a few hundred dollars for new oil, filters and brake material. The only idiots who pay that much for servicing take there car to the dealers and this cheap servicing normally applies to Japanese cars as well. Anybody who buys an expensive european car deserves the headaches they get and having to buy a new car every year because it breaks down after 12 months.

Catching public transport is also not stress free. In fact it is probably more stressful because you have to deal with filthy Joe Public.
simstrain


Many people aspire to get on the new car treadmill of a new car every 3 to 4 years and that's their thing of "keeping up with the Jones'".

Rego is definitely $800.00+ per year.

https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/registration/registration-fees/vehicle-registration-fees


So unless you are driving an unregistered car as well as skimping on servicing....AND you guys north of the Murray apparently have to pay for some annual vehicle check-up, so clearly you are not paying the correct amount.

Your 'Joe Public' remarks are the comments of a snob and obviously you are a train enthusiast or a rail fan who prefers to NOT travel by PT, but just take pictures or look at the trains as they go by...that's your choice.

Mike.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Ok so victoria is expensive for rego then because in NSW it certainly isn't that much and it's free for pensioners. https://www.nsw.gov.au/topics/vehicle-registration/fees-concessions-forms/fees.

Even still you are paying that for a 12 month period and the multitude of trips you can make and not just 1 trip.

I'm not a snob but stating facts. Travelling on PT can be just as stressful especially in peak hour when you are crammed in against people you don't know. I have had a knife pulled on me on the train when I was younger and so it can be dangerous as well.

When I was younger and had to catch trains I would also ride my bike which would also require me to buy a half fare for it. I have done thousands if not tens of thousands of km's on the Sydney train network from Liverpool / Warwick Farm to Central for Tafe at Ultimo for a course only offered there. To jobs I had at Lakemba, Granville, Ingleburn and St Mary's.
  Djebel Train Controller


.... the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion. Point of order.

The VLine ticket includes 1 hr travel zone 1/2 in direction of travel.

for return ticket, all day zone1/2.

Do not discard used paper ticket, its your proof to get thru the gates
justarider
Cool.  How do I get the paper ticket from my local, unattended station before heading to SCS?
  Djebel Train Controller

PT operates anyway so the greenhouse gases which are unfortunate are a given. Obviously the numbers of pax within the PT vehicle make the greenhouse gases more negligible compared to a petrol/diesel vehicle.

An E-bike does NOT give one a free ride, however it assists in enabling longer rides because head winds and hills are taken less strenuously and if one has confidence that hills and head winds are not the concern they once were, then one tends to explore longer distances on the bike.

This morning for example I was undertaking a working bee at my local station when a V'Locity arrived and amongst the pax were two cyclists. I had to welcome them to Ballan and with curiosity asked where they were from and pedalling to. From Melbourne, looking forward to some fresh air and pedalling to Daylesford, about 35 km away. I offered some advice about extremely busy roads and they were looking at alternatives via minor roads through the forest.
Personally I'd never ride that road to Daylesford. Very little sealed edge for bikes and lunatic car drivers. Certainly not a pleasure in my book.

I'm off to Beaufort on the Ararat in a few mins to ride cross country to Skipton, about 2 hours, overnight then ride the Skipton rail trail back to Wendouree then train home.

https://www.railtrails.org.au/trails/ballarat-skipton-rail-trail/

Bikes work if you want them to and it's a lot of fun with some exercise thrown in for good measure.

Mike.
The Vinelander
So PT greenhouse gases don't count because they will happen anyway, but some of my rego counts against this trip even though I need it for work anyway?

Judging by a lot of the ebike riders I see around they are a free ride for quite a distance.  Maybe their pedals are jammed Confused.  The local ebike postie reckons his is good for 2/3 of the run without any pedaling.

Bikes can work OK sometimes, and all the time if you're desperate.  Personally I'm not that keen to ride 2 hours home at 0045, especially when it's raining.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Ok so victoria is expensive for rego then because in NSW it certainly isn't that much and it's free for pensioners. https://www.nsw.gov.au/topics/vehicle-registration/fees-concessions-forms/fees.........................................
simstrain
In Victoria, the Compulsory Third Party Insurance (or whatever you want to call it) component is included in vehicle registration. In NSW, it's part of the Greenslip. Overall the costs seem about the same.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

.... the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion.

Point of order.

The VLine ticket includes 1 hr travel zone 1/2 in direction of travel.

for return ticket, all day zone1/2.

Do not discard used paper ticket, its your proof to get thru the gates


Cool.  How do I get the paper ticket from my local, unattended station before heading to SCS?
Djebel

Well the discussion was from Shepparton, hence my mention of paper.

Miki also does the free zone 1/2 thing.

BUT as you have pointed out, Vline has that gaping hole. You cant get a paper ticket on the bus either.

Its long overdue that you could get "paper" ticket on-line,
Or better still , miki for all destinations.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.

.... the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion. Point of order.

The VLine ticket includes 1 hr travel zone 1/2 in direction of travel.

for return ticket, all day zone1/2.

Do not discard used paper ticket, its your proof to get thru the gatesCool.  How do I get the paper ticket from my local, unattended station before heading to SCS?Well the discussion was from Shepparton, hence my mention of paper.

Miki also does the free zone 1/2 thing.

BUT as you have pointed out, Vline has that gaping hole. You cant get a paper ticket on the bus either.

Its long overdue that you could get "paper" ticket on-line,
Or better still , miki for all destinations.
justarider
Unless I've missed something, it's possible to get a paper ticket online or by phone through the reservation system. You can opt to pick it up at a staffed station or have it delivered to your door.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line

.... the cost of parking to do that round trip vs the $52.80 from Shepparton return ($26 for concession) then we can start discussing. Add the cost of getting to/from Shepparton and Cobram stations and the cost of PT around Melbourne then we can start to have a fair discussion. Point of order.

The VLine ticket includes 1 hr travel zone 1/2 in direction of travel.

for return ticket, all day zone1/2.

Do not discard used paper ticket, its your proof to get thru the gatesCool.  How do I get the paper ticket from my local, unattended station before heading to SCS?Well the discussion was from Shepparton, hence my mention of paper.

Miki also does the free zone 1/2 thing.

BUT as you have pointed out, Vline has that gaping hole. You cant get a paper ticket on the bus either.

Its long overdue that you could get "paper" ticket on-line,
Or better still , miki for all destinations.Unless I've missed something, it's possible to get a paper ticket online or by phone through the reservation system. You can opt to pick it up at a staffed station or have it delivered to your door.
railblogger

At any of the stops between Mildura and Swan Hill as an example, you phone to make your booking OR just turn up at the stop and if the bus isn't full, which definitely happens you can board and you are expected to purchase your ticket at Swan Hill.

Obviously people will slip through the cracks and get a free ride or if travelling beyond Swan Hill will purchase that leg of their journey at Swan Hill.

Mike.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
In Donald, you can go to the local newsagency and purchase a paper V/Line ticket.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

Cool.  How do I get the paper ticket from my local, unattended station before heading to SCS?
-djebel
.....

BUT as you have pointed out, Vline has that gaping hole. You cant get a paper ticket on the bus either.

Its long overdue that you could get "paper" ticket on-line,
Or better still , miki for all destinations.
-justarider

Unless I've missed something, it's possible to get a paper ticket online or by phone through the reservation system. You can opt to pick it up at a staffed station or have it delivered to your door.
railblogger
The "pick up" is a huge gaping hole, as mentioned by @Djebel.

On-line and via telephone is just a reservation.
Passenger must go thru a very awkward process to obtain the physical ticket, without which you will not be allowed to board any of the PT modes (local bus, Metro, Vline).

A separate journey to a manned station, or local store; is a pain AND an extra cost (use the car, or an extra PT)
Delivery by snail mail is useless, if you want same day, or even within a week.

PS: as Mike mentioned, sometimes the local bus driver will take your word for it, and let you start the journey gratis.
Hardly satisfactory, and just hope you don't meet a ticket inspector.

PPS: current example. From Melb to Shepp.
I phone Vline and reserve ticket.
Leave Melb home & catch bus lo local unmanned station ( after convincing driver to let me on)
Catch train without a touch-on nor ticket.
If a meet a ticket inspector , lots of explaining - good luck with that, maybe they will believe a screen shot of the reservation.
Arrive SCS, but cant get thru the gate - more explaining.
Buy the ticket at SCS.
After all that faffing around, hope I havent missed the train

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