Possible candidates for reopened country services in Vic?

 
  pberrett Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne, West Island
Hi all

As I understand it the extent of passenger services in Victoria is, or will soon be as follows (not including tourist rail services):

Melbourne to Albury (Broad & Standard)
Melbourne to Shepparton (Broad)
Melbourne to Bendigo to Echuca (Broad)
Melbourne to Bendigo to Swan Hill (Broad)
Melbourne to Bairnsdale (Broad)
Melbourne to Leongatha (Broad)
Melbourne to Warrnambool (Broad)
Melbourne to North Geelong to Horsham to Ararat to Serviceton (Standard)
Melbourne to Ararat (Broad)
Melbourne to Ballarat to Maryborough to Mildura (???)
Mebourne to Stony Point (Broad)

Leaving aside these lines for a moment, what other lines are candidates for regular passenger services in Victoria? I accept that further new services are unlikely however if some were to be reopened which would be most justified or likely?

Please approach this question from two separate angles:

1. Which passeneger services would be most justified from the point of view that they have a lot of coach traffic and would most likely carry the most rail passengers relative to other lines?

2. Passenger demand aside, which potential rail routes have populations that have the most political clout that could see them reopened even if demand is higher elsewhere?

cheers Peter

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  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
I think there is some justification for extending the Shepparton services back to Cobram, or maybe Tocumwal.

Another possibility is a Sprinter service to Yarrawonga.

Cheers
David
  pberrett Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne, West Island
I think there is some justification for extending the Shepparton services back to Cobram, or maybe Tocumwal.

Another possibility is a Sprinter service to Yarrawonga.

Cheers
David
"DavidB"


They sound like good ideas but are there any statistics to back that up ie are the Yarrawonga, Cobram and Tocumwal bus services well patronised?

I suspect (no hard figures to back this up) that prime candidates for restored passenger rail services would be, in order of demand....

1. Horsham Vline services - either a rail shuttle Horsham to Ararat to connect with the BG service or a dedicated SG service all the way to Melbourne and run by Vline. There would be some political support and the town has a significant population. Although the SG conversion has caused a few problems re the restoration of services it is nonetheless surprising that there has not been much talk about restoring non-GSR rail links with this town.

Here's a relevant link

http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiry/rail/subs/sub026.pdf

Note the drop off in in patronage due to bus services being introduced and the claim that any savings have been eroded.

2. Maryborough rail shuttle to Ballarat to connect with fast rail.

3. Daylesford - good population and tourists now justify a rail service

cheers Peter
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
I would run Yarrawonga much the same way as Echuca, at least at first, catering mainly for the weekend tourist market. One opsion could be to run the 16.32 Seymour as Sprinters, detach one and run to Benalla, connect off the 17.10 Albury then stable at Yarrawonga. Saturday morning run to Benalla to connect to the 6.35 up Albury, then empty to Seymour to form/attach to the 10.35 up. Sunday run a car through to Yarrawonga on the 12.35 Seymour, then about a 16.00 up Yarrawonga through to Melbourne.

Cobram could be done by extending the Friday evening down, Saturday morning up, SSaturday evening down and Sunday up.

Maryborough might work, but rather than a shuttle I would just extend an existing Ballart service.

Daylesford is next to impossible because it would require putting back much of the line. At least with Yarrawonga and Maryborough the line is still there.

Cheers
David
  pberrett Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne, West Island
I would run Yarrawonga much the same way as Echuca, at least at first, catering mainly for the weekend tourist market. One opsion could be to run the 16.32 Seymour as Sprinters, detach one and run to Benalla, connect off the 17.10 Albury then stable at Yarrawonga. Saturday morning run to Benalla to connect to the 6.35 up Albury, then empty to Seymour to form/attach to the 10.35 up. Sunday run a car through to Yarrawonga on the 12.35 Seymour, then about a 16.00 up Yarrawonga through to Melbourne.

Cobram could be done by extending the Friday evening down, Saturday morning up, SSaturday evening down and Sunday up.

Maryborough might work, but rather than a shuttle I would just extend an existing Ballart service.

Daylesford is next to impossible because it would require putting back much of the line. At least with Yarrawonga and Maryborough the line is still there.

Cheers
David
"DavidB"


Bit is there demand for service as to these towns? Any statistics or political support to back up these choices?

I chose a shuttle to Maryborough in light of plans to standardise the line.

cheers Peter
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think there is some justification for extending the Shepparton services back to Cobram, or maybe Tocumwal.

Another possibility is a Sprinter service to Yarrawonga.

Cheers
David
"DavidB"


I would second that!

Regards,
Brian
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I chose a shuttle to Maryborough in light of plans to standardise the line.

cheers Peter
"pberrett"


Maryborough would also be a good choice.  If Mildura returns the shuttle could compliment the daily service from Ballarat to Mildura and return?

Actually, does anyone know of a proposed mildura timetable?

Regards,
Brian
  pberrett Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne, West Island
Found the following document which is a few years old.

http://www.information.vic.gov.au/resources/atlas/docs/Public%20transport.pdf

Look at the rail and service levels at the bottom of the document.

Based on it the priority for the resumption of rail services should be as follows...

1. Surprise! Cowes/Wonthaggi  (ie resume rail service to Wonthaggi). Just look at the number of services. A properly coordinated rail/coach service would attract strong patronage.

2. Stawell/Horsham

3. Bright!

4. Yarrawonga


cheers Peter
  MelbourneCity Chief Commissioner

I think Echuca should get a daily service (morning up, return in evening) and atleast 1 train a day to Yarrawonga. They are both reasonably big towns (both near or over 10,000) and I'm sure there'd be demand for regular services.
  dalts 1985 Banned

Location: Banned
The new Volicty's would be a good candidate to use on the Echuca Serivces
  Railfan9949 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere between Gembrook to Healesville to Seymour to Maldon
By the way has any one seen this Volicty.. not a drawing of it but the real thing.. or is it in a state which the Hitachi are becoming... bits n pieces!
  Nexas The Ghost of George Stephenson


Melbourne to Ballarat to Maryborough to Mildura (???)
Mebourne to Stony Point (Broad)
"pberrett"


The Mildura service will be Melbourne ---> North Geelong ---> Ballarat ---> Maryborough ---> Mildura.

The Stony Point service is Frankston ---> Stony Point. Passengers from Melbourne need to catch a suburban electric service to Frankston and change to the diesel service there.
  Dale Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne
Note the drop off in in patronage due to bus services being introduced and the claim that any savings have been eroded.

2. Maryborough rail shuttle to Ballarat to connect with fast rail.

3. Daylesford - good population and tourists now justify a rail service


Why hasn't consideration been given to a Maryborough rail shuttle to Ballarat?

It would seem to be more viable than the proposed Ararat-Ballarat shuttle for a number of reasons:
- Maryborough is closer to Ballarat
- Maryborough and Ararat have similar size populations and, therefore, presumably similar demand
- Little, if any, trackwork would be required to get the line to passenger standard, compared with the extensive works required to rehabilitate the entire Ballarat-Ararat route after 9 years of decay.
- Any money spent on track improvements on Ballarat-Ararat consitutes a further cost of the passenger services, since there is no freight, whereas both passenger and freight users benefit from improvements to the Maryborough line.

If a government can justify a service as costly as Ballarat-Ararat, then there must be numerous examples of other services which could be re-activated at a lesser cost. For example: regular services to Echuca; extension of a Maryborough service to Donald (the Ballarat-Donald rail motor still ran until the mid-80s); even a Daylesford service. Would restoration of the line from Carlsruhe to Daylesford cost any more than that for Ballarat-Ararat? Furthermore, Daylesford has a higher population in closer proximity to Melbourne, so demand would probably be greater.
  Dark Side Train Controller

Location: A galaxy far, far away
By the way has any one seen this Volicty.. not a drawing of it but the real thing.. or is it in a state which the Hitachi are becoming... bits n pieces!
"Railfan9949"


Yep. They are slowly being assembled in Dandenong and should have a smoother entry to service than the siemens train or the x'crap. It wasn't much to look at when i saw it. It was basically an underframe.
  VRfan Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p
I think the current rail services are good enough with buses extending out from the current terminus stations. Buses are more cost effective since they don't require much in the way of infrastructure.

Look at the Ballarat - Ararat route. The bus currently provides a service to Trawalla, Beaufort, Buangor and Ararat. The only infrastructure required for this are the bus stop signs along the way and the bus terminals at Ballarat and Ararat station. The train will only service Beaufort and Ararat yet heaps of money will have to be poured into maintaining a fairly long section of track that would otherwise be disused. It just doesn't make economical sense and it wouldn't suprise me if it's closed again within a few years.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The former Dimboola service carried 100,000 pax per annum beyond Ballarat with numbers falling off very sharply after Ararat/Stawell - so no justification for rail passenger beyond Ararat ; but as far as Ararat  stacks up OK in passenger numbers.
Echuca - Bendigo should go daily with Sprinters or V/Locity and myriad of parallel coach services servicing Echuca should be rationalized and co-ordinated with an upgraded Echuca train service.  Passenger numbers beyond Shepparton do not justify passenger train operations, numbers fall off fast after Shepparton.  The only real prospect is a shuttle bg (then becoming sg) Sprinter between Maryborough and Ballarat connecting with RFR V/Locity trains at Ballarat.
Yarrawonga was subject of Super DERM trial (56 RM) in 1970's and passenger numbers did not increase sufficiently to justify rail passenger operations. Current numbers on the bus would almost fit in a taxi. The best financial return to both V/Line and Government would come from increasing frequencies on existing services which can be done within existing resources at marginal cost where the increased revenue would be most likely to be offset the small increased marginal operating costs. viz:  Albury to three return Saturdays, Ararat to three return Weekdays, Swan Hill to two return Daily, Echuca to two return DAILY, Shepparton to three return Mon - Sat, Bairnsdale to three return Mon to Sat.
  macca35 Station Master

Location: Tatura
Has Shepparton ever had 3 return rail services? It would be of greater benefit then in the current timetable that only has 1 rail service and 2 bus services in the morning with the afternoon train departing around 3pm, mind you though the last morning bus service departs Shepparton at around 9am. So if there was 3 rail services then you could possible justify  one service to extend to Cobram that being the evening down and the morning up service, the morning train is very well packed in the mornings and the friday night is well packed, i think they now require a fourth carriage for friday evenings.
  Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.
I went with a pretty young girl (you needed to know that!) on a sprinter to Wang and then bus to Beechworth back in the late 90s (97?) anyway the comment is correct. The replacement bus had only about 4 people on it plus the driver. So don't tell me about how wonderful branchline patronage is!
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Yes macca35, Shepparton did manage 3 daily return trains in the early 1980s. The middle of the day return DRC & trailer was replaced by a bus in the late 80s IIRC.  Cobram should justify an up morning down evening train as this feeds a bus connection on to Griffith, reasonably patronised from what I have seen close to where I live. Hoys  did run a few peak season trains through to Cobram after services were cut back to Shep but deteriorating track conditions as maintained by Freight Australia soon saw the end of that. Still I am sure that less rehabilitation would be required than to Ararat, the out of use section, Strathmerton  to Cobram needs a few trees cut from the right of way but otherwise appears fairly sound.

By the way Riccardo, the bus you travelled to Beechworth on had been replacing rail for about 50 years when you took your pretty little sort there. Wangaratta-Beechworth has a rather frequent bus service by rural Vic. standards & some are quite well patronised, I was on one of the quieter ones about 1980 as the sole accompaniment to the driver.
  DavidB Moderator

Location: Canberra
Yes macca35, Shepparton did manage 3 daily return trains in the early 1980s. The middle of the day return DRC & trailer was replaced by a bus in the late 80s IIRC.
"Rodo"

IIRC the evening down ran (forming morning up) through to Numurkah.

Cheers
David
  zipitidoodah Chief Commissioner

I think the current rail services are good enough with buses extending out from the current terminus stations. Buses are more cost effective since they don't require much in the way of infrastructure.

Look at the Ballarat - Ararat route. The bus currently provides a service to Trawalla, Beaufort, Buangor and Ararat. The only infrastructure required for this are the bus stop signs along the way and the bus terminals at Ballarat and Ararat station. The train will only service Beaufort and Ararat yet heaps of money will have to be poured into maintaining a fairly long section of track that would otherwise be disused. It just doesn't make economical sense and it wouldn't suprise me if it's closed again within a few years.
"VRFan"


Keep in mind that people don't really like changing modes of transport, even if they only have to change from train to bus or vice versa. The train would also have to be quicker than any bus.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Maryborough might work, but rather than a shuttle I would just extend an existing Ballart service.
"DavidB"


I would also prefer to see a service between Castlemaine and Ararat serving the cross country routes.  This type of service is sadly lacking around victoria and possibily the country.

Daylesford is next to impossible because it would require putting back much of the line. At least with Yarrawonga and Maryborough the line is still there.

Cheers
David


As for daylesford.  The population will certainly continue to increase over the next 10 years and could probably justify a return rail service from perhaps ballarat.  

Can anyone provide an idea of a Melbourne-Daylesford service transit time either via ballarat or is/was it kyneton?

--Bill
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Found the following document which is a few years old.

http://www.information.vic.gov.au/resources/atlas/docs/Public%20transport.pdf

Look at the rail and service levels at the bottom of the document.

Based on it the priority for the resumption of rail services should be as follows...

1. Surprise! Cowes/Wonthaggi  (ie resume rail service to Wonthaggi). Just look at the number of services. A properly coordinated rail/coach service would attract strong patronage.
"pberrett"


Yes, not an obvious one, but certainly one with merit.  The bass coast shire would benefit greatly from a return service there.


2. Stawell/Horsham


Don't know much about that area, but makes since given the lack of public transport in western victoria.  Would/could you extend a passenger service between Horsham and Hamilton and then onto Mount Gambier?

3. Bright!


Makes a lot of sense.  N East vic is also poorly serviced.  Ski fields (i go annually) are growing in patronage.

Would you also consider the growth around Mount Buller and Mansfield??  Is a mansfield return a possibility?

cheers Peter
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
By the way has any one seen this Volicty.. not a drawing of it but the real thing.. or is it in a state which the Hitachi are becoming... bits n pieces!
"Railfan9949"


Have they actually been delivered as yet?

--Bill

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