Mildura passenger service

 
  Deanodriver Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Any Mildura (or beyond) service makes some sense as a luxury tourist service. It doesn't make a lot of sense as anything more regular.

I mean, a really out there suggestion would be building suitable SG track all the way to Broken Hill, running services there via Mildura and hooking up to Indian Pacific services.

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  hotdogpants1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Here.
Any Mildura (or beyond) service makes some sense as a luxury tourist service. It doesn't make a lot of sense as anything more regular.

I mean, a really out there suggestion would be building suitable SG track all the way to Broken Hill, running services there via Mildura and hooking up to Indian Pacific services.
"Deanodriver"

That's an Idea Exclamation
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A brief report to Members and supporters. The Rail Revival Alliance is developing a proposal for the reintroduction of passenger trains on the Mildura line.

A copy of the draft timetable is provided and the Alliance will be releasing the full submission in the near future.

This proposal involves a Standard Gauge loco hauled passenger service between Mildura and Maryborough. This connects to the existing VLine VLocity services at Maryborough into Ballarat and Melbourne.

  route14 Chief Commissioner

So there will be an isolated fleet (perhaps one train)?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
So there will be an isolated fleet (perhaps one train)?
route14

They rollingstock could be maintained in Ballarat could it not?
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

That proposed timetable has got to be a joke, surely?

If someone were to catch the up service on Sunday (which takes all day), stay in a hotel Sunday night, attend to their business in Melbourne on Monday -- unless they are done by about 0900 they would then have to stay another two nights in Melbourne before there is an available down, which will take all of Wednesday.  A four day round trip, including 17 hours on the train.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Any Mildura (or beyond) service makes some sense as a luxury tourist service. It doesn't make a lot of sense as anything more regular.

I mean, a really out there suggestion would be building suitable SG track all the way to Broken Hill, running services there via Mildura and hooking up to Indian Pacific services.
Deanodriver
I've always thought that the best option would be extending the old Red Cliffs-Morkalla railway line into the Riverland and then on to connect with the ARTC network north of Adelaide would be the best option - it would enable MEL-PER freight to completely by-pass the Adelaide Hills which is what a lot of residents have been whinging for but it could also pick up a lot of trade through the Riverland and take trucks off the road.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Is there SG into Ballarat?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Is there SG into Ballarat?
route14
Not at the moment.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A brief report to Members and supporters. The Rail Revival Alliance is developing a proposal for the reintroduction of passenger trains on the Mildura line.

A copy of the draft timetable is provided and the Alliance will be releasing the full submission in the near future.

This proposal involves a Standard Gauge loco hauled passenger service between Mildura and Maryborough. This connects to the existing VLine VLocity services at Maryborough into Ballarat and Melbourne.

bevans
All I get is a big black blob.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
So there will be an isolated fleet (perhaps one train)?
route14

I'm aware of this proposal which is also on the Member for Mildura's website. I wasn't going to comment for the obvious reasons from past commenting experiences.

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

The plan is to take advantage of the international Coronavirus lockdown whilst simultaneously launching a new "Outback Vic' tourism plan to enable Australian tourists to explore Australia before the international borders are opened up...one day

The backbone appears to be a N Class former Albury set once the SG V'Locity's are launched and in service.

Any N set stabled at Maryborough would not be isolated as it can still operate out of Melbourne...presumably empty and pick up its passengers at Maryborough, having arrived off a V'Locity from Melbourne.

This is planned as a tourist experience, similar in my opinion to the Spirit of the Outback in Queensland, therefore speed is not a factor in its operation

Mike.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The dead run looks longer than the revenue service.
  501M Train Controller

Location: The Borough
A brief report to Members and supporters. The Rail Revival Alliance is developing a proposal for the reintroduction of passenger trains on the Mildura line.

A copy of the draft timetable is provided and the Alliance will be releasing the full submission in the near future.

This proposal involves a Standard Gauge loco hauled passenger service between Mildura and Maryborough. This connects to the existing VLine VLocity services at Maryborough into Ballarat and Melbourne.

bevans
The RRA are still flogging this 30 year old dead horse.  The limted paths available to Mildura are best used for freight services.  Passengers can either fly to Mildura or take the V/Line Bus.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Gawd that timetable is a joke. The service would fall flat as there'd be hardly anyone wanting to spend 8 and a half hours on a train when they could get a coach to Swan Hill and take that train in far less time.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Why is the line capacity so low?
  501M Train Controller

Location: The Borough
The capacity is low because the Andrews government stuffed the standardisation project and won't put the money up to fix the mess they created.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
That proposed timetable has got to be a joke, surely?

If someone were to catch the up service on Sunday (which takes all day), stay in a hotel Sunday night, attend to their business in Melbourne on Monday -- unless they are done by about 0900 they would then have to stay another two nights in Melbourne before there is an available down, which will take all of Wednesday.  A four day round trip, including 17 hours on the train.
Djebel

There is always the regular V/Line timetable to utilise which has several services a day.

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/19e67ce6-d5ed-47df-a94e-4b673448e6cf/Mildura-Melbourne-(via-Swan-Hill-and-Bendigo)-(2)

and if an overnight journey including 150Km travelling in the equivalent of a washing machine agitator can be endured:

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/eed28fd0-3b05-4a2a-8cc1-dfb15afacda8/Mildura-Melbourne-(via-Donald,-Maryborough-and-(1)

Mike.
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

The capacity is low because the Andrews government stuffed the standardisation project and won't put the money up to fix the mess they created.
501M
And it was Kennett who pulled the passenger service rightly or wrongly because it was underutilized. As others have said coach to Swan Hill then train or fly.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
All I get is a big black blob.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
Maybe there's a message in that.
  Lachlan's Train Channel Locomotive Fireman

Location: probably taking a photo of 7901V
A brief report to Members and supporters. The Rail Revival Alliance is developing a proposal for the reintroduction of passenger trains on the Mildura line.

A copy of the draft timetable is provided and the Alliance will be releasing the full submission in the near future.

This proposal involves a Standard Gauge loco hauled passenger service between Mildura and Maryborough. This connects to the existing VLine VLocity services at Maryborough into Ballarat and Melbourne.

bevans
As much as I like the idea the current train/coach timetable is faster. It will most likely flop under that timetable. While someone like me would happily take it I doubt many others would like it. Either lift the line speed and fix the capacity issue (neither of which will happen any time soon IMO) or just deal with the current arrangement.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As much as I like the idea the current train/coach timetable is faster. It will most likely flop under that timetable. While someone like me would happily take it I doubt many others would like it. Either lift the line speed and fix the capacity issue (neither of which will happen any time soon IMO) or just deal with the current arrangement.
Lachlan's Train Channel

I'm surprised Ali didn't mention this proposal with you when you met her recently to discuss the other rail matters you were going to raise with her.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The capacity is low because the Andrews government stuffed the standardisation project and won't put the money up to fix the mess they created.
And it was Kennett who pulled the passenger service rightly or wrongly because it was underutilized. As others have said coach to Swan Hill then train or fly.
Bonzel
It failed because the track was a mess and the service operation outdated sleeper.

But again they are applying 20th century rail technology and should be using DMU's, works in NSW and WA. Loco hauled is slow and higher cost.

The Kalgoolie DMU service 10 x a week to a city of similar size and distance to Perth as Mildura to Mel is seems to work well.

Route should be running via the SG Geelong - Ballarat and connection with Ballarat - Mel service and then on to Mildura.

To become viable the timetable needs to be around 6-6.5 h from Mel using connection at Ballart, but the 3 x week fine.

Train would also include service to Portland and spilt at Geelong OR Horsham/Dimboola.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
This proposed timetable is a bit sad all things considered.

The N set & N class locos are approaching 40 years old and are being phased out of their current roles due primarily to age. I understand the attempt to keep the cost of this proposal down, but utilising ancient rollingstock on a 'new' long distance service is just asking for a lot of trouble.

Introducing a new service that is slower than the existing service isn't going to get the crowds queuing to jump aboard.

----

I don't know how many threads need to be made on this forum that say the same thing, but here goes:

If your train isn't going to compete on time with my car, why would I take your train? Even then, if I do how do I get about when I get up there? Why would I hire a car up there when I can just drive my own to begin with?

That is how the vast majority of the population think and this is the first hurdle you have to jump. You need to get people to see the train as a part of the trip, speed is one part of that, comfort is the other. A properly fitted out SG Vlocity could provide the comfort and the speed, but only if the track its running on is up to it. The current track is not.

To achieve that, you need to get the journey under 6 hours. 370km of major track upgrades between Maryborough and Mildura to allow Vlocity operation at 160km/h would do the trick, I'm talking rail, sleepers, ballast, signalling, crossing loops, bridges, level crossings, station upgrades. That should cost a few billion. Someone else may be able to give a better idea of the cost of that potential upgrade, but I can't see it being under $5 Billion, it may be more than double that. Good luck getting the business case to stack up for a multi-billion dollar investment when its only return is to run a couple of passenger trains per day.

Potentially it could work alongside a proper upgrade in rail-freight capacity on the line, simultaneously improving permissible axle weight, line speed and pathing issues. If this could get a lot more freight off the road and on to the tracks that would help on the return on investment, but then you have to work those freights around your faster passenger trains. Not insurmountable, but still an added challenge.

Parley all of that into some sort of plan to turn Mildura into Victoria's next big growth centre, with incentives for businesses to re-locate, and maybe some improved public sector opportunities, then maybe, just maybe it could be achievable. But it would take big picture thinking from all levels of government like we aren't used to seeing in this country.

Maybe if the Murray Basin Rail Project had of aimed higher in the first place, and the time and money spent on it wasn't left in the hands of people who's main priority is running commuter trains, but people who are actually experienced in major construction projects this could have all been achieved.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Too many questions !

Has the RRA done any kind of survey about how many would use the proposed service, including from intermediate stations?

Are they aiming at luxury tourist passengers, or local PT users, or a mixture of both?

Do they have an estimate of how much it would cost to operate such a service?

Do they expect some kind of Overland-style subsidy?

Do they have an estimate of how much tickets would cost?

Would there be different fares for "locals" and "tourists"?

How and where would they expect to do maintenance on the trains?  (Would probably need two sets, no SG into Ballarat as yet)

Would the existing N sets, which are largely clapped out, be suitable, or do they intend to get something else?

How does their proposed timetable sit with existing freight traffic north of Maryborough?

Is the SG track north of Maryborough good enough for such a service?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

If it ran overnight to replace the existing overnight coach, speed probably doesn't matter.  The existing coach already takes over 9 hours including two meal breaks.  Trains generally don't need stationary meal breaks.  They probably need a new sleeper car or convert the first class seating car to sleeper for those who wish to travel in style.

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