Greens announce transport policy

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 03 Jul 2014 19:27
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
THE Greens announced a new policy to re-open the Goldfields rail line on Wednesday.

The "Geelong to Bendigo train service" policy states the party's support for a train line to link five major regional cities - Geelong, Ballarat, Maryborough, Castlemaine and Bendigo.

In an official statement the party said: "We know that people travel to nearby regional Victorian cities, and between them, not just to Melbourne.
Greens announce transport policy


Having just read this policy summary it makes a lot of sense.

Interested in your views Mike.  To open the links in 3 stages does make a lot sense.  Once Geelong to Ballarat is up and running (makes no comment about the stations on that section) then the work can push on to Maryborough to Castlemaine.

Finally the plan is to extend services to Bendigo from Castlemaine.

I am assuming a vlocity service would be the best way to approach the service.

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Is there any relevance to the policies of the Greens Party? I don't mean to sound too harsh, but they are hardly going to win government. Or is this more a case of what they want as members of the cross bench in the event we end up with another hung parliament (in a whoever does this gets our vote sort of situation).

At any rate, I do support the idea of a cross country service, even if it's just a bare bones, 4 times a day (each way) Geelong to Ballarat service to begin with. I think Bannockburn is the only station required from the outset, possibly Lethbridge and Meredith at later stages. Maybe extend some services to Maryborough, Castlemaine probably stretching too far considering the state of the line (would require a complete rebuild, whereas Ballarat to Geelong line only would require a new connection at North Geelong, and maybe the reopening of a passing loop - so freight can co exist with new pass services - at either Meredith or Lal Lal ).

As for rollingstock, I think Sprinters would easily handle the job, but Vlocities would probably make more sense from an operational point of view as Sprinters don't currently run to either Ballarat, Maryborough, Bendigo or Castlemaine. Push pull P class/ H sets would be fun to see, but are least likely.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I just don't see the demand. I would probably use it for a day trip on a Saturday. I have gone from Geelong to Southern Cross and back out to Ballarat a couple of times. This of course was because I like riding on trains, but I don't see a huge number of people wanting to use a service from Geelong to Ballarat and Bendigo.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
I don't get why the Greens do this - there are pressing concerns but they waste their time on unjustified curtain dressing like this.

They wouldn't have to work hard to provide a serious alternative to the two majors, and yet they seem determined not to let themselves be taken seriously.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The greens have a stated policy position to support public transport investment.

That is not to say all public transport projects should be funded no matter what. What it does mean is the greens will support good public transport

The cost of east west link far outweighs the benefits to all Victorians.

We also know the success of the labour programme for RFR and what this has done for regional economic growth.
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

I think even a feasibility study was done on this while back and like others have said, there just isn't the demand for it... Sure Geelong, Bendigo & Ballarat are growing at a rapid pace but i don't believe all 3 are large enough to warrant this line.. Think about it, most of the people from those 3 cities would be travelling to melbourne each day for work..
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I don't get why the Greens do this - there are pressing concerns but they waste their time on unjustified curtain dressing like this.

They wouldn't have to work hard to provide a serious alternative to the two majors, and yet they seem determined not to let themselves be taken seriously.
ZH836301

I could announce plans for transport in Victoria too, but if you cant deliver or cant see yourself delivering why even bother?

Oh wait, vote buying. Rolling Eyes
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
This was in today's Courier:

Campaign to reopen Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo rail line

THE Greens are heading a campaign to reopen the Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train lines.




Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said there had been a population boom around the Goldfields area since buses replaced trains in the 1970s and buses were struggling to keep pace with the demand.

Mr Barber said residents in Ballarat and surrounding areas needed fast and frequent train travel to places other than Melbourne.
“We support a staged re-introduction of passenger services, with existing stations reopened if possible and other new low-cost stations constructed where required,” he said.
“V/Line buses are the only public transport for many towns along the line, but they are unable to offer a viable commuter service.”
Mr Barber said an increasing number of people wanted to travel between regional cities for work, education, health and recreation.
“Reopening this line also has the ability to revitalise all the small regional towns in between Ballarat and Geelong,” he said.
“It will encourage more people to live in these towns because it’s all about expanding the set of opportunities and that’s what fast and frequent public transport does.
“In any of those small towns now, to get a job the first qualification is to own a car, because there just isn’t those accessible public transport means to get to and from regional towns.”
He said the first stage of the project would be reopening the Geelong to Ballarat rail line, with new low-cost stations at Bannockburn and Meredith.
Mr Barber said stage two would be to repair and rebuild the train line between Maryborough and Castlemaine and the establishment of faster service that would continue on existing tracks to Bendigo.
A state government Rail Revival Feasibility Study conducted last year estimated the cost of a full reopening would be between $760-$935 million.
But Rail Revival Alliance member and engineer Noel Laidlaw also completed an independent study which found reopening the
line to a basic service would cost around $90 million.
Mr Laidlaw believes a rail service can be established based on the current Maryborough-Ballarat service and would be adequate to meet the community’s need for rail services between regional cities.
Jess Maguire, spokeswoman for Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder, said the high cost to reopen the line was due to the Labor government’s closure of most of the Castlemaine-Maryborough line and necessary upgrades that were required.
“(The study) recommended a staged approach to the improvement of public transport in the Midland region, with a first stage proposing additional coach trips between these major provincial cities,” Ms Maguire said.
Premier Denis Napthine also addressed the issue when he visited Ballarat on Thursday.
He told The Courier the government was currently focused on the regional rail link project, however did not rule out the possible reconnection of rail between Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong.
“Under our clear policy to grow populations in country Victoria, there may be opportunities for further intercity rail services,” he said.
“We continue to look at opportunities for improved public transport but we need to have a critical mass to justify such significant investments.”
melissa.cunningham@fairfaxmedia.com.au
matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Having just read this policy summary it makes a lot of sense.

Interested in your views Mike. To open the links in 3 stages does make a lot sense. Once Geelong to Ballarat is up and running (makes no comment about the stations on that section) then the work can push on to Maryborough to Castlemaine.

I am assuming a vlocity service would be the best way to approach the service.
bevans

Agreed. It makes a lot of sense to re-open the links in three stages, the first stage obviously between Ballarat and Geelong.

Comprehensive surveying should take place and community meetings to gauge demand.Start off as a regular bus service though and watch numbers grow...

The number of private cars that travel between Ballarat and Geelong every morning is testament to the probability of a successful first stage. The introduction of a frequent V/Line service will in all likelihood induce increased travel overall.

One concern is intending bus pax don't like waiting at cold and windy bus stops which have no facilities, however pax will wait in a waiting shelter on a platform, particularly if their car is parked at the adjacent off-street car park.

Bus stops don't normally have car parks, only adjacent street parking and it's unlikely too much $$ would be spent on creating bus stop infrastructure as a trial when the real increase in pax numbers would come from the introduction of a frequent (hourly?) service.

IMHO the limitations of Geelong's three platforms will become apparent if a rail service is eventually re-introduced from Ballarat.

I attended a Greens fundraiser in Ballan recently with their candidate for the Western Victoria Region (Upper House). He seemed quite switched on and as an engineer he was interested in my profession of records management. He was most interested in matters pertaining to public transport, among other things and this particular seat is easily winnable with a small swing.

The Greens are hoping to obtain the balance of power in Victoria in the Upper House.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Agreed. It makes a lot of sense to re-open the links in three stages, the first stage obviously between Ballarat and Geelong.

Comprehensive surveying should take place and community meetings to gauge demand.Start off as a regular bus service though and watch numbers grow...

The number of private cars that travel between Ballarat and Geelong every morning is testament to the probability of a successful first stage. The introduction of a frequent V/Line service will in all likelihood induce increased travel overall.

I attended a Greens fundraiser in Ballan recently with their candidate for the Western Victoria Region (Upper House). He seemed quite switched on and as an engineer he was interested in my profession of records management. He was most interested in matters pertaining to public transport, among other things and this particular seat is easily winnable with a small swing.

The Greens are hoping to obtain the balance of power in Victoria in the Upper House.
The Vinelander


Mike.  I would have throught a service between Geelong railway station and Ballarat or suburbs would be a great start.  I think the greens are playing it right. They are seen to be supporting sustainable transport options and are doing this in Melbourne and regionally.  

The vline model has been great for Victoria and I see no reason why a service between Geelong and Ballarat would not be sucessful.  Start it as a trial service and see what happens.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The demand will be there.

I had many friends who attended Ballarat University who would have caught the train rather than driving their own cars everyday. The bus wasn't an option because of its infrequency.

Also the Golden Plains Shire is the fastest growing municipality in the state. Bannockburn should at least have its own regular public transport too and from Geelong.
  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
I guess I'm missing something here (and I admit I can't speak from personal experience), but if the issue is frequency and/or capacity of the bus services, why not just run more buses?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I guess I'm missing something here (and I admit I can't speak from personal experience), but if the issue is frequency and/or capacity of the bus services, why not just run more buses?
gxh

It's a government decision where new PT or increased service frequency may operate.

The Minister has to sign off on the added expenditure of buses/trains, drivers, maintenance, facilities etc. either from the annual PT budget OR after seeking an extra annual allocation of funds from the Treasury.

That extra expenditure, along with all the annual expenditure for PT has to be allocated from the state budget.

Mike.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
How many bus services between Geelong and ballarat operate on a daily basis now ?

Would the plan be to run trains in addition to the buses or would then proposed services be a replacement to the current bus services.

Are the bus services between these locations online ?
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
How many bus services between Geelong and ballarat operate on a daily basis now ?
freightgate

I think the only service is the one that can easily be found on the V/line website.
That's two return trips Monday to Friday and nothing on weekends.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
How many bus services between Geelong and ballarat operate on a daily basis now ?

Would the plan be to run trains in addition to the buses or would then proposed services be a replacement to the current bus services.

Are the bus services between these locations online ?
freightgate

There is no 'plan'...we are having a discussion of possible future options...

I wonder why some people have the wherewithal to write in these pages, yet are totally clueless when it comes to researching the PT provider of one of their main interests or primary means of transport....Rolling Eyes

http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/timetables/adelaide_ballarat_geelong1.pdf

Mike.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Thank you for the link vinelander. I realise there vline services but was also interested if there was a local bus company running some or all of the route.

I should have been more specific.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Thank you for the link vinelander. I realise there vline services but was also interested if there was a local bus company running some or all of the route.

I should have been more specific.
freightgate

That's cool...

There's definitely school buses trawling along there...during school hours obviously.

From today's Age...

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/geelongballaratbendigo-train-ride-aims-to-revive-regional-rail-20140704-zsvnq.html

Lot's of government back pedalling in this story...
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train ride aims to revive regional rail

Read more: [color=#003399][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/geelongballaratbendigo-train-ride-aims-to-revive-regional-rail-20140704-zsvnq.html#ixzz36a1jY65p
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Rail campaigners Noel Laidlaw and Scott Ramsay at the Carisbrook train station. Photo: Eddie Jim



The railway line between Maryborough and Castlemaine turns 140 this year and parts of it look every day of it. Decaying sleepers better suited to firewood than fast trains, flood-wracked foundations and rusted rail bridges pockmark the 55-kilometre line, which has been fallow for the past 10 years.
On Sunday a gang of 50 rail enthusiasts will pay homage to the derelict line, and have hired a heritage diesel train to ride from Melbourne to Maryborough on a cross-country route via Geelong and Ballarat.
The meandering joy ride is a celebration of rail heritage with a political message many in Spring Street would prefer not to hear.
The four-hour journey is meant to demonstrate that those quiet regional rail lines are fit for the return of passenger trains, just like the Coalition promised it would plan for at the last election.
From opposition the Coalition thundered that it was “unacceptable” that Victoria’s three largest regional cities, with a combined population of more than 400,000, had no direct rail connections.
Its promise to “plan for the return of passenger trains between Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo on a cross-country route via Meredith, Maryborough and Castlemaine” resulted in a $2 million feasibility study that found doing so would cost up to $935 million and made no economic sense.
But some in the regions refused to give up on the idea and are at pains to point out that excluding the Maryborough-Castlemaine leg, the rail lines at issue are currently used by V/Line and/or freight trains every day. The Geelong-Ballarat line was closed to passenger trains by the former Kennett government and currently has an 80 km/h speed limit for freight trains.
Maryborough resident Noel Laidlaw insists government authority Public Transport Victoria’s study “gold-plated” the infrastructure well beyond the modest improvements needed to provide a basic service. Upgrading the line to a maximum speed of 160 km/h and building wider bridges and extra tracks “is a laudable thing but not really what community expectations are”, Mr Laidlaw says.
“People want to be able to get on a train and sort of travel as fast as a car.”
It is expected the 84-year-old diesel train will do just that on Sunday, travelling at 70-80 km/h for much of the journey. A V/Line driver has been hired to drive the train, although V/Line points out it has no political motive in joining the exercise.
The Greens this week made reopening the “Goldfields line” part of their November election platform. Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said the government and freight rail operators should share the cost of returning the line to a standard capable of supporting "an affordable basic service...fast enough to compete with car travel".  
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the estimated $760 million to $935 million cost of returning passenger trains to the lines was due to “Labor’s closure of most of the Castlemaine-Maryborough line and necessary upgrades to bridges, culverts, passing loops and station platforms”.  
The government would keep the rail reservations in place on the inoperable section of track and “examine what further steps need to be taken to preserve these assets,” he said.




Read more: [color=#003399][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/geelongballaratbendigo-train-ride-aims-to-revive-regional-rail-20140704-zsvnq.html#ixzz36a1sXAv3
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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Appears those two have been pasted into the image.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
That is not to say all public transport projects should be funded no matter what. What it does mean is the greens will support good public transport
freightgate

This isn't good PT.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Appears those two have been pasted into the image.
freightgate

Yes it does...however the hard copy of the Age has both guys standing in the station pit, each with a foot on a rail.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The Greens can promise all they like they will not form the Government so it is all a pipedream policy.

About time Daniel Andrews announced Labour Public Transport policy, as what we have had so far is a roads and level crossing removal policy .

Restoring passenger services between Geelong and Ballarat and getting cracking on Metro Rail to the original route would be good starters .

Geelong - Ballarat there are three return coach trips, Mon - Thurs; Fridays 4,  Saturdays  3  &  Sundays  2.

Bendigo - Ballarat - Geelong  Mon to Thurs  2 each way , Fridays 2 Gex - Bgo, Bgo - Gex 1 . Sat & Sun NIL .

(Bendigo Geelong services included in Ballarat - Geelong service tally.)
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said there had been a population boom around the Goldfields area since buses replaced trains in the 1970s and buses were struggling to keep pace with the demand.

So buses are hourly are they?


“V/Line buses are the only public transport for many towns along the line, but they are unable to offer a viable commuter service.”

Despite offering faster journey time than rail would?  Or being able to be run at a higher frequency for the same outlay?


“In any of those small towns now, to get a job the first qualification is to own a car, because there just isn’t those accessible public transport means to get to and from regional towns.”

Because we all know transport=train.


The four-hour journey is meant to demonstrate that those quiet regional rail lines are fit for the return of passenger trains, just like the Coalition promised it would plan for at the last election.

How does this prove anything?


These people have absolutely no handle on reality.  


Tempted to track one down and have them attempt to explain why buses are so incapable of providing the same service at a fraction of the cost.


I guess I'm missing something here (and I admit I can't speak from personal experience), but if the issue is frequency and/or capacity of the bus services, why not just run more buses?
gxh

Shhh, common sense isn't allowed.
  x42 Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW
Railrevival.org if you would like to put your to bobs worth in.

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