Thanks Mike for your info.
It begs a lot of questions. I don't ask these to be contentious there has been enough agro already.
I suggest the revenue from the 114 pax would be of the order of $9000.
What is the fuel cost?
What is the loco hire cost?
What are the track access costs?
What are the crew costs?
Would there be more or fewer pax if the train ran more than twice per week?
Would there more or fewer pax if the train ran every day with an each way trip?
Would "one class" be more efficient
Are there more efficient vehicles, eg DMUs?
Are there cheaper locos (surplus Ns?)?
Would a modern train better suited to the duty attract more patronage?
Considering speed limitations caused by unprotected level crossings can the schedule be improved?
What advantage would there be for pax if the journey time was reduced only incrementally?
Finally some questions Mike can answer on his way to Stawell.
Why are people using the train over other modes of transport?
Fear of flying?
Peed off with airports?
Don't want to drive?
Don't like buses?
Happy New Year to all!
Happy New Year to you too, steam4ian as well as everyone else, just casual statement, regarding your Very well thought out questions.
To me it would appear practically everything you have mentioned is going to increase the patronage.
The first stage of train travel, booking the bloody tickets, appears to be an arduous task, having to be on the platform 1 hour before departure, why not walk up 5 mins before departure and grab a ticket, isn't that what's service is about.
Judging by plenty of posters on here, service is far too slow, Nowhere near enough frequency, so as you have mentioned, an each way trip available, each day. It has been mentioned, arrival / departure from Ararat, let the fast rail to that destination, do what it was designed to do.
A more modern train, of course, we all like mod cons, how many of us are driving a car from the 70's, so the more comfy and more gadgets in this day and age the better, perhaps you could be right, in the single class, serves all, with a quite / work compartment.
I would say, if you smarten all of the above up, you are then going to pick up a hell of a lot of your bottom list of folks, as well as plenty more.
How about Publicity, Advertise the bloody thing, TV, Print media, Radio, local papers, info centers, Adelaide / Melbourne air ports or inflight advertising, if it's not in peoples faces, there is certainly another form of travel or that is going to fill the need.
Ok, some of my views.