SA to keep Overland running

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Like the Overland, methinks it is time to wrap up this thread
Travelling Hooker
Au contraire. This thread has been running for 3 years plus. With the news (albeit twitter news) that the Victorian Government is stumping up the $$$ to run it for another 6 months at least it still has a way to travel yet. And I very much doubt it will end there - VicGov could hardly make announcements about what in important service it is for Western Vic and then cancel it in six months. It would make them look very silly indeed.

My guess is that the Victorian Government (and this thread) will spend 6 months trying to nut out a solution for passenger rail to Western Victoria. Whether or not that includes continuing to run into SA is yet to be seen.

BG

Sponsored advertisement

  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
According to the VLine timetables there are several buses daily from Horsham, the largest centre in Western Victoria, to Melbourne.

A couple run right through; the others require a change to train at Ararat or Ballarat.

ALL of these services are advertised as "Accessible".

There are 2 train services a week, neither of which is accessible.

If a person requires medical attention in the capital city or large regional centre like Ballarat or Geelong, then they are far better off with a door to door car or mini-bus transfer service.   Such services exist in both South Australia and Victoria and are subsidised so the cost to the patient is minimal and certainly less than the bus or train fare.    If a day return can be organised then the cost of a hotel is removed as well.

There are many solutions to the array of scenarios arising in providing a public transport service, including the most expensive, rail.
kipioneer

First of all...people with a disability are not 'patients'.

I cite the Overland, even in it's existing configuration as the best surface transport...bar NONE, even if it is the most expensive for people living with a disability who wish to travel, for business or pleasure between Melbourne and Adelaide or points in between. In particular, the accessible toilets of the Overland is the prime reason I say this. Pax are not required to leave the train in transit to access facilities, whereas with bus travel this is absolutely necessary.

Secondly, the longest bus trip in western Victoria on all buses which have disability access is about 4 hours, not the 10+ hours of the bus alternative.

People whether disabled or able-bodied probably should not be accessing PT if they are travelling as a patient, depending of course on their degree of incapacity.

Trains are an expensive form of public transport and that's the way it is. However their ability to induce travel by being a worthwhile alternative to driving, or worse...remaining shut in at home because of the lack of private transport is second to none because of the reasons I've been writing about and in Victoria, their speed, comfort, frequency, economy and the ability to travel without the necessity to drive.

Increasingly in Victoria, this is the way things are and the ongoing construction of V'Locity rail cars and the continually growing numbers of pax to fill them is still, after 10 years, on its upward trajectory.

http://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/

Mike.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
FAR from it. Smile

Thanks to the progressive and PT friendly Andrews Labor government this subject will continue for quite a while yet while we Victorians investigate ways of improving and supplementing the service.

Maybe you'll have to put up barriers so it can't arrive/depart Keswick Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
Number one, Daniel Andrews is about to get a massive kick in the pants because their number one source of revenues - Stamp Duty - is collapsing. The collapse has been so fast and dramatic that it's projected to have wiped almost a billion from Victorian government revenues. They're going to have to start cutting hard and fast sooner than anyone thinks, a billion is a lot of money even to a cashed-up real estate government like Victoria. They're welcome to fund an interstate train service all by themselves - but spurious projects like that are going to be in the firing line.

Number two, you keep comparing a locomotive-hauled service pulling 70-year old carriages restricted to 115kmh to a V/locity service on brand new tracks that hits 160kmh. They're not the same thing. At least in a Vlocity you have the sense of getting somewhere faster than you can drive.

Thirdly, as if I'm going to stop driving, taking the bus or flying so I can haul out to Keswick at six in the morning and wait an hour before I leave on that thing. Hell, if I went to the airport at six in the morning I could be sipping coffee on Chapel Street by 10am - the Overland wouldn't even have crossed the border. Where's the market for that train? Who will use it? It seems that the SA government has done the sensible thing (for once) and decided that 80 passengers each way is not worth the subsidy - I dare say it won't be long before Daniel Andrews realises the same thing.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Number one, Daniel Andrews is about to get a massive kick in the pants because their number one source of revenues - Stamp Duty - is collapsing. The collapse has been so fast and dramatic that it's projected to have wiped almost a billion from Victorian government revenues. They're going to have to start cutting hard and fast sooner than anyone thinks, a billion is a lot of money even to a cashed-up real estate government like Victoria. They're welcome to fund an interstate train service all by themselves - but spurious projects like that are going to be in the firing line.

Number two, you keep comparing a locomotive-hauled service pulling 70-year old carriages restricted to 115kmh to a V/locity service on brand new tracks that hits 160kmh. They're not the same thing. At least in a Vlocity you have the sense of getting somewhere faster than you can drive.

Thirdly, as if I'm going to stop driving, taking the bus or flying so I can haul out to Keswick at six in the morning and wait an hour before I leave on that thing. Hell, if I went to the airport at six in the morning I could be sipping coffee on Chapel Street by 10am - the Overland wouldn't even have crossed the border. Where's the market for that train? Who will use it? It seems that the SA government has done the sensible thing (for once) and decided that 80 passengers each way is not worth the subsidy - I dare say it won't be long before Daniel Andrews realises the same thing.
don_dunstan

Yes...well obviously you are such an economics expert, perhaps I should try and get you a position in 1 Treasury Place. Smile

No kicks in the pants for our recently returned government due to:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/vic-labor-borrow-billions-coalition-promise-reduce-debt/10521436

Borrowings over decades at minimal interest rates to fund all the major infrastructure necessary. I'm afraid the Andrews team is WAY ahead of the apparently draconian Marshall administration in SA.

About your Keswick problem, which you fail to advise also affects the Ghan and IP passengers as much as the Overland pax. I also didn't realise the coffee was so good over here that you frequently travel over to aid our economy. Good upon you for doing that...I'm sure the cafe's on Chapel thank you.

Arriving at Keswick station nearly 2 hours before the Overland's departure seems curious at best.

https://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/fares-and-timetables/timetables/overland-timetables-2018-2019

Perhaps you want to reinforce your dislike of the Overland to the other pax...who wouldn't be at Keswick station at that time...

I think you've scraped the bottom of the barrel...perhaps cease whilst you still have a shred of dignity remaining... Cool

Mike.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Potatoman, you shut down one Pi$$ing comp and there's another big one, over here and it's getting bigger..............Razz

Ok you two, back in your corners, snort some smelling salts and have a spell for awhile.

BigShunter.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Potatoman, you shut down one Pi$$ing comp and there's another big one, over here and it's getting bigger..............Razz

Ok you two, back in your corners, snort some smelling salts and have a spell for awhile.

BigShunter.
BigShunter

Err...nah, nothing to see here... Smile

Move along... Razz
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I think you've scraped the bottom of the barrel...perhaps cease whilst you still have a shred of dignity remaining... Cool

Mike.
The Vinelander
You're selfish; you think a service that you will never use should remain just because it's a train.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
No kicks in the pants for our recently returned government due to:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/vic-labor-borrow-billions-coalition-promise-reduce-debt/10521436

Borrowings over decades at minimal interest rates to fund all the major infrastructure necessary. I'm afraid the Andrews team is WAY ahead of the apparently draconian Marshall administration in SA.
The Vinelander
Borrowed money isn't 'free', someone has to pay for it down the track.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Perhaps you want to reinforce your dislike of the Overland to the other pax...who wouldn't be at Keswick station at that time...
The Vinelander
There's hardly anyone using that train any more, Mike, that's the whole point of cancelling it.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I think you've scraped the bottom of the barrel...perhaps cease whilst you still have a shred of dignity remaining... Cool

Mike.
You're selfish; you think a service that you will never use should remain just because it's a train.
don_dunstan

Yes...agreed I'm selfish... Guilty as charged ExclamationSad

For advocating for OTHERS who may want to utilise the Overland as the sensible ground transport option to travel between Adelaide, Melbourne and points in between.

I'm also selfish for advocating for the improvements to the frequency, modernity and standard of the train in the years going forward.

Moreover, I'm also selfish because I'll be travelling to Stawell for lunch on the Overland for FREE on New Years day, along with about 10 other friends as ALL travel on V/Line is free on the first service from Melbourne to any destination in the state of Victoria.

Coincidentally, the Overland is the first V/Line service to Stawell on New Years day... Wink

...and not to mention, it will also be the FIRST service totally supported by the Andrews government...so that will definitely be celebrated.

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3efaa93c-7229-41ef-8ad2-ffc462665ae2/210-Nhill-Melbourne-(via-Horsham)-(1)

Mike.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Moreover, I'm also selfish because I'll be travelling to Stawell for lunch on the Overland for FREE on New Years day, along with about 10 other friends as ALL travel on V/Line is free on the first service from Melbourne to any destination in the state of Victoria.
The Vinelander
You do realise it isn't a V/line service.
I'm also selfish for advocating for the improvements to the frequency, modernity and standard of the train in the years going forward.
Vinelander

That's not what's being discussed - what is being discussed is the retention of the existing twice weekly return service using existing timetables and rolling stock. Nothing more.

You should put your money where your mouth is and actually USE IT if it's renewed - because that's the critical problem, the lack of actual patrons.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
For advocating for OTHERS who may want to utilise the Overland as the sensible ground transport option to travel between Adelaide, Melbourne and points in between.
The Vinelander
Nobody was using it at the SA end Mike, that was the whole point.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Moreover, I'm also selfish because I'll be travelling to Stawell for lunch on the Overland for FREE on New Years day, along with about 10 other friends as ALL travel on V/Line is free on the first service from Melbourne to any destination in the state of Victoria.
You do realise it isn't a V/line service.

I'm also selfish for advocating for the improvements to the frequency, modernity and standard of the train in the years going forward.

That's not what's being discussed - what is being discussed is the retention of the existing twice weekly return service using existing timetables and rolling stock. Nothing more.

You should put your money where your mouth is and actually USE IT if it's renewed - because that's the critical problem, the lack of actual patrons.
don_dunstan

I'll travel on the Overland when it suits, just like I travel on the XPT for the same reason.

The people who use the Overland most are tourists, back packers, young independent travellers from the Orient...(in bigger numbers than many realise) and oldies with time to relax...and when necessary use the excellent on-board facilities.

I thought the link to the V/Line western Victoria may have been a clue...

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3efaa93c-7229-41ef-8ad2-ffc462665ae2/210-Nhill-Melbourne-(via-Horsham)-(1)

V/Line has, for several years paid to have the rear car of the Overland utilised for V/Line passengers who can travel on the much cheaper V/Line fares, any station between North Shore and Nhill.

Mike.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Moreover, I'm also selfish because I'll be travelling to Stawell for lunch on the Overland for FREE on New Years day, along with about 10 other friends as ALL travel on V/Line is free on the first service from Melbourne to any destination in the state of Victoria.
You do realise it isn't a V/line service.
don_dunstan
It is treated as such for journeys wholly within Victoria.

This is one of the reasons for the Victorian government's share of the subsidy being higher, as it covers the offering of fares at V/Line rates for journeys within Victoria.

That's not what's being discussed - what is being discussed is the retention of the existing twice weekly return service using existing timetables and rolling stock. Nothing more.
don_dunstan
Even that is both
(a) unconfirmed, and
(b) likely to be only a renegotiation to account for the different contract periods with the SA and Victorian governments, with GSR certainly pushing to be able to keep their current allocated Victorian money but use it to run fewer trains than contracted.

The GSR website still shows the last date of an Overland train as being 30 December, which in reality means the last date is 29 December. That's a rather odd way to describe a contract finishing at the end of the year, which would suggest it is deliberate and there is no plan at present for there to be a train running east on 31 December and back on 1 January.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I'll travel on the Overland when it suits, just like I travel on the XPT for the same reason.
The Vinelander
Okay I forgot about the V/line carriage. All the same as justapax says above it's not running on New Year's Day anyway according to GSR, the last official day will be December 29th so you'd better change your plans if you want to ride on what could be the last ever Overland.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'll travel on the Overland when it suits, just like I travel on the XPT for the same reason.
Okay I forgot about the V/line carriage. All the same as justapax says above it's not running on New Year's Day anyway according to GSR, the last official day will be December 29th so you'd better change your plans if you want to ride on what could be the last ever Overland.
don_dunstan

Three weeks is a long time...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Number one, Daniel Andrews is about to get a massive kick in the pants because their number one source of revenues - Stamp Duty - is collapsing. The collapse has been so fast and dramatic that it's projected to have wiped almost a billion from Victorian government revenues. They're going to have to start cutting hard and fast sooner than anyone thinks, a billion is a lot of money even to a cashed-up real estate government like Victoria. They're welcome to fund an interstate train service all by themselves - but spurious projects like that are going to be in the firing line.

Yes...well obviously you are such an economics expert, perhaps I should try and get you a position in 1 Treasury Place. Smile

No kicks in the pants for our recently returned government due to:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-22/vic-labor-borrow-billions-coalition-promise-reduce-debt/10521436

Borrowings over decades at minimal interest rates to fund all the major infrastructure necessary. I'm afraid the Andrews team is WAY ahead of the apparently draconian Marshall administration in SA.

Mike.
The Vinelander
It's not quite that simple unfortunately. If revenues from stamp duty do drop significantly due to lower prices and/or reduced volume of real estate sales due to said prices then that will put a big hole in government revenue. If this hole is not filled by reduced spending or some other revenue stream then the budget deficit that follows will put pressure on the states credit rating.

IF the credit rating gets downgraded the cost of borrowing (ie the interest rate) on the government's debt rises due to the higher risk premium. So unless the government can lock in long term fixed rate borrowing (which is unlikely as it is not how government debt normally works) then higher borrowing exposes us to greater risk down the track.

It also goes without saying that any reduction in government revenue makes it harder for the government to make the repayments on the debt in the first place.

The flip side is that if they build these projects over a long term (Suburban Rail Loop is a prime example here) then the borrowings ramp up over a long period meaning that if it all does start to go south they could curtail or de-scope the project.

BG
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
'If', being the operative word Brenton...

I'm confident that in today's world the Treasurer/Government has enough bargaining power to borrow and lock in interest rates...It's a borrowers world out there atm and Melbourne's population isn't slowing any time soon.

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
'If', being the operative word Brenton...

Mike.
The Vinelander
That's why I put it in caps, it wasn't a case of lazy editing!

BG
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
If a daily service to the likes of Sawn Hill, Eucha, Moree/Armidale and Dubbo can get the numbers, yes a daily service between two cities of combined population of 4-5m should also survive if of the same standard.
RTT_Rules
How does anyone know what the numbers for these services are?  If someone has a source, please share as Id like to investigate.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
It's not quite that simple unfortunately. If revenues from stamp duty do drop significantly due to lower prices and/or reduced volume of real estate sales due to said prices then that will put a big hole in government revenue. If this hole is not filled by reduced spending or some other revenue stream then the budget deficit that follows will put pressure on the states credit rating.

...

BG
BrentonGolding
NSW had projected their stamp duty revenues to fall by 11% in their budget this year but apparently that's been blown out of the water by the unexpected size and scale of the property slump there. The slump in Sydney is also hitting the top end of the market extremely hard and that's where the state government makes their biggest revenues in stamp duty. From Business Insider:

In the June state budget, New South Wales treasury predicted that residential stamp duty revenue would fall to $5.6 billion in the current financial year, driven primarily by lower turnover, rather than prices which it forecast to fall 7.5% from peak to trough.

According to updated figures from CoreLogic, Sydney home prices have already fallen 8% from their cyclical peak of last year, with few signs the declines are moderating at this point.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
It's not quite that simple unfortunately. If revenues from stamp duty do drop significantly due to lower prices and/or reduced volume of real estate sales due to said prices then that will put a big hole in government revenue. If this hole is not filled by reduced spending or some other revenue stream then the budget deficit that follows will put pressure on the states credit rating.

...

BG
NSW had projected their stamp duty revenues to fall by 11% in their budget this year but apparently that's been blown out of the water by the unexpected size and scale of the property slump there. The slump in Sydney is also hitting the top end of the market extremely hard and that's where the state government makes their biggest revenues in stamp duty. From Business Insider:

In the June state budget, New South Wales treasury predicted that residential stamp duty revenue would fall to $5.6 billion in the current financial year, driven primarily by lower turnover, rather than prices which it forecast to fall 7.5% from peak to trough.

According to updated figures from CoreLogic, Sydney home prices have already fallen 8% from their cyclical peak of last year, with few signs the declines are moderating at this point.
don_dunstan
We should scrap stamp duty and instead have a land tax....
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
C'mon people,
if you must discuss the price of housing in Sydney and Melbourne then It's the economy, stupid! is the place to go.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2128009.htm#2128009

Back to the real important issue "The Overland"

GSR are still taking bookings for 1st January 2019, so Mike will get to lunch in Stawell.
After that bookings are a very hopeful "SOLD OUT" ha ha.

cheers
John
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
In virtually every case, young people only think of the destination as quickly as possible and cannot comprehend that the journey is sometimes even better than the destination, so they don't really factor into the traveller demographic.

...
The tired old XPT, combined with cheap airfares has killed off interstate bus travel between Melbourne & Sydney and the same could occur between Melbourne and Adelaide, provided a timely daily rail service is implemented. There are MORE pax travelling the full journey between Melbourne and Sydney than most 'pagers realise.
When an argument depends on the customer being wrong, it's probably a good time to retire it.  

Out of curiosity, what is the joy of the journey in the Overland?  It's nice as it goes through the Adelaide hills, and there's a brief bit of excitement at Murray Bridge, but otherwise?  

Have a read...

https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/michael-mcguire-there-was-no-particular-reason-we-had-to-be-in-melbourne-it-wasnt-the-destination-but-the-journey/news-story/172846f95c0172ba6f4d864df72c8602
The Vinelander

OK.  So a family of 3+ rode the train for the thrill of riding the train.
Apparently once (if the author ever used it again, that piece was the place to mention it, which he didn't).
10 years ago.
Because their 4 year old was into trains (presumably only at the time).

So let's say everyone who meets this criteria does it once (which they clearly don't).  Does that an economic case make?



I'll go back to my point that you quoted - if your argument remains that people should take the train to enjoy the journey then that's fine, but if they don't (and they don't) then why are you arguing with them and who are you to tell them that they're wrong?


Curiously you omitted and declined to engage the vast bulk of my post where I stated that I personally take trains whenever I can.  However even struggle to make taking a train with a schedule like the Overland even every couple of years.  It simply doesn't make any sense and I have significant flexibility in my schedule and the ability to work pretty much anywhere that most people don't.

If you're not providing a service that gets regular repeat passengers, you're going to need a lot more people than live in SA to make this work.

Note that I am not in any way saying that the service could not be improved, however that's nowhere near being on the cards.  Even just the cost of the Level Crossing upgrades for useful speeds (ignoring the capital costs of new equipment and new track alignments to not significantly interfere with freight operations which will not speed up) would be eye popping.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Just announced - the state government will use the $330,000 they've saved for the re-introduction of a passenger service to Whyalla, to cope with the booming population there Razz

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.