"@GavinJ, id be interested in your thoughts on my question of a couple of days ago - see up thread a little -
what would Ripon voters (eg in Ararat and Maryborough mainly) think of disrupted services for conversion of
these lines to SG, and having to change trains at Ballarat for Melbourne, but with a potential direct service to
Geelong (North Shore) and possibly Horsham/the Wimmera? "
As stated, apathy and ignorance mean that they would care very little.
There is still a lot of emotion involved in the "we want our train back" screamings of people.
So the people of Mildura want to travel by train again...ok folks we have replaced your rather quick Mildura bus
to Swan Hill , then train to Melbourne service, with a train service as you wanted....
Your train will plod along at 80 kph
it will slow to 40 kph entering each crossing loop departing at 25 kph to split the points
it will be slowing to 60 kph at numerous dangerous xings
it will run via the scenic route from Maryborough to Ararat thence via Cressy to Melbourne.
Your previous bus/train took 6 hours...
your new train service will take 12 hours....there it is...use it !
They just spent $240 million on converting the Mildura line to a poor standard, I don't see them starting again
to fix it properly.
The general public don't understand the SG/BG problems, as was seem earlier in the year with the Consortium up
here stating they could purchase a railmotor and start running trains tomorrow !
Front page headlines....MPs blurting, Councils showing up for photo opportunity waving their fist
"We want our train back"
locals saying how good it will be..
me, my sarcastic self , telling them, "it just ain't gonna happen".
Fast forward 8 months, we have an election, we have a marginal seat, has the train started ? No !
is there a big campaign from locals or Council to get the local candidates to promise to do it. No !
Do people talk about it in the street. No !
Yesterday and today the passengers at Stawell waiting for the bus, are still waiting outside in the 38c heat,
whilst the $300 000 air conditioned waiting room is shut up.
Are these people text-testing out new member Sarah ? or the Council ? or the newspaper ??
Are our Councillers at the station waving their fists, that this isnt good enough, we'll show them next election
(oops, thats right, we just had an election.....did we fight...NO)
Everyone just accepts it all....until the next campaign starts up, photo opptunities then back to not caring.
We can't fight to have our station opened, what hope have we got to get the train back (and of course not
mentioning the loss of the Overland next year).
Last year they even finally let Emma the MP for Horsham, know that if a train did get running, it would still
need to change over at Ararat....so some of her emotional bleatings of
"imagine an elderly person could board a fast train at Horsham and go stright thru to Melbourne for their
she had to ammend this to, "but you would still need to change trains at Ararat"
Being an ex rail employee and being a gunzel, I have seen it all. The promises, the lies, the things that didn't
Not being offensive, but the general public really don't have much general knowledge of the world beyond their
own little lives.
Gee, many people still believe that after midnight, all the station lights turn off, the streetlights go out,
the traffic lights go off.....because in their little world, the world outside shuts down when they go to bed at
When I started with the railways, telling neighbours I started work at 2am or finishing work at 4am, dumbfounded
them..."who is around at those hours."
When I moved up to Stawell, people asked me about the trains that run past.....as to why they don't stop, where
are they going.
When you told them they were mainly all going to Perth / Adelaide, apart from the 2 local trains of the Dooen
and Sand train, they were amazed.
They still thought Stawell, Ballarat, Horsham all still had goods trains that delivered the groceries, the
reason they didn't see them, was because they travelled at night !
Believe it or not !
Go to the Ararat Council website, under businesshttps://www.ararat.vic.gov.au/business-lifestyle
the Council know the railway is there...they know which direction it travels to, but they obviously don't look
out their window to see the real railway action or lack off.
So they tell prospective business interests
"Ararat has excellent passenger and rail freight connections to Ballarat, Melbourne, Adelaide and the Port of
Portland in the south."
Hmmmmm, the statement is true but the practical side is non existent.
I'll ring up PN tomorrow and say I've just opened a new industry in Ararat, thanks to the Council, then I tell
them I wish to transport 20 containers a day to Ballarat.
What is the response going to be ?....after the guffaws, they would say, sorry sir, that is not (physically)
But the Ararat Council said...."Ararat has excellent passenger and rail freight connections to Ballarat,
Melbourne, Adelaide and the Port of Portland in the south."
Ok, so can I move them to Maryborough ? Portland ? Melbourne ? Adelaide ?
" Sorry sir, no loading area, no wagons, no train (paths), no locos, no crews.....umm we don't really want to
As they hang up , laughing all the way.
But the Ararat Council said......
well Ararat Council, when was the last time any freight came out of your towns railway yard ?
The LCL freightgate traffic from what, 10 years ok.
Yet their website clearly states.....the rail transport option is available.....but not one company has used it
in over 10 years.