NSW Interstate Passenger Service to make way for local Brisbane CityTrain Services

 

News article: NSW Interstate Passenger Service to make way for local Brisbane CityTrain Services

More train paths will be opened up for Gold Coast commuters following an agreement between Queensland and New South Wales governments to change the timetable of the interstate passenger train.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
More train paths will be opened up for Gold Coast commuters following an agreement between Queensland and New South Wales governments to change the timetable of the interstate passenger train.
NSW Interstate Passenger Service to make way for local Brisbane CityTrain Services


View the full story

Arriving into Brisbane at 3:53am??  That's going to be popular?

Regards
Brian

Sponsored advertisement

  XAM2175 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Glasgow
I can't see this as anything other than a move towards killing the Brisbane XPT entirely.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Some people have complained about arriving at 6:30 but this is crazy. What time is it going to leave Sydney? Brisbane is after all a capital city not some small country town.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
There've already done crazy things like replace the Motorail with an XPT and close the Murwillumbah line.

The Sydney to Brisbane XPT always had the advantage for me of being an overnight service.

Changing the schedule as Trainlink proposes would also render the XPT useless as an overnight train to the Tweed and Gold Coast areas. It would also make ongoing connections to the Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Brisbane suburban areas both by train, bus and ferry difficult if not impossible. It would also stop passengers from being able to see the scenery round the border loop area.

So they can't completely stop passengers using the train, they need to make it unpopular.

Wouldn't swapping the Brisbane and Casino XPT schedules around with a few adjustments be a better solution than having odd arrival and departure times?
  Hendikins Junior Train Controller

Location: I'm on ur trainz, announcin' ur stationz!
Well at least QR will be happy. They don't want the thing in the first place, and this is almost as good as getting rid of it entirely.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Curiously it wasn't announced before the federal election.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Curiously it wasn't announced before the federal election.
GeoffreyHansen

What does that have to do with it, it is a state issue. And with an average load of 170 passengers as per the report, it sounds like it is near dead anyway.
  PClark Chief Commissioner

Looks like the age of the long-distance train in Australia is rapidly coming to an end.



In addition to these totally unacceptable changes to the Brisbane XPT’s timings we have recently seen the reduction of the Melbourne-Adelaide “Overland” from three to two services per week.



The other GSR services; “Ghan” and “Indian Pacific”; both now operate only once weekly for the greater part of the year and, in addition, the Brisbane-Cairns service will shortly no longer have sleepers.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Looks like the age of the long-distance train in Australia is rapidly coming to an end.



In addition to these totally unacceptable changes to the Brisbane XPT’s timings we have recently seen the reduction of the Melbourne-Adelaide “Overland” from three to two services per week.



The other GSR services; “Ghan” and “Indian Pacific”; both now operate only once weekly for the greater part of the year and, in addition, the Brisbane-Cairns service will shortly no longer have sleepers.
"PClark"


Not really a fair comparison to make PCark.

From the article linked in Bevan's post, the XPT timetable changes are to open up more train paths for suburban commuter traffic.

GSR's Overland service was reduced to twice weekly return due to poor patronage

Also, GSR's Ghan and Indian Pacific "second" weekly service have only operated in season peak times for a number of years. At times when second service does not operate, GSR simply just add extra carriages onto the weekly service to accomodate passenger numbers.
Over the last few years Ghan service has averaged a minimum of 18 carriages and has been expanded to as many as 37 passenger carriages per service!
It's obviously cheaper to run double and triple consists than running 2 or 3 seperate trains.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I agree with PClark (Peter) views on this. An average of 170 pax per service is a significant number and it's not as though the XPT crawls along its shared alignment with QR sparks.
It seems to me there may not have been enough creative thinking for the XPT, which may also create headaches due to its varied unscheduled arrival times to the QR network. The only reason QR want.this ungodly arrival time is because it won't clash with any scheduled sparks whatsoever.

Peter, it's a death by a thousand cuts, and to hell with any idea of providing a 'service' to the passengers.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
While we're on this delightful subject, I'd like to mention that the New South Wales Government Railways Armchair Operation Department[1] came up with a scheme to swap the Brisbane XPT and Casino XPT. Essentially, that scheme would see the Brisbane XPT run daylight out and overnight back, while the Casino XPT would run overnight out and daylight back. If you want to see what the timetable looked like (non-DST), you can: down/up.

If anything, our exercise proves how stupid this move is, because we've demonstrated that it is possible to reassign the Brisbane XPT to an off-peak slot without making it an OMG o'clock service.

[1]Alright, we're actually just the NSW users of the armchair board...
  PClark Chief Commissioner

Looks like the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a couple of very senior executives of the then NSWGR about thirty years ago, sharing a table with them over dinner on the Melbourne-bound Aurora.

They were travelling to an inter-system conference to discuss possible changes to intercapital services and, as I was a regular traveller holding a yearly ticket, they were probably more frank in discussing the situation with me than they would have been with another passenger.

What they told me was that full-fare patronage on these services had “collapsed” following airline deregulation and they were left with what they described as the “Three Ps” (viz Pensioners, Passholders and Paupers)

The economic situation of these trains was “desperate” and cutbacks and downgrades were inevitable.

The Brisbane XPT is claimed to be carrying an average of 170 passengers but how many of those are paying full-fare for their trip?

Figures published when the Murwillumbah XPT was withdrawn revealed that only four passengers travelling north of Casino were full-fare.

Quite frankly, if there is no real demand from the broader community for these trains then we should not continue to run them.

We can’t afford transport apartheid!
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
What does that have to do with it, it is a state issue. And with an average load of 170 passengers as per the report, it sounds like it is near dead anyway.
"TheBlacksmith"


Yes it may be a state issue but if the NSW and Queensland Liberal governments had announced it before the election it may have given the Liberals but publicity which they wouldn't have wanted during their election campaign.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Quite frankly, if there is no real demand from the broader community for these trains then we should not continue to run them.

We can’t afford transport apartheid!
"PClark"
This is the best response I've seen in months!
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Yes it may be a state issue but if the NSW and Queensland Liberal governments had announced it before the election it may have given the Liberals but publicity which they wouldn't have wanted during their election campaign.
GeoffreyHansen
So given that they actually knew about it, and it wasn't simply being kicked around at departmental level, you want them to release information that could potentially have damaged the election campaign? Are you serious?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
In Queensland it is being touted as a positive - look at the thread title.  More voters travel on crowded peak suburban services on the shared line than travel on the re-timed XPT.  If it influenced the federal election at all (I don't think it would) it would be more likely to win votes than lose them.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Quite frankly, if there is no real demand from the broader community for these trains then we should not continue to run them.

We can’t afford transport apartheid!
PClark

Whether or not the community supports these services is debatable.  But deliberately running the services at an impossible hour is ludicrous.  

If we the taxpayers are going to pay the gvt to provide a usable service, then I bloody well expect them to provide it.

And if they don't want to spend the money on such a service then I bloody well expect my tax dollars to spent somewhere more useful, or perhaps better yet, not levied in the first place and let *me* them.

But providing an unusable service is just deliberately wasting money to prove the point the wasting money is a waste of money.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
This is a cross-border issue, though, and Queensland appears to have little interest in the XPT, much favouring its own Gold Coast services, where the patronage (and growth) for them is. To them, the XPT seems more of an invasion, because it wastes valuable peak slots that they perceive (not unreasonably) as far more useful if recycled for the much better-used Gold Coast services.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

This is a cross-border issue, though, and Queensland appears to have little interest in the XPT, much favouring its own Gold Coast services, where the patronage (and growth) for them is. To them, the XPT seems more of an invasion, because it wastes valuable peak slots that they perceive (not unreasonably) as far more useful if recycled for the much better-used Gold Coast services.
Watson374

But ... the only reason the XPT runs into Brisbane is because the Queenslanders pay for (some) it.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
But ... the only reason the XPT runs into Brisbane is because the Queenslanders pay for (some) it.
"djf01"
True, but if they could get rid of it, they would. This is the next best option to them.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Deep breaths peoples

1) It was a Qld LNP election plenge last year

2) Its been raised numerous times in past as the bridge approaches capacity

3) The issue is the reverse run back to Sydney, the XPT uses the 3rd track which is DG, this is the line the peak flow GC expresses run on. So they are running towards each other on a track with limited passing opportunity due to poor design, hence the XPT's path is not just a few minutes, but about 15-20min of lost operation time. To try and cross using the suburbs would mean crossing the outbound suburbs. The XPT's reliability is also poor and hence very disruptive when departing Brisbane late.

4) Why would it both Fed LNP, Abbott ran a campaign saying suburban rail is a state govt issue

5) While we keep bitching about regional/country rail cut backs, they are not being done as a conspiracy theory. Its happening all over the world in similar demographic and geographic areas. Look at Eastern Europe, since the fall of communism, hundreds of trains have been canned, hundreds of lines closed. As people become more affluent, slow regional trains become less popular and there is a critical mass issue here as well. Not enough uses destroy frequency, low frequency detracts more users. Even a train a day is not that convient. Rural Australia has often been super critical about line closures, but by and large they didn't use the services prior. Western Europe has seen a surge in train usage but only after spending $100B's to upgrade lines to higher and high speed and in a much more dense area than most of Australia even comes close to and at the same time, they serve cities were owning a car can be more trouble than its worth, costly and anything bigger than a Suzuki is unparkable. However travel to those cities and there is still cars, tunnels and bridges and hwy's and super hwys.

Australian regional rail will contract because the people who grew up with rail travel culture and still use it frequently are dying off from age.

Yes there is alot we can do to make it viable, but we want to make a viable well used railway on a route that doesn't even have a four lane road for much of the distance? I think the European's would laugh at the poor economics of this.
  TempeFox Locomotive Fireman

Not knowing anything about the current layout of the BRIS system I assume the terminus at Roma Street Station is on dual gauge so is shared with local services. When in Brisbane 30 years ago the overnight service terminated in South Brisbane so can that happen again?
  XAM2175 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Glasgow
It's dual-gauge right into Roma Street over the Merivale Bridge, yes. The land that South Brisbane Terminal used now has the Convention and Exhibition Centre on top of it, so you'd need to build a new terminating platform and move all of the NSWTL facilities out of Roma Street for a benefit of no more than a kilometre of path.

Remember that the Merivale Bridge only opened in 1978, so the termination at South Brisbane was more a way of getting as close to the city as could be managed without dual-gauging via Corinda rather than any particular choice - especially since a South Brisbane  - Roma Street link had been on the drawing board since at least 1885.

But ... the only reason the XPT runs into Brisbane is because the Queenslanders pay for (some) it.
djf01
Funnily enough, locomotives XP2017 and 2018 as well as cars XAM2175 - 2178 and XL2228 and 2229 are actually owned by the State of Victoria, so in small sense it's a three-way deal (without them there'd only be enough stock to run to Brisbane OR Melbourne).
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I seem to remember there was an XPT to Canberra in the late 80's, early 90's, that arrived in the capitol at 0130, needless to say patronage was poor, and the service was eventually discontinued
  62440 Chief Commissioner

If you are going to run these trains, then use them to grow business. When my sister came on her first visit to Oz with the family a few years ago, she flew to Cairns and we used trains to get to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It was challenging to book, GSR would only book on their trains, NSW couldn't help but QR were briiliant and put together a good package. It was a great way to show off Oz and to realise just how big it is. The run from Brisbane to Kyogle was a highlight, one I have done a number of times on the Limited with the car aboard.
There are plenty of visitors to Oz who would enjoy a similar trip and would pay full fare if it was promoted properly. It needs to be a quality total package.
Arriving at 330 am is no big deal IF you are in a sleeper and can doze till 7 or if you can wait on board till first trains start running. Being dumped on the streets of Brisbane at 4am is not acceptable.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, Pressman, RTT_Rules

Display from:   

Quick Reply

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