Ministerial review of the 'Lander services

 
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
In case it wasn't known. I guess this below link is what passes for 'community consultation' for regional public transport options.

It's buried well into the QT website and it was only by using 'westlander' as a search key word that I was able to find it.

BTW...community consultation closes TOMORROW, Friday 12th April so be quick if you want your say...



http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Travel-and-transport/Qconnect/Review-of-long-distance-passenger-services.aspx
The Vinelander
Filling this 'survey' required that one has travelled in one of QRs long distance trains to answer it. I was unable to use it to communicate that I would use a Toowoomba - Brisbane service at std fare if available as my preferred transport.

Poor design or aiming for a minimalist outcome?

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  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Filling this 'survey' required that one has travelled in one of QRs long distance trains to answer it. I was unable to use it to communicate that I would use a Toowoomba - Brisbane service at std fare if available as my preferred transport.

Poor design or aiming for a minimalist outcome?
GrahamH
Exactly what I found. I have posted an enquiry via the DTMR website to that effect and await their learned response...
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

I've heard the Westlander and the Sunlander will be axed mid 2014. Is anyone able to provide information on when this is likely to happen and also is the Inlander and the Spirit Of The Outback on the chopping block as well?

Thanks
  mb67 Junior Train Controller

I've heard the Westlander and the Sunlander will be axed mid 2014. Is anyone able to provide information on when this is likely to happen and also is the Inlander and the Spirit Of The Outback on the chopping block as well?

Thanks
Southern Aurora
Haven't heard anything regarding the Westlander.

Sunlander is expected to be phased out once all the new "Spirit of Queensland" Diesel Tilt Trains are in service.

Spirit of the Outback and Inlander still see quite a large patronage so I highly doubt it.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Haven't heard anything regarding the Westlander.

Sunlander is expected to be phased out once all the new "Spirit of Queensland" Diesel Tilt Trains are in service.

Spirit of the Outback and Inlander still see quite a large patronage so I highly doubt it.
mb67
The main issue on what operates post 2014 is the number of cars left to supply the services as the I think L cars are to be retired due to age which may also impact Inlander.

Issue for Westie is not the numbers but the lack of almost anything else apart from off cattle train running on that branch past the coal services and Westie is twice a week. In early 2000's NSW cut back one its most popular daily XPT services, ie Mull'bah due to issue of no other revenue services on a higher cost branch lines.

The other trains at least share their routes with regular freight services.

SOTO is a shaddow of its former self, it needs to be reborn (again) if its to have a longterm future especially as past Emerald freight services are probably burning as much money as the SOTO.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The main issue on what operates post 2014 is the number of cars left to supply the services as the I think L cars are to be retired due to age which may also impact Inlander.

Issue for Westie is not the numbers but the lack of almost anything else apart from off cattle train running on that branch past the coal services and Westie is twice a week. In early 2000's NSW cut back one its most popular daily XPT services, ie Mull'bah due to issue of no other revenue services on a higher cost branch lines.

The other trains at least share their routes with regular freight services.

SOTO is a shadow of its former self, it needs to be reborn (again) if its to have a longterm future especially as past Emerald freight services are probably burning as much money as the SOTO.
RTT_Rules
From what little info I've gleaned of late. The Inlander is on very thin ice and could 'go' at any time.

The Westlander has a slightly less shaky future, despite the rusty condition of some of the cars, and to Transport Minister Emerson's credit he is working very hard to increase the number of cattle trains right out as far as Quilpie. Obviously with the western line in reasonably frequent use, the Murwillumbah (Mull'bah) example is not applicable.

The Spirit of the Outback (SoTO) will need a refurb in the next 2 to 3 years, especially the First Class club car, if it hasn't already been done since I travelled on it 18 months ago.

The Sunlander as we currently know it will be gone by this time next year, and when I travel on it (Queenslander class) next April, it will be only one service a week. Sunday out of Roma St and Tuesday out of Cairns.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
From what little info I've gleaned of late. The Inlander is on very thin ice and could 'go' at any time.

The Westlander has a slightly less shaky future, despite the rusty condition of some of the cars, and to Transport Minister Emerson's credit he is working very hard to increase the number of cattle trains right out as far as Quilpie. Obviously with the western line in reasonably frequent use, the Murwillumbah (Mull'bah) example is not applicable.

The Spirit of the Outback (SoTO) will need a refurb in the next 2 to 3 years, especially the First Class club car, if it hasn't already been done since I travelled on it 18 months ago.

The Sunlander as we currently know it will be gone by this time next year, and when I travel on it (Queenslander class) next April, it will be only one service a week. Sunday out of Roma St and Tuesday out of Cairns.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Not sure what the frequency of cattle trains are, but I still doubt it exceeds more than 2 per week/52 weeks a year on average as far as Charlieville. Issue is the track quality for such services doesn't need to be maintained to same as required for Westie and all that will happen over time is it will be slowed down. One way or another I still see this service on borrowed time. If LNP don't cut it, ALP will when they eventually get back in.

Inlander, problem with this train is that there is not alot along the route, it has even less tourist potential than the Westie and most people going up that far would drive anyway. For locals the train is of limited value due to its slow speed and most of the population are a fair way out where plane is far more competitive. I'lve also heard along recent years that its not uncommon for the Inlander to be terminated at Conclurry due to track/cogestion delays and/or lack of numbers.

Either way, the issue will be what rolling stock is left after the retirement of the L cars. The inlander being based in T'ville will make it difficult to serve with a limited fleet of rollingstock as when not used by Inlander it can be used by no other.

Either way, by end of next year, I suspect there will be some significant changes to the current Traveltrain timetables, although a election is not far away so perhaps the changes will be more controlled. Time will tell.
  mb67 Junior Train Controller

I saw the Westie at Roma Street today. Turns out it was quite busy Razz 11 customers, 4 on-board staff and the 2 drivers haha.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Thanks for the info guys still hearing talk The Westlander will be no more this time next year Sad
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
the issue will be what rolling stock is left after the retirement of the L cars.
RTT_Rules
I don't believe that any retirement date has been set for the L cars, however the M cars will be retired reasonably soon, probably when the Sunlander stops running. The use of the L cars on the Toowoomba range is restricted. Not sure what that will mean for the Westlander. I suspect if it is to continue at all it might be cut short to say Roma and/or replaced with a railcar service.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't believe that any retirement date has been set for the L cars, however the M cars will be retired reasonably soon, probably when the Sunlander stops running. The use of the L cars on the Toowoomba range is restricted. Not sure what that will mean for the Westlander. I suspect if it is to continue at all it might be cut short to say Roma and/or replaced with a railcar service.
Graham4405
Ok, I took a putt and said first letter, bumm bumm.

Issue is as I understand it is that this is not enough of the remaining fleet to support the Westie and Inlander (certainly operational restrictions for the range don't add much hope). Open to correction.

I thought someone once posted somewhere QR once requested a estimate for a railcar and EDI came back with a WTF price, hence it went the way of the Dodo. Hard to imagine millions of dollars being spent to replace a train with 11 people out of Brisbane, even though I would expect better and more frequent timetabling to improve the numbers somewhat.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks for the info guys still hearing talk The Westlander will be no more this time next year Sad
Southern Aurora
To be fair there has been a number of unoffical comments from people within QR/QT to members of RP and other forums in recent years saying the end was very soon and it has yet to occur. However 2014 I feel is the year!
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
Logic predicts the Westie and inlander will close
M SERIES car reached end of life and to be withdrawn by end 2014 (60 years old)
Not enough L series cars to run all services
No new cars being purchased thus no replacements and time frame becoming too short to call contracts and get them built in time
Passenger numbers woeful on both trains
Aurizion wants out of Hook and Pull contracts or supplying locos
QR Has NO SUITABLE Locos
PN AND PNQ have no suitable locos for Charleville line
So where do locos and coaches come from to continue service?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

There are persistent rumours that QR is apparently in the process of reacquiring a reasonably large block of locomotives...and there probably would be enough L series cars for an Inlander set, Westlander set and SOTO set...it's just that out of the L series cars there are no twinettes or lounge cars...so conversions (money) would have to be carried out. Frankly, I doubt any money will be spent to provide rebuilt twinettes for the Inlander and the Westlander so that's probably how things will end up.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Logic predicts the Westie and inlander will close

Passenger numbers woeful on both trains
qredge
Forget the rolling stock etc, this is enough.
  RaymoSmith Beginner

Location: Albany Creek, Queensland, Australia
I saw the Westie at Roma Street today. Turns out it was quite busy Razz 11 customers, 4 on-board staff and the 2 drivers haha.
mb67
better off having one loco,baggage car,club car,sitter,power car.and that,s it.
  qr3900 Chief Commissioner

Location: Gold Coast, QLD
Would it be feasible/theoretically possible to acquire and use surplus passenger stock from South Africa, Japan, or NZ? Is the QR loading gauge much different from the countries mentioned or would there be too many restrictions?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Would it be feasible/theoretically possible to acquire and use surplus passenger stock from South Africa, Japan, or NZ? Is the QR loading gauge much different from the countries mentioned or would there be too many restrictions?
"qr3900"


South African carriages are being used in Queensland at the moment (PN crew cars), but unless imported secondhand rollingstock comes with retention toilets and meet national disability standards they'll be no better than the M series cars...and these are the main reasons why the M series have to be retired.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
better off having one loco,baggage car,club car,sitter,power car.and that,s it.
RaymoSmith
Its called a mini-bus that stops at pubs along the way and still gets their faster!
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
I am thinking of riding the inlander soon.
Looking at connecting flights out of Townsville on the Saturday and there is a direct Jetstar flight to Sydney about 2.5 hours after Inlander arrives at 10.10am.

Is it reliable enough to get back in time to meet a 12.55 flight from Townsville?

Any recent delays or other considerations that I should take into account.

regards
Stopblock
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I am thinking of riding the inlander soon.
Looking at connecting flights out of Townsville on the Saturday and there is a direct Jetstar flight to Sydney about 2.5 hours after Inlander arrives at 10.10am.

Is it reliable enough to get back in time to meet a 12.55 flight from Townsville?

Any recent delays or other considerations that I should take into account.

regards
Stopblock
"stopblock"


The occasions I see the Inlander it's usually running close to time, but to be honest a lot of things can go wrong on the Mt Isa line during summer and the wet season. I'd aim for one of the mid afternoon or late afternoon flights via Brisbane just to be sure. Qantas and Virgin have several departures during the day.
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
The occasions I see the Inlander it's usually running close to time, but to be honest a lot of things can go wrong on the Mt Isa line during summer and the wet season. I'd aim for one of the mid afternoon or late afternoon flights via Brisbane just to be sure. Qantas and Virgin have several departures during the day.
Sulla1

Thanks for that Sulla1

I have communicated this information to my other half (also known as the finance department) and I have been advised to fly back on Sunday (and book soon) lest I miss the Saturday flight and it ends up costing more.

So off on the Inlander I go......I go...ta daa
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
The occasions I see the Inlander it's usually running close to time, but to be honest a lot of things can go wrong on the Mt Isa line during summer and the wet season. I'd aim for one of the mid afternoon or late afternoon flights via Brisbane just to be sure. Qantas and Virgin have several departures during the day.
Sulla1

Ohh! I forgot to ask.

Does it still pull into the original Townsville station?
When I was there some 15 years ago for work, I read that there was a new station to be built 'out of town' somewhere to free up all the railway land and circuits that take place there.
(never did get my mind around the trackwork in Townsville)

Can someone describe what happens in Townsville nowadays?

regards
Stopblock
  Fatty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne


Does it still pull into the original Townsville station?


Can someone describe what happens in Townsville nowadays?
stopblock


No...the old station is no longer connected to the rail network.

The new station is on the NCL off Charters Towers Road:

https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!1m4!1m3!1d4629!2d146.8075881!3d-19.270111
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The new station is still fairly close to the CBD and Townsville's busiest rail junction - Fork Line. If the nickel trains are running, Fork Line sees one or two trains an hour this time of year and if you jag a day when PN zinc shuttles to the Jetty and Aurizon zinc shuttle to Sun Metals are running you might see even more. At the station itself, you've got a good chance of seeing nickel ore trains, but most of the northbound and southbound freights go through during the late afternoon and early evening.

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