Talbot station (Maryborough line) is now on track

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Well, work had to start at some time and no doubt the Napthine government is after a 'bounce' after the East-west tollway fiasco, so they are spending small change in comparison with that white elephant on what will be Victoria's lowest patronage station.

All good for the folk of Talbot though.

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/few-takers-but-talbots-now-on-track-20130825-2sjz0.html

[edit]Removed inflammatory comment.[/edit]

Mike.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
All good for the folk of Talbot though.
The Vinelander
Would be better for them if this line had a decent service.
  wyche123 Locomotive Fireman

One train a day, and a couple passengers! Money spent well. Not.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
One train a day, and a couple passengers! Money spent well. Not.
wyche123
More 1 dimensional thinking Exclamation

Do you seriously believe that forever and a day there will only be two trains a day on the Maryborough line Question
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Why do people keep imagining that train services to a string of far-flung villages should be frequent?

Treat the Maryborough trains for what they are - buses on rails that provide a link to and from Ballarat.
  Sandpatch Station Staff

Firstly all the negative  comments about the Maryborough line just make me very angry.
   When Clunes station was re opened as a passenger station all the nay sayers said it would never get used and it was a waste of money. Well guess what it is quite a busy station for the morning train and also people arriving home in the evening. I am delighted that a new Talbot station is to be built and Talbot is to be reopended as a passenger station.
      Even though I am not a Liberal voter , I congratulate this government for going ahead and building and reopening Talbot station.
    Since moving from Melbourne to the Goldfields region some three to four years ago I am delighted to see this area grow and prosper. In regards to the train service on the Maryborough line, it is better than nothing. Take that beautiful station station at Maryborough , it is just lovely to see it used once again as a passenger station. Perhaps the passenger numbers on the Maryborough line are not record breaking but a start is a start. No doubt the numbers on the Lilydale or Belgrave line were not record breaking numbers when these lines were built and these areas developed. More and more people are leaving the big cities for a quieter life in the country. Since living in the Goldfields region I have met various people that use the train service from time to time.
    No doubt as more rolling stock becomes available in years to come the Maryborough line will receive more train services. The population can only grow and every piece of infrastructure must be seen as a positive. Think a little beyond the now and into the future as Talbot  could well become a busy commuter station. Just as I was there for the reopening of Clunes Station I look forward to the reopening of Talbot and sincerly hope to be there.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I totally agree with Sandpatch.  It's an area of Victoria that's long been forgotten.  More services will go a long way to make this region attractive to tree-changers.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
Even though I am not a Liberal voter , I congratulate this government for going ahead and building and reopening Talbot station.
Sandpatch
Hi. I'm also local to the area, but I'm pretty sure Talbot was on the list of "things to do" before the Libs were voted in. Same goes for Clunes re-opening.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

There's an interesting chicken and egg problem here.  Talbot is probably too small at the moment to justify the investment in the station - but does the station encourage the area to develop to the point where it will become viable in the future? I guess the best measures will be patronage and the population of the town - is Talbot set for a mini boom with more people moving into the area?

It will be interesting to see how the communities on this line support the train and whether they try and grow patronage. I'm surprised the local governments don't try to promote the towns to people without cars as destinations they can visit in country Victoria, possibly using their free travel vouchers, or promoting these cities as places to live. Ultimately, if more train services are to be provided then you will need a larger population base than they have now.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is the solution for more trains on the Maryborough line perhaps more sprinters or are Vlocities the only way forward for Vline?

Regards
Brian
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
I would personally say that running a Sprinter shuttle to-and-fro Ballarat and Maryborough would make plenty of sense, given the line's fairly low top speed.

Running just VLocity would be a bit of a waste of resources. There'd be more benefit in displacing a 2-3 car VLocity from the Maryborough service into some other section of the network, and replacing that with a single Sprinter shuttle (which I presume would easily handle the amount of passengers) that could also be fairly frequent (or at least, more frequent than the current train is now). It's not like the Sprinters are going to fall apart and implode within 20-30 years anyway.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Having been up to the area previously, I agree with some of the comments about potential for growth particularly with day commuters to Ballarat and Melbourne but also for tourism.  The issue is the lack of services, one each way is not really adequate particularly for tourists because you'd need to stay overnight.  Okay for day commuters from those towns but not the other way round.

Maybe (as Flygon suggests) perhaps a shuttle from Ballarat is in order to add extra services; a single Sprinter could do it and many services already divide at Ballarat now anyway so it's not like people aren't used to changing trains there.
  Simbera Train Controller

I agree the line would benefit a lot from another few services - just an AM Down and a PM Up for tourists and so on - but I'm not sure Sprinters are the answer. It makes more sense operationally to make up the services by extending an existing Melbourne-Ballarat service, since that's what they do currently with both Maryborough and Ararat services - even if there were any Sprinters that were free (to the best of my knowledge, there aren't) it would be more hassle than it was worth to keep them in Ballarat.

That said, with a population of 258 Talbot really doesn't deserve a station. It may well see some growth out of this, but it would need to quadruple before it was justified, and I don't see that happening for the foreseeable future. They go on about equality, and I agree that there is an equality angle whereby you have to provide some level of service to smaller localities rather than always throwing money at the big centres, but a. a bus does that, and b. there are larger, more deserving places that don't have a rail service either. When you look at projects like this from an equality perspective, you shouldn't be asking "Talbot or the city" you should be asking "Talbot or Horsham". Or, more pertinently, "Talbot or Bannockburn".
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I agree with the sentiments of the above posters, however Bannockburn is not such a good example as there's no pax train going through there, however Harcourt, Taradale, or Glenrowan may be better examples.

Mike.
  Simbera Train Controller

I'm sure there are better examples of more deserving towns with passenger trains already passing through, however the Geelong-Ballarat reinstatement has been mooted but rejected, and my point was that if you string a few bits of pork-barreling like this together, you have more money available for more deserving projects like that one (which would include a station at Bannockburn).
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
.........the Geelong-Ballarat reinstatement has been mooted but rejected..........
Simbera

Has it been rejected?  I know there was the report that proposed a design that would cost more than a mission to Mars, but I thought that the whole thing was still in the 'infect public opinion' phase, and hadn't yet formally reached the 'rejected' phase.
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
Has it been rejected?  I know there was the report that proposed a design that would cost more than a mission to Mars, but I thought that the whole thing was still in the 'infect public opinion' phase, and hadn't yet formally reached the 'rejected' phase.
Calgully
Funding has been redirected to the East-Waste Link. Lousy Roadal Roadalition party.
  Simbera Train Controller

Has it been rejected?  I know there was the report that proposed a design that would cost more than a mission to Mars, but I thought that the whole thing was still in the 'infect public opinion' phase, and hadn't yet formally reached the 'rejected' phase.
Calgully

You may be right, I might be getting ahead of myself. You can see which way the wind is blowing, though - the Libs have no intention of going ahead with it.  The only question is whether Labor will decide it's worth picking up in some form or other at the next election.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
You may be right, I might be getting ahead of myself. You can see which way the wind is blowing, though - the Libs have no intention of going ahead with it.  The only question is whether Labor will decide it's worth picking up in some form or other at the next election.
Simbera

It does help that Geelong and Ballarat both have potentially marginal electorates in State and Federal parliaments.
  stick Locomotive Fireman

Since joining Vline 6 years ago, my first week we were told of rumours of Maryborough reopening and that it wasnt true, then later it opened, we were told it was only be Creswick and Maryborough. Locals from Clunes spoke up about opening their station but everyone thought it would be a waste but it has proved quite a busy station. (22 on the train last Monday). Talbot was promised and shouldve been ready around 2011 we even had tally sheets with Talbot on them. It was put back to 2012 then the end of 2013 so Talbot has been on the radar for a while and rumour had it that once Talbot opened there would be an extra train to Maryborough and back subject to Vlocity,crew availability. Just for the record we still stop at Rockbank which doesnt have much action on it so Talbot wont hurt either, really it is a public service not a profit making business. For the record 62 left Ballarat for Maryborough Tuesday, thats not too bad.
  712M Chief Commissioner

Rockbank would get more passengers if it was better positioned to where the actual houses are and actually received a decent service. Rockbank has a similar population to Little River and triple the population of Clarkefield, which both handle many more passengers. If they make the station more accessible to residents, elevating the need to drive while increasing the frequency to better than every 3 hours on weekends you'll generate a lot more pax.
  Simbera Train Controller

I'm skeptical. There are 822 people within a reasonable distance of where Rockbank station currently is, or where it should be (Troups Rd), which is not really a lot - yes, the service is very infrequent and the station is awkwardly located, but even if it were perfectly placed and ran 20-minute frequencies, there just isn't the population to support it.

I'd say it's barely worth even continuing to stop services there, it gets so few passengers at the moment. Let them reserve some land and build a new one in a better location when they electrify to Melton, because by then urban planners will have opened up the area and more people will be around to actually use it (or, alternately, they could just open up areas close to the station for development).

But to return to the topic at hand, the difference between continuing to stop at Rockbank and beginning to stop at Talbot is that Rockbank Station is already built and requires no staff, so the cost to stop there instead of skipping it is negligible - whereas for Talbot they need to build a whole new station first, which costs a lot of much-needed money.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

There is another interesting question here in regard to the DDA and rail safety requirements. I should start by saying I'm not exactly sure why the existing platform wasn't suitable for use at Talbot, presumably because of DDA requirements (and the fact it is generally cheaper to build a new station rather than try and modify an existing station). In relation to the new station, it will be long enough to cater for multiple carriages, rather than having a very short platform as has been previously used elsewhere in Australia.

Obviously moving the rail network towards being accessible is important, and it is more convenient to have a platform as long as the train (so you don't have to tell people for Talbot that they can only exit via the front door of the front carriage) - but these things come at a significant price.

So I guess my point is this: the need to bring stations up to DDA standards and provide a full length platform means that the cost of putting a station into Talbot was very expensive - and will be similarly expensive for other locations.  The DDA was about achieving accessibility for people with disabilities - which in this case might have had the impact of denying a town a train service (and forcing people onto a bus to get to Ballarat and change - which is obviously less convenient than trying to navigate a platform that doesn't meet DDA requirements).

Alternatively, if you decide that you want a new platform that does provide level access, then the need to build a full train length platform is extremely expensive. Obviously short platforms aren't viable for all stations, but for stations like Talbot (outside the commuter belt, with low patronage, only a few people on the train etc..) then this should be considered.

I'm just making the point that the DDA and rail safety standards are actually making is extremely expensive to provide stations to towns like Talbot - and that there probably needs to be some discussion of looking at how this can be addressed more cheaply. My personal view is that this is something worthy of discussion.

Perhaps there needs to be some DDA exemption for stations with less than 20 passengers per day - provided wheelchair access can be provided to at least one of one carriage (rather than having to make the whole platform accessible). Or alternatively, accepting that for low volume stations the construction of a short platform that only provides access to one door of one carriage is appropriate, and that the risks associated with this (eg. someone potentially stepping out onto a platform that isn't there) can be managed by annoucements and other customer information.

My two cents.  Smile

Of course any change to the DDA requires both state and federal government agreement - so you can imagine how difficult that would be!  Razz
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
So, Talbot station reopening on Sunday, 22 December certainly slipped under the radar of Railpagers...

http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1988623/talbot-railway-station-opening-welcomed-by-lobby-group/?cs=62

Mike.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
The old Talbot station was used as a garden supply centre and was probably modified to make it even less suitable for modern requirements. It looks like a long term solution in an area of growing population.

None of the negative types bothered to go and check it out for their assumed lack of passengers, perhaps they feared their prejudices might not be confirmed ?

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