Former 'Murraylander' sets and 909/907- situation update

 
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
South Australia has a really concentrated population base in comparison to (say) Victoria where it's much more decentralised in larger regional centres like Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. That's why we have our successful interurban rail network over here; it's got to do with the population distribution that South Australia just doesn't have.

Anyway - finding a tourist or excursion use for those Murraylander cars will be extremely difficult if the remaining Mallee/Riverland lines are closed down. It's a shame the money to gauge-convert those lines wasn't spent on the South East instead, perhaps they would have been more viable for G&W to operate.
"don_dunstan"

So true on the population density Don.
Unfortunately at the time the SE line was isolated, a certain person was doing his best to make sure rail had no viable customers in the South East!
Whilst the Mallee lines ran for a while as isolated BG line with a base and suitable transfer facility at Tailem Bend, they had freight to move (albeit grain only).
Gauge conversion was a means to get rid of the double handling and the need for an isolated BG fleet and loco depot.

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
So true on the population density Don.
Unfortunately at the time the SE line was isolated, a certain person was doing his best to make sure rail had no viable customers in the South East!
Pressman

Yeah he didn't really see the bigger picture that guy; he should have viewed it as an additional business opportunity for himself but instead viewed it as unwelcome competition. If the South-East had been gauge-converted then South Australia may have had more of a viable intra-state standard gauge freight network than it does now.
  sulzer Junior Train Controller

Location: QLD
But it is still possible if everyone got together soothing could become of these trains
  sulzer Junior Train Controller

Location: QLD
Health
Don't worry what those others say I am sure your dream will come true ,your like me stuck in school not out there being able to show oters your full potential ,BUT remember ......... YOU AND I ARE THE YOUNGER FUTHER OF RAILWAY PRESERVATION AND WE WILL ONE DAY FULLFILL THE ROLES OF THOSE THAT ONCE DOWNED US
addy
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

Health
Don't worry what those others say I am sure your dream will come true ,your like me stuck in school not out there being able to show oters your full potential ,BUT remember ......... YOU AND I ARE THE YOUNGER FUTHER OF RAILWAY PRESERVATION AND WE WILL ONE DAY FULLFILL THE ROLES OF THOSE THAT ONCE DOWNED US
addy
"sulzer"


Sulzer, while you are at school take the opportunity to study editing and spelling skills. They may come in handy one day, especially when drawing up your future Regional Rail contracts.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
One man did not stop the railway, he's been dead for what 6 or 7 (I presume less than 10) years... No hint of it in all that time... Lest railway fans like to exaggerate 'influence' when their product is plainly not viable.
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
BUT remember ......... YOU AND I ARE THE YOUNGER FUTHER OF RAILWAY PRESERVATION
sulzer

If you are the 'futher' then rail preservation is up the 'it' creek, however if you are the 'future' then it's a different story.Razz
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
One man did not stop the railway, he's been dead for what 6 or 7 (I presume less than 10) years... No hint of it in all that time... Lest railway fans like to exaggerate 'influence' when their product is plainly not viable.
"Aaron"

But he did leave a legacy! Whilst the line may have only had a marginal viability, his legacy was to ensure it was, and would remain unviable.
This was evident when the SA Gov first put up money toward gauge conversion of the line some years ago, but no one took it up because they couldn't find enough freight to make it viable.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
But he did leave a legacy! Whilst the line may have only had a marginal viability, his legacy was to ensure it was, and would remain unviable.
This was evident when the SA Gov first put up money toward gauge conversion of the line some years ago, but no one took it up because they couldn't find enough freight to make it viable.
Pressman

So true Pressman and then take at look at why because, Scott Transport Industries owns most of the transport companies down there so it comes as no surprise that they got nothing at all! Most of these companies still operate under the original names though for what reason, or can't you make it out. Scott bought all the opposition transport companies down that way, well big ones anyway.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

One man did not stop the railway, he's been dead for what 6 or 7 (I presume less than 10) years... No hint of it in all that time... Lest railway fans like to exaggerate 'influence' when their product is plainly not viable.
"Aaron"
It was certainly less than 10 years ago - remember Mark Williams shooting his mouth off after the '04 grand final (and then flying to Mt Gambier to make a grovelling apology a couple of days later).

Wikipedia says October 2008, but I'm sure someone will be along soon to throw doubt on that with some wacky conspiracy theory about his ownership of all the local media down there.

The rail industry in SA has proven more than capable of self-cannibalism, but of course it's much harder to look inwards than it is to turn a bloke who owned a few trucks into a comic book super-villain on the level of Saddam or Osama. Just look at the closure of the Palmer and Burra lines, and the alleged (but still not confirmed) impending closure of the Mallee routes - all achieved with no involvement from Allan Scott or Kim Jong-Il.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Lest railway fans like to exaggerate 'influence' when their product is plainly not viable.
Aaron

But even with Alan Scott gone the trucking business remains in family hands (as per David Peters comment earlier) and it's just as opposed to rail returning to the region as it ever was...
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It was certainly less than 10 years ago - remember Mark Williams shooting his mouth off after the '04 grand final (and then flying to Mt Gambier to make a grovelling apology a couple of days later).
justapassenger

Alan Scott was very much treating Port Adelaide footy club like it was his personal plaything at that point and I think the club quite rightly were telling him to butt out. After all, Williams got Scott his precious AFL premiership despite his constant unhelpful input that year.

A bit like Lindsay Fox presently trying to take over Portsea beach - there's a bit of a history of trucking magnates trying to take something over that once belonged to everyone...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Able to halt a state's rail operations with a single truck...

  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Alan Scott was very much treating Port Adelaide footy club like it was his personal plaything at that point and I think the club quite rightly were telling him to butt out. After all, Williams got Scott his precious AFL premiership despite his constant unhelpful input that year.
"don_dunstan"
Port Power still needed him a lot more than he needed them at that point - as shown by their immediate sending of Williams to lick Scott's boots before he ended up in concrete shoes at the bottom of the Blue Lake.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Aaron, I think it's only fair to point out that with a virtual monopoly in that part of the state it's quite significant that they chose not to support gauge conversion or upgrade of a rail service; in fact I still believe that when Alan Scott came out against gauge conversion in 1995 it probably buried the line forever which is a shame IMO because they could have been beneficiaries themselves. You have a point about the failure of the business model itself but for open access to work properly it needs to be standard gauge first - something that some (but not all) trucking businesses fear because it potentially brings in national competitors.

Wakefields in Mildura are active trans-shippers on rail and they've been campaigning for standard gauge for years. Also, Lindsay Fox is also a strong advocate for a better intra-state and inter-state standard gauge network.  The fact that Scotty gave an unequivocal 'no' to supporting the South East line is not insignificant.

Also, as JAP and myself were just discussing - don't underestimate the influence on South Australia of people like Alan Scott. I saw an interview with him not long before he died where he credited himself with getting John Olsen sacked as SA premier because he just didn't like him!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Port Power still needed him a lot more than he needed them at that point - as shown by their immediate sending of Williams to lick Scott's boots before he ended up in concrete shoes at the bottom of the Blue Lake.
justapassenger

He had an unfortunate family situation where he was completely estranged from some of his own kids - much like Gina Rinehardt. There was a long running court case after his death in 2008 because his daughter was completely excluded from his estate... it makes interesting reading.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Where's the trucking monopoly in Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln? There's no 'commuter' rail or 'local' freight via rail to or from any of them.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Nobody is saying that Alan Scott was the sole destroyer of SAR, Aaron.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Nobody is saying that Alan Scott was the sole destroyer of SAR, Aaron.
don_dunstan

No, but you are saying HE destroyed the Mt Gambier line. Reality says something different, and the fact is with or without 'The Green Lantern' of trucking the Mt Gambier line would have gone the way of all other state rail anyway. Scott was merely able to capitalise on the State's loss through shrewd business.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
How do you know that the line would have not been viable if gauge-converted? Do you have an 'alternative universe' machine in amongst your grab-bag of witty props?
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
How do you know that the line would have not been viable if gauge-converted? Do you have an 'alternative universe' machine in amongst your grab-bag of witty props?
governmentdon_dunstan

I endorse Don's comments.

The  Commonwealth's cynical grab of our (and Victoria's) broad gauge railway systems effectively destroyed a great deal of potential use of rail in favour of the heavily subsidised road competition which has taken its place to the great detriment and cost of our roads. The extra strength of foundations for heavy truck use is an example of this, to say nothing of the deterioration of the surface of the more lightly constructed roads which are traversed by wheat trucks from rail served silos.

Having travelled by overnight sleeping car to and from my work in the South East years ago, I am appalled at the waste involved. Now even the standard gauge direct connection from Pinnaroo to Port Adelaide is in danger from road competition. How does that help road congestion or safety?

The Mount Gambier railway was of a high standard after gauge conversion (yes I know about the standardisation agreement between the Commonwealth and the State governments) and could have remained viable if it hadn't been cut off from Adelaide.

New South Wales, the colony which caused the whole damned mess, has got off SCOTT free, while Victoria and S.A. who stuck to the original agreements have suffered ever since inter-capital standardisation on the cheap reared its ugly head.

As for SCOTT, his monopoly of transport in the South East (using sub-standard trucks and driver conditions, as was revealed recently) and of the influential 'Border Watch' newspaper was, and is, a major hindrance to any hope of the now sensible solution of complete standardisation of all Victorian lines to the West of Melbourne and those which were unnecessarily and very unfairly abandoned in S.A..

And Aaron. Please give me an example of when the privatisation of natural state monopolies has ever resulted in cheaper and more efficient services to the public WHICH HAS TO PAY FOR THEM WHETHER AS TAXES BASED ON THEIR INCOMES TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN COMMON  PROPERTY, OR TO PRIVATE OWNERS WHO CHARGE WHAT THEY LIKE WHETHER THE END USER CAN AFFORD IT OR NOT, AND ARE AS OFTEN AS NOT BASED IN OTHER COUNTRIES, MESSING UP OUR BALANCE OF PAYMENTS IN THEIR FAVOUR.

I'd like to be able to heat my house as I once could instead of paying hundreds of dollars to heat one small and heavily insulated room.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
Where's the trucking monopoly in Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, Port Lincoln? There's no 'commuter' rail or 'local' freight via rail to or from any of them.
Aaron

No, because Port Lincoln doesn't have rail connection, though it should. Whyalla does have rail connection via Ports Augusta and Pirie and it has very heavy steel shipments to Westernport via gauge transhipment in Melbourne because road could not possibly handle the tonnages involved.

Where those trains run, perhaps mixed passenger and small van freight trains could also if there were to be the will to provide them. I lived in Whyalla once, and well remember travelling in crowded passenger trains at 70 mph behind a 520 without spilling my milkshake in the cafeteria car.

How is it that we can never seem to do today what we could then? Is it a question of the deliberate fostering of road transport over the more environmentally friendly and safer rail systems that we once had?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

How do you know that the line would have not been viable if gauge-converted?
"don_dunstan"
Wrong question.

You lot were the ones who started this by claiming Scott killed what would otherwise have been a viable line, I suggest the burden should be upon you to back up your claim and demonstrate rationally why it would have been any different to all the others which closed without any help from Scott.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Actually JAP, I'd suggest that the conversation had moved on from that to discussing the individual factors behind the destruction of the line, being:
- Alan Scott's reluctance to support gauge-conversion of the South East line in 1995 (in fact he went on the record as saying it should be allowed to die);
- Whether gauge conversion would have made any difference to the question of viability of the line;
- Whether connecting Mt Gambier to the national rail network would have bought new operators and (potentially) new traffic? Pulp, woodchips and timber being the obvious potential traffic.

Maybe you could add to that list Australian National's management of the network and whether it would have been better off under G&W or perhaps SAR? Tassie ended up having to have their own government railway again; South Australia for some reason didn't go down that path.

What Aaron is saying is that nothing would have saved it. I just don't agree with that proposition; as Brian says above, had they converted the line (as they ultimately did with Pinaroo/Loxton) then maybe (just maybe) there would still have been some viable intra- and inter-state freight coming out of the South East.
  sulzer Junior Train Controller

Location: QLD
well
To answer to the comments below I give my reason, Queensland Education decided they would employ a polite Romanian teacher with the only problem being she was not an English teacher but that's the subject I had her for throughout school

If you are the 'futher' then rail preservation is up the 'it' creek, however if you are the 'future' then it's a different story.http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_razz.gif
Sulzer, while you are at school take the opportunity to study editing and spelling skills. They may come in handy one day, especially when drawing up your future Regional Rail contracts.

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