What will the new Vic Govt do for rural Victoria?

 
  SN7 Chief Commissioner

So much said regarding rail service re Instatement Melbourne to Mildura - given that current V/line adult fare to Mildura ex Melbourne is $45.20. And $22.60 for concession,  how much would punters and those here be prepared out pay for trip on a train all the way??

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  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Alternatively, remind them money doesn't grow on trees, and money will be stripped from local services and community groups to pay for it.

Then we'll see who really wants it.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Excellent post @ZH836301, but I have one minor quibble: those numbers averaged across the whole year. Much of the freight traffic up that way is seasonal, so there's actually a higher traffic intensity in those months.
There's a good argument to be made that road maintenance could be deferred and some of the funding diverted to rail freight upgrades if that road freight traffic during grain season could be moved over to rail. That would require funding flexibility that is hitherto unknown in this country, however.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
a/ Rail isn't a right
b/ It isn't a large city
c/ It's 550+km from Melbourne
d/ The alternative is historically more popular
e/ The expense of a providing a decent service is unfathomable
f/ A high quality, unsubsidised air service exists
g/ Highway traffic volumes are miniscule


Grain, like other bulk loads, is not a time sensitive product.


Realistic posters, who realise money doesn't gow on trees.


And let me guess, you want everybody else to pay for it?


For the fifteenth time in a Mildura thread, population is irrelevant - only traffic matters.


Tell the airlines that.


How about looking at VicRoads AADT road volumes (2013) instead of just guessing?

********

In the interests of supreme and utter completeness (note first values include the heavy vehicle counts):

*Calder Hwy (sth/nth)
-Ouyen (sth): 710/700 (220/200 heavy)
-Mittyack: 520/480 (160/150 heavy)
-Ninda (Lake Tyrrell): 580/480 (110/120 heavy)
-Sea Lake: 560/540 (180/170 heavy)
-Culgoa: 460/460 (150/150 heavy)

Notes: this is the dead patch of the Calder, best for picking long distance traffic volumes due to a near absence of local traffic. As should be well obvious, the volumes are near non-existent. The Ouyen count is higher due to local traffic and Sunraysia Hwy traffic.

*Sunraysia Hwy (sth/nth)
-Tempy: 290/290 (80/80 heavy)
-Lascelles: 250/240 (90/80 heavy)
-Birdchit: 230/230 (50/50 heavy)
-Henty Hwy (terminus): 190/160 (60/50 heavy)

Notes: The Ouyen count in the Calder splits into the Sunraysia Hwy at Nunga, just south of Ouyen. Roughly two thirds of traffic continues on the Calder (with the heavy proportions remaining similar). The Lascelles count is north of the Henty Hwy, which indicates around two thirds of the traffic at that point leaves for the Henty.

Thus of traffic south of Ouyen, ignoring local contributions, roughly 2/3rds is destined for the Calder, 2/9ths towards Hopetoun on the Henty, and only 1/9th towards Birchip on the Sunraysia Hwy.

*Mallee Hwy (west/east)
-Panitya (SA border): 370/390 (140/130 heavy) [a great ride]
-Kulwin: 290/280 (90/90 heavy)
-Piangil (eastern terminus): 330/330 (120/110 heavy)

Notes: Mallee Hwy traffic is predominantly local and interstae east-west, any Mildura traffic uses the shorter routes via Loxton and Robinvale

*Sturt Hwy (west)
-Werrimul: 930/920 (380/380 heavy)

*Robinvale-Sea Lake Rd (sth/nth)
-Bannerton: 240/240 (40/40 heavy)

Notes: These indicate minimal Mildura traffic towards Manangatang, and likely small numbers dissolved amongst interstate Sturt traffic to northern Adelaide/SA and WA/NT.

*Murray Valley Hwy (west/east)
-Bannerton: 60/80 (10/10 heavy)
-Piangil (Tooleybuc Rd): 540/550 (160/150 heavy)
-Lake Charm (sth of Swan Hill): 1200/1500 (290/270 heavy)
-Loddon Valley Hwy (Bears Lagoon): 950/960 (200/200 heavy)

Notes: Counts indicate near non-existent through traffic via Robinvale. The last two are for the benefit of those who think their population card is an ace - Mildura may be bigger, but there is more southbound traffic from Swan Hill and Kerang.

********

To summarise, expectedly, almost all Melbourne/Bendigo traffic is on the Calder - this indicates the maximum count is 300 passenger vehicles and 150 heavy vehicles for Melbourne per day based on Calder counts at Culgoa. This of course also includes local traffic, Silver City Highway traffic, and non-Melbourne traffic.

This indicates there is next to no market for additional rail patronage be it passenger or freight, except perhaps a few extra grain wagons in the grain season.


And? Unless you expect every tinpot town in the country to have a rail service, this statement is 100% pointless.
ZH836301


ZH...who has trotted these figures out on more than one occasion does NOT believe in induced travel.

Nuff said Exclamation
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Correct, that's why I added the bit on grain wagons - though you're overestimating their contribution.

I have never encountered hoards of long haul grain trucks on the highways up there around harvest.

ZH...who has trotted these figures out on more than one occasion does NOT believe in induced travel.
Vinelander

Where?  I probably said inducing travel at great expense for no reason was a stupid idea.

Now you think we should pay heavily for people to make trips they wouldn't otherwise make?

You just failed Economics 101. And probably Economics for kids.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
ZH...who has trotted these figures out on more than one occasion does NOT believe in induced travel.

Nuff said Exclamation
The Vinelander

I kind of agree with ZH. I think that too long have we let the politics decide the fare structure to the point where it has become far too complex, favouring people who live in certain areas over others at certain times, and in doing so starving the system of much-needed revenue. While turning a profit would be great, I don't think it is necessary, however the cost recovery needs to be much greater than it is now so we can use the funds to improve the system.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
With a standardised line from Donald to Mildura and a connection to the Western SG via Litchfield and Minyip, you're looking at this sort of traffic density:

  • A daily Iluka mineral sands train from Ouyen to Hamilton, replacing the existing Hopetoun-Hamilton run

  • A weekly/twice-weekly Mildura 'fruity' intermodal, picking up extra containers at Donald from Peaco

  • Seasonal grain traffic


It's not much really, but I'd reckon you could keep the ~350 km of track from Yelta to Murtoa at ARTC Class 1C standards and still have competitive track access fees with that traffic.
  SN7 Chief Commissioner

Unfortunate for rail freight of grain and seasonal commodities in Victoria,  is that since the division of the PTC in the 1990's into seperate business, with some sold off,  or franchised is that there has been a realistic mode shift in the freight business , caused or assisted  by deregulation on movement of certain commodities , ie Fuel, grain , etc.

Governments are more than happy to franchise out the Suburban network , at huge billion dollar subsidies because it takes the heat of both the premier and transport minister of the day when things turn pear shaped, as they often do when running such an out dated poorly funded network.

Rail freight companies are  now shareholder driven, who demand profits in return for their investment , so the respective operators as such cannot sit around with engines, crews and wagons that are idle for half the year, or dependent on weather or season conditions , droughts, floods , or too much work at the one time.  So rail looses out in this.,  as Rail America found out.

Passenger business on Metro  and V/Line is booming, mainly because of cost rather than good service,  so there is little anyone or any company can do to revitalise the regional freight network.

The role rail plays in Victoria is now on moving people , whereas in the past the Victorian Railways moved freight, as their primary source of revenue.  One of the last big seasonal wheat harvests in the early 1980s saw several regional passenger train runs cancelled to release engines and crews to run wheat trains,  those days are over, and now it's all handled by road and will be forever.

Basically in a nutshell for rail freight to run in larger quantities than it does now - the government has to want it to run, and for the last 20 years or more this has not been the case ,there has been no interest in this by  either political party, as there is no incentive for it , if more freight trains  run , they just get in the way of the passenger moving business,  and as can be seen there are just sharp declines in volumes of regional freight on rail on a rapidly sliding scale, that eventually there will be no more regional freight moved by rail in Victoria at all as it interferes with the passenger moving business.

No government has provided any realistic incentive - for any mode shift of any freight from road to rail,  just organised feasibility studies, set up committees and sat on their hands, I am sure that nothing will change.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
So much said regarding rail service re Instatement Melbourne to Mildura - given that current V/line adult fare to Mildura ex Melbourne is $45.20. And $22.60 for concession, how much would punters and those here be prepared out pay for trip on a train all the way??
SN7


As it's much the same distance by train as by train/bus the hypothetical rail fare to Mildura would NOT change as its likely to be in the same fare zone.

A V/Line train, a V/Line bus...same fare...

Mike.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why do people think this service to mildura shoul make money ? Ridiculous.

Public services like trains and trams and buses are not designed to make money. They are not even design to break even. They are a service the community.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Why do people think this service to mildura shoul make money ? Ridiculous.

Public services like trains and trams and buses are not designed to make money. They are not even design to break even. They are a service the community.
freightgate

Nobody has suggested it should make money, the question is, just how much money it would cost? and is that cost worthwhile? You would be hard pressed to find a passenger rail service in Victoria that does actually make money, that's not what it's about.

The Victorian Government is obliged to provide a service to the people, they do this already in the form of a Road Coach to Swan Hill connecting with a train to Bendigo and Melbourne, as well as other services.

The Government does not have an endless supply of funds, the money that would be spent on providing a high speed (130km/h - 160km/h) passenger train to Mildura would likely come out of other projects, meaning somewhere someone will miss out.

So the question I will ask you Freightgate, where would you pull the funding from? What part of the public sector would you short change so as to provide this service?

NB: Yes, I am aware that there is the option of a slower locomotive hauled train that would likely cost less, but that is not what is being proposed by the people in the Pro-Mildura-Train-Lobby (or whatever this specific group is called at the present moment)
  narf120 Locomotive Driver

Nobody has suggested it should make money, the question is, just how much money it would cost? and is that cost worthwhile? You would be hard pressed to find a passenger rail service in Victoria that does actually make money, that's not what it's about.

The Victorian Government is obliged to provide a service to the people, they do this already in the form of a Road Coach to Swan Hill connecting with a train to Bendigo and Melbourne, as well as other services.

The Government does not have an endless supply of funds, the money that would be spent on providing a high speed (130km/h - 160km/h) passenger train to Mildura would likely come out of other projects, meaning somewhere someone will miss out.

So the question I will ask you Freightgate, where would you pull the funding from? What part of the public sector would you short change so as to provide this service?

NB: Yes, I am aware that there is the option of a slower locomotive hauled train that would likely cost less, but that is not what is being proposed by the people in the Pro-Mildura-Train-Lobby (or whatever this specific group is called at the present moment)
Gman_86

I'm not suggesting either than public transport services should make a profit or recover costs. But to have an idea at the actual costs of an overnight train, look at some of the heritage groups ticket prices and then add the costs of most (heritage trains are probably over volunteer staffed) of the volunteer train staff on the train. This would give you a ball park figure of the actual costs.
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
Rubbish. Heritage trains are not subsidised by the government, whereas revenue passenger trains are. There is no way you could gauge an accurate figure from a heritage train, as there are extra costs involved in their running. Despite the on-train crew being voluntary, heritage groups still have to hire locomotive crews, and conductors from V/Line in Victoria. The hire of this, plus all of the other costs involved in running the train (fuel etc.) are borne out by how many tickets you sell. If no tickets are sold, the train doesn't run.
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
Mildura and Sunraysia remain the largest region in the country without a scheduled passenger train.
The Vinelander


I think not.

There's a little place called Tasmania that has a population of over half a million.

Then there's the Gascoyne/Pilbara/Kimberley region of WA that has well over 100k
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I think not.

There's a little place called Tasmania that has a population of over half a million.

Then there's the Gascoyne/Pilbara/Kimberley region of WA that has well over 100k
Calgully


Tasmania has no passenger trains and hasn't run any since 1977, so it's disqualified due a lack of interest by anybody in reinstating any, save for a light-rail proposal that didn't go anywhere.

I don't believe for a second that 100,000 people live in that region of WA and if they have any railways at all in that region they go from no population areas to almost no population areas at the port carrying ore I believe.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
The population of the Pilbara is 66k, of the Kimberley 40k (2013).

Mildura Rural City Council is 53k (2013), or closer to 50k north of Hattah.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
I really despair at times at some of these threads.
Regardless of whether Mildura needs or does not need a passenger service, there is no point whatsoever
arguing about it here, simply because no one who reads Railpage can do anything about it.
If 1/10 th of the effort in arguing about a Mildura rail service was actually addressed at people who could actually
do something about it, and thats the Vic Dept of Transport, you might just get someone who would listen, particularily if you put
up a well articulated case, which would involve detailed costings.
But no one ever does, its just Mildura must have a passenger rail service , because I say so , and Im a railfan which makes me an expert.

The same style of arguing is going on in the NSW thread on the closure of the Newcastle line.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Originally all VL were two car sets, then powered trailers were purchased to increase train size to 3 cars . So we have now mix of 2 & 3 car sets. With patronage growth we now need to go to 20 - 24 x 4 car sets . If one puts in another powered trailer then the consist is over horsepowered and it is cheaper to run a loco hauled set for the same number of passengers . So that is why the need to now be looking at 20 - 24 x 4 car sets with 3 cars powering and a strict trailer. Still plenty of hp for the train weight to give good acceleration, lower capital cost and lower operating cost . Current VLP VL schedules are loaded with "fat" to protect the timekeeping, not unusual to be regularly arriving at terminal stations many minutes early .
kuldalai

Someone made a good valid point that all the newish stabling and maintenance facilities are built to accommodate 3 car sets (or multiples of 3 car sets) big $ would need to be spent to change this !
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Do not confuse people's views on here about the arguement against passenger rail for Mildura.

People should be encouraged to share their view whatever that is as build arguments fr and against.

My view is forget about making rail passenger services profitable in the vast land with long distances. We are barking up the wrong tree.

They should be run efficiently. Forget profit. That is stupid. See how politicians have done the damage years ago. We have been conditioning to accepting substandard fiscal commentary from politicians to service thee own end.

Why should every government service or any government service need to be profitable ?

Laughable.

Australia is in real trouble. Service standards from. Governments are falling and the tax base is shrinking. The economic rationalists have rationalised this country into oblivion. Nothing works properly or is properly planned and executed.
freightgate

Some people clearly have no Idea how the treasury department works !!

They think a Government can just spend spend and spend some more like there Is no tomorrow.


Australian Governments spend more funds than they earn !!
How can you keep this up In the medium and long term ?
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

Australian Governments spend more funds than they earn !!
How can you keep this up In the medium and long term ?
Nightfire

By increasing taxes. If we had tax rates like they pay in Germany we could start to build a rail system like they have in Germany. Putting more disposable income into the hands of people who already have enough simply leads to waste, albeit personal. It will never build infrastructure. In the last 15 years, a person earning $150,000 per year has had a tax reduction of $20,000 while a person earning $60,000 per year has had a tax reduction of $2000 and a person on the pension has had a tax cut of zero.  Cutting spending on the poor so that you can reduce tax rates on the rich is moronic. It is the ultimate exercise in greed and selfishness - living for today and totally neglecting tomorrow. The chickens will eventually come home to roost, as we slide into a third rate country - a disused quarry and last resort food bowl for developing countries that used to be nice place to visit.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
More Railfan wishful thinking.
Just who is going to foot the bill for a line from Mildura to Broken Hill, not to mention who is going to foot the
bill for guage converting the Mildura line?
Dream on.
MD

As you say, mega coin would be needed to make this scheme work.

How much would need to be spent on upgrading the Mildura line for It to accommodate double stacked container trains at speeds of 110 km/h ? (the line would need to be rebuilt from like 20 foot down to up)
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
...a person on the pension has had a tax cut of zero.
TedHanson

That is because they don't pay income tax in the first place.
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

That is because they don't pay income tax in the first place.
Donald

Correct, but I didn't mention income tax. Pensioners had to pay the GST, with no commensurate income tax reduction, just a one off payment. They had less disposable income than before, unlike those on $150,000.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Correct, but I didn't mention income tax. Pensioners had to pay the GST, with no commensurate income tax reduction, just a one off payment. They had less disposable income than before, unlike those on $150,000.
TedHanson

Are you deliberately forgetting the sales taxes removed before the GST came in?
  TedHanson Junior Train Controller

Are you deliberately forgetting the sales taxes removed before the GST came in?
Donald

No, just like you aren't deliberately forgetting that the net price rise was 6%. The whole idea of the GST was to raise funds to give to the states (to compensate for the reduction in commonwealth grants), not to be revenue neutral with respect to the taxes abolished. The "balance" was supposed to be income tax cuts, useful to the PM who gave himself a tax cut of $15,000 but not very useful, as you rightly point out, to pensioners, and other low income earners, who received nothing by way of recompense because they don't pay tax. Of course, the whole idea was to take from the poor and give to the rich, and it was very successful. Of course, had the rich received exactly the same amount of compensation as the poor, then we would have had much more money to spend of the renewal of rail infrastructure.

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