Great Southern Railways Sold and what does it mean now?

 
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Federal government sponsored concession fares on the IP, Ghan and Overlander are slated to be gone 1 Jul 2016 anyway. So that will kill off a large percentage of travellers.
Hendo
Please get the name of the Adelaide Melbourne Inter-colonial Express right.Evil or Very Mad It is the "OVERLAND". The Overlander was a team of cattle drovers who moved stock from Western NSW to Adelaide via Overland Corner, was also a name for a brand of motor vehicle in the 1920s.

Don't err and call the train the Overlander. Wink

Ian.

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  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Please get the name of the Adelaide Melbourne Inter-colonial Express right.Evil or Very Mad It is the "OVERLAND". The Overlander was a team of cattle drovers who moved stock from Western NSW to Adelaide via Overland Corner, was also a name for a brand of motor vehicle in the 1920s.

Don't err and call the train the Overlander. Wink

Ian.
steam4ian
And if they do err what are you going to do? Take em out and shoot them!!!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I am fine with that punishment.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Ownership of GSR passed to private equity firm Allegro some weeks ago on June 1st; I haven't seen any mainstream media news about any changes new management might have made yet.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Rumour mill says that contributions from the SA government towards the operation of the Overland will cease at midnight 31st December 2015.

Apparently GSR are NOT accepting bookings for Overland services beyond that date.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Interesting rumour if true. Only six months away - the funny thing is I don't think I could be bothered taking a trip for nostalgia's sake, it's just too slow and touristy.

I wonder if they will bother to keep the rolling-stock for charters/other services or if it will end up at Sims.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me

I wonder if they will bother to keep the rolling-stock for charters/other services or if it will end up at Sims.
"don_dunstan"


V/Line may be interested as I hear they are short on suitable carriages for their rural services, otherwise maybe crew car conversions
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
V/Line may be interested as I hear they are short on suitable carriages for their rural services, otherwise maybe crew car conversions
Pressman
There was a discussion on a thread some time ago about the condition/serviceability of that rolling-stock and I seem to recall that frame rust was an issue... can't seem to find the thread at the moment.
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

I'll be in SA in the next month or so and I'm very interested in travelling on the Overland to Melbourne, if indeed it is on its final legs.
I have a few questions that someone more learned in all things "Overland" might be able to answer.

1. At this time of year what Friday patronage can be expected on the train? I'll travel economy.
2. If I purchase my ticket online do I still need to present myself no less than 1 hour before departure?
3. Does it normally run to time?
4. Can I choose my seat or do I just have to take pot-luck? Are there better viewing seats than others?

Thanks,
Vinelander
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I'll be in SA in the next month or so and I'm very interested in travelling on the Overland to Melbourne, if indeed it is on its final legs.
I have a few questions that someone more learned in all things "Overland" might be able to answer.

1. At this time of year what Friday patronage can be expected on the train? I'll travel economy.
2. If I purchase my ticket online do I still need to present myself no less than 1 hour before departure?
3. Does it normally run to time?
4. Can I choose my seat or do I just have to take pot-luck? Are there better viewing seats than others?

Thanks,
Vinelander
vinelander
As far as I know it is known for being late. Buy your ticket online and you should be able to reserve your seat.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
As far as I know it is known for being late.
railblogger
That sums up beautifully the level of knowledge and debate on so many of these threads.

Provide some current data rather than indirectly repeating the urban myth of the "Overdue' and you might be taken seriously.
  cmjl Station Master

Location: Adelaide
Vinelander asked...

1. At this time of year what Friday patronage can be expected on the train? I'll travel economy.
2. If I purchase my ticket online do I still need to present myself no less than 1 hour before departure?
3. Does it normally run to time?
4. Can I choose my seat or do I just have to take pot-luck? Are there better viewing seats than others?
vinelander

Not sure in general, but I took the Overland ADL to MEL at the end of June, and my experience was as follows:

1 - 2 * Red Service carriages, one was fairly full when left ADL, the other half-filled thru country VIC as 30+ people boarded.  2 * Red premium carriages, which were fairly full when they left ADL but a group had booked one of them out.
2 - According to the GSR site, yes, but I saw people checking in 20 minutes before departure.  6:45 am check-in is a joke.
3 - The service I was on rang bang-on time.  Speaking with the train host though, the previous service that she had hosted ran to time to Geelong but then lost 40 minutes getting to Spencer Street (sorry - can't bring myself to call it Southern Cross).  She told me that arrival times are extremely variable (sorry if that is too anecdotal), so if you are making a connection be sure to leave extra time to do so.
4 - I booked 2 seats via phone and asked for a window view on the LHS side of the carriage.  Got them AOK from the helpful service agent.

All up it was a very relaxing journey, with loads of room to move around.  The seats in Red standard were comfortable and the track condition was excellent - smooth all the wayfrom ADL to Ararat when it became a bit more of a rocking ride.  Smooth enough that I had no problems with the thermoses of tea that I took along with me.

Had to suffer the VLine rail to Ballarat then bus to Adelaide on the return journey - nowhere near as nice as the journey over.

If GSR/whoever do cancel The Overland at the end of the year then it will be a sad day, but one that cannot be unexpected.  Having first used The Overland in 1988 on the overnight service, when 12+ carriages were not uncommon, it's a shadow of its former self.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
That sums up beautifully the level of knowledge and debate on so many of these threads.

Provide some current data rather than indirectly repeating the urban myth of the "Overdue' and you might be taken seriously.
bingley hall
If I was sure what I was saying was true then I would have stated it as such and the first five words of that sentence would be missing.

BTW it seems that GSR does not publish such data.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
At the times when I've caught it in the past (admittedly not for a couple of years) the lateness was due to 'congestion' when approaching Melbourne or Adelaide; usually not more than 20 minutes behind schedule anyway. Although on one occasion I distinctly recall being 45 minutes early into Melbourne because the service had been 'cleared by the controllers ahead of other traffic' according to an announcement from the conductor.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Had to suffer the VLine rail to Ballarat then bus to Adelaide on the return journey - nowhere near as nice as the journey over.
cmjl
Did you have to change buses at Horsham for the Daylink from Bendigo? If so, did you have to wait long at the interchange? Just curious.
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

I've really appreciated the feedback everyone. Thankyou.
Perhaps the new RRL means that there is a path into Melbourne that keeps it on time?  Love the idea of it being early!!
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Perhaps the new RRL means that there is a path into Melbourne that keeps it on time?  Love the idea of it being early!!
vinelander
RRL is the wrong rail gauge - it's broad gauge, the Overland is standard gauge.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I've really appreciated the feedback everyone. Thankyou.
Perhaps the new RRL means that there is a path into Melbourne that keeps it on time?  Love the idea of it being early!!
vinelander
Being allowed to run early is a detriment as well - they are permitted to depart from intermediate stops early, whether passengers are there or not. If you board at an intermediate stop, it is prudent to follow that advice to be an hour early.

The last time my grandparents used it to return from North Shore (Geelong) to Adelaide (and it was the last time for this very reason) the train had such a good run from Melbourne that it arrived 33 minutes ahead. They were bundled onto the train by the GSR customer hosts stormtroopers as soon as the train arrived - and before my uncle finished dropping his daughter off at school and returned to see them off.

This is not something you would find on an intercity train in a first world country.
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

Standard gauge! Of course! Silly error on my part. For some reason I thought part of the metro journey was on dual gauge and under wires. Thanks for the correction.
  Epsilon2012 Station Master

Location: Adelaide, Australia
Hi All,

Looks like GSR is cutting Indian Pacific and Ghan services again this morning...

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-06/great-southern-rail-halves-services-the-ghan-indian-pacific/6676174

Amazing - didn't think it was possible to cut them back any more than twice a week, but only once a week...wow.

No word on the Overland yet either - I asked GSR on Facebook a while ago but got the usual answer that they are in negotiations with the government...

Combined with the other country freight rail line closures in SA announced this year we won't have much left to talk about soon here at this rate!

In the vein of the great Utopia TV show on the ABC, don't worry though - There was a Stage 2 (tm) re-announced road project media event, complete with shovels on South Road yesterday..for our politicians, it seems money for more roads for trucks are more important than maintaining freight rail in SA. Also sad.

Catcha,
Epsilon
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Last I heard, about 55% of I-P tickets were Federal-subsidised concession fares, so I can see why losing that subsidy would see the passenger numbers drop a fair bit.

If the numbers in the ABC article are correct, it does sound like GSR is an incredibly inefficient money hole. I don't blame the new management for trying to run it as a business.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Its a tourist train, not a communter train.  If the pax are not there, there is no point in running it 2pw.  As was said, it would probably be cheaper to subsidise a flight than the train in a lot of cases!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Its a tourist train, not a communter train.
jamesbushell.au
Exactly. Australia needs to start trimming back its welfare bill sooner rather than later, and handouts to middle-upper class tourist attractions seem like a better place to start than schools or hospitals.

As was said, it would probably be cheaper to subsidise a flight than the train in a lot of cases!
jamesbushell.au
In the case of the Overpriced, it was even worse - Adelaide-Melbourne flights are already available in the same price range as the GSR post-subsidy fares even without the SA Government subsidy being 'swapped' from GSR to the airlines!

I look forward to the day when another business - one much leaner and meaner than GSR - gives Adelaide-Melbourne passenger rail another shot using DEMUs instead of hiring loco haulage at bloated rates.
  cmjl Station Master

Location: Adelaide
Did you have to change buses at Horsham for the Daylink from Bendigo? If so, did you have to wait long at the interchange? Just curious.
don_dunstan
Yes, a 45 minute wait at Horsham for the Bendigo Daylink (V/Line/FireFly) bus service to pull in.  I think it was the allotted amount of time, and gave me a chance to wander around a bit and buy some lunch.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Yes, a 45 minute wait at Horsham for the Bendigo Daylink (V/Line/FireFly) bus service to pull in.  I think it was the allotted amount of time, and gave me a chance to wander around a bit and buy some lunch.
"cmjl"


Okay, thanks - Horsham is big enough that there's always bound to be several things open, even on weekends.

Interesting development about the other GSR services down to once-per-week permanently; would this mean the end for a large part of the rolling-stock now that it's not needed any longer.

Keswick terminal will be closed most of the time - the people who operate the cafe there will probably vacate I'd imagine now that it's down to four trains departing there a week. If the Overland goes then that will be two. I guess it's really the end for interstate rail travel, apart from international tourists and very wealthy retires for whom they now run this once-weekly cruise boat type thing.

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