GSR - The Overland Thread

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The Overland funded for another 3 years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-27/overland-deal-worth-1m-secures-jobs-for-adelaide/6730184

Mike.

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  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Well that's true regarding the Darwin extension & Overland declining since the late AN days Pressman. It's somewhat of a pity they no longer have streamlined locos on these services (CL's, AN's) that are much better to look at than the boring NR's, but I guess that's me being biased.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It's unlikely a streamlined loco is going to improve patronage.
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

I was on a fully booked Friday Overland to Melbourne 3 weeks ago.
Can someone tell me whether this was an anomaly or is the Friday service always popular?
Is the consist always 6 cars regardless, leading to GSR turning away passengers because the train is fully booked with no option to add a car within, say, 12 hrs?
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
It wouldn't be hard to book out such a short-formation train given it has to accommodate two classes plus the catering and luggage vehicles.  I'm not too sure if it would always book out or whether there might have been anything special in Melbourne bringing additional traffic but it proves a point that the service is used and could be enhanced if only GSR would do so.

The rolling stock is elderly even by Australian standards and I wonder how many of those vehicles usually to be seen idle at Keswick are actually available for traffic now.  They seem able to boost the IP / Ghan to 30-plus vehicles when needed and are not at all averse to using de-branded or mis-branded cars in the "wrong" trains when is suits them.

We (at Flinders Street station) receive a steady trickle of enquiries about trains to Adelaide even now in mid winter and mostly from backpackers and other apparently budget travellers.  Yes air is quicker and can be cheaper but these people want to see Australia at ground level.  I don't recall a week when I haven't directed someone to Southern Cross bound for the Overland - though not necessarily for Adelaide.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I was on a fully booked Friday Overland to Melbourne 3 weeks ago.
Can someone tell me whether this was an anomaly or is the Friday service always popular?
Is the consist always 6 cars regardless, leading to GSR turning away passengers because the train is fully booked with no option to add a car within, say, 12 hrs?
vinelander


Shhh Exclamation

You shouldn't mention the train ever has more than a few pax on board, that way the doom mongers and bean counters who post in these pages can remain aloof and continue to bang on about how under-patronised the train is and how travelling on it is akin to travelling to a death camp in WW2.

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It wouldn't be hard to book out such a short-formation train given it has to accommodate two classes plus the catering and luggage vehicles.  I'm not too sure if it would always book out or whether there might have been anything special in Melbourne bringing additional traffic but it proves a point that the service is used and could be enhanced if only GSR would do so.

The rolling stock is elderly even by Australian standards and I wonder how many of those vehicles usually to be seen idle at Keswick are actually available for traffic now.  They seem able to boost the IP / Ghan to 30-plus vehicles when needed and are not at all averse to using de-branded or mis-branded cars in the "wrong" trains when is suits them.

We (at Flinders Street station) receive a steady trickle of enquiries about trains to Adelaide even now in mid winter and mostly from backpackers and other apparently budget travellers.  Yes air is quicker and can be cheaper but these people want to see Australia at ground level.  I don't recall a week when I haven't directed someone to Southern Cross bound for the Overland - though not necessarily for Adelaide.
Gwiwer
The argument for loco hauled trains is that you are supposed to be able to just add cars (assuming available) as bookings progressively fill cars, limited by only the HP and cars available. Perhaps its a staff thing?

It would be a shame if GSR is turn away potential users if they are that inflexible. Surely the taxpayers who fund this are entitled to ensure GSR makes the trains as long as possible based on bookings to ensure no one is turned away and the service has a chance to run profitably or less of a loss.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The Overland funded for another 3 years.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-27/overland-deal-worth-1m-secures-jobs-for-adelaide/6730184

Mike.
The Vinelander
This was a re-announcement of the South Australian $1 million dollar funding; still no contribution from Victoria.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
Excuse my ignorance here but with the SA government funding would there be any merit in them asking for additional stops in SA eg Tailem Bend, Mount Lofty?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Excuse my ignorance here but with the SA government funding would there be any merit in them asking for additional stops in SA eg Tailem Bend, Mount Lofty?
GeoffreyHansen
Only if it was faster than the coach.
  Roadmaster Locomotive Driver

It wouldn't be hard to book out such a short-formation train given it has to accommodate two classes plus the catering and luggage vehicles.  I'm not too sure if it would always book out or whether there might have been anything special in Melbourne bringing additional traffic but it proves a point that the service is used and could be enhanced if only GSR would do so.

The rolling stock is elderly even by Australian standards and I wonder how many of those vehicles usually to be seen idle at Keswick are actually available for traffic now.  They seem able to boost the IP / Ghan to 30-plus vehicles when needed and are not at all averse to using de-branded or mis-branded cars in the "wrong" trains when is suits them.

We (at Flinders Street station) receive a steady trickle of enquiries about trains to Adelaide even now in mid winter and mostly from backpackers and other apparently budget travellers.  Yes air is quicker and can be cheaper but these people want to see Australia at ground level.  I don't recall a week when I haven't directed someone to Southern Cross bound for the Overland - though not necessarily for Adelaide.
The argument for loco hauled trains is that you are supposed to be able to just add cars (assuming available) as bookings progressively fill cars, limited by only the HP and cars available. Perhaps its a staff thing?

It would be a shame if GSR is turn away potential users if they are that inflexible. Surely the taxpayers who fund this are entitled to ensure GSR makes the trains as long as possible based on bookings to ensure no one is turned away and the service has a chance to run profitably or less of a loss.
RTT_Rules
A challenge for rail operators of old was that it was difficult/impossible to assess demand beyond the train's capacity once the train had sold out. No one actually counted the number of unsuccessful bookings. I am not sure if that is still the case but there must be software available that can count demand for seats that can't be sold because the train is already full.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
It wouldn't be hard to book out such a short-formation train given it has to accommodate two classes plus the catering and luggage vehicles.  I'm not too sure if it would always book out or whether there might have been anything special in Melbourne bringing additional traffic but it proves a point that the service is used and could be enhanced if only GSR would do so.

The rolling stock is elderly even by Australian standards and I wonder how many of those vehicles usually to be seen idle at Keswick are actually available for traffic now.  They seem able to boost the IP / Ghan to 30-plus vehicles when needed and are not at all averse to using de-branded or mis-branded cars in the "wrong" trains when is suits them.

We (at Flinders Street station) receive a steady trickle of enquiries about trains to Adelaide even now in mid winter and mostly from backpackers and other apparently budget travellers.  Yes air is quicker and can be cheaper but these people want to see Australia at ground level.  I don't recall a week when I haven't directed someone to Southern Cross bound for the Overland - though not necessarily for Adelaide.
The argument for loco hauled trains is that you are supposed to be able to just add cars (assuming available) as bookings progressively fill cars, limited by only the HP and cars available. Perhaps its a staff thing?

It would be a shame if GSR is turn away potential users if they are that inflexible. Surely the taxpayers who fund this are entitled to ensure GSR makes the trains as long as possible based on bookings to ensure no one is turned away and the service has a chance to run profitably or less of a loss.
A challenge for rail operators of old was that it was difficult/impossible to assess demand beyond the train's capacity once the train had sold out. No one actually counted the number of unsuccessful bookings. I am not sure if that is still the case but there must be software available that can count demand for seats that can't be sold because the train is already full.
Roadmaster
Im pretty sure I've heard of it existing on airline booking websites.  It tracks all queries made on their portals, including those ones where you make a booking to see if the airline flies from point A to point B.  It will therefore pick up the query you make that doesn't have a flight available for you.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Excuse my ignorance here but with the SA government funding would there be any merit in them asking for additional stops in SA eg Tailem Bend, Mount Lofty?
GeoffreyHansen
Murray Bridge is listed as a stopping place and GSR's website quotes fare for the Murray Bridge - Melbourne (and Vice Versa)
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Excuse my ignorance here but with the SA government funding would there be any merit in them asking for additional stops in SA eg Tailem Bend, Mount Lofty?
Murray Bridge is listed as a stopping place and GSR's website quotes fare for the Murray Bridge - Melbourne (and Vice Versa)
Pressman
They will also stop at Bordertown if passengers have booked - but if there are no passengers they will cruise straight through.

Aside from the handful of fares listed on the website, you can find a fare for any combination of stops by clicking the 'book now' button.

For example, Adelaide-MB has a Red Service fare of $45 - which I doubt would even cover the fuel cost of getting the train away from the Murray Bridge stop if you were the only passenger using that stop.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
....
For example, Adelaide-MB has a Red Service fare of $45 - which I doubt would even cover the fuel cost of getting the train away from the Murray Bridge stop if you were the only passenger using that stop.
justapassenger
Another reason why a consist hauled by a single NR is not acceptable for a regular passenger service.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Interesting TV ad from GSR was just on TV.  Was marketing early purchase deals the IP and the Gahn, didn't have the Overland though I don't think.
  9034 Train Controller

....
For example, Adelaide-MB has a Red Service fare of $45 - which I doubt would even cover the fuel cost of getting the train away from the Murray Bridge stop if you were the only passenger using that stop.
Another reason why a consist hauled by a single NR is not acceptable for a regular passenger service.
don_dunstan
Huh,  I don't follow,  If you are saying it should be double NR's,  the fuel cost over the entire trip would be more than a single NR, plus the cost of the extra NR.  If you are saying it should be an another type of  loco,  what loco would be cheaper to run than an NR given the standard consist?    How much does it cost to stop the Overland at a station other than the Terminus? and how could it be done in the most cost effective manner?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I think don_dunstan is referring to something more like a DMU or XPT-style push-pull setup to replace The Overland outright, not a replacement loco. NRs are designed to haul 1000m+ long intermodal freight trains long distances, not a stop-start passenger train that is a third of that length at the most.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I think don_dunstan is referring to something more like a DMU or XPT-style push-pull setup to replace The Overland outright, not a replacement loco. NRs are designed to haul 1000m+ long intermodal freight trains long distances, not a stop-start passenger train that is a third of that length at the most.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I think don_dunstan is referring to something more like a DMU or XPT-style push-pull setup to replace The Overland outright, not a replacement loco. NRs are designed to haul 1000m+ long intermodal freight trains long distances, not a stop-start passenger train that is a third of that length at the most.
LancedDendrite
Spot on. The problem with stopping the current NR-hauled Overland is the time that it takes to stop and re-start is a big drag on the (already unattractive) timetable.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Perhaps a BL, DL or AN should be used on the Overland. An NR is overkill for just 8 vehicles even though they are more fuel efficient. The AN's may have the same hp as an NR, but would be more suitable for passenger runs and are more streamlined.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Which operator will provide the motive power?
  ssaunders Train Controller

Perhaps a BL, DL or AN should be used on the Overland. An NR is overkill for just 8 vehicles even though they are more fuel efficient. The AN's may have the same hp as an NR, but would be more suitable for passenger runs and are more streamlined.
greasyrhys

It might be but NRs have the economy as you point out and also the reliability. GSR needs to use the most efficient locos they can get.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Which operator will provide the motive power?
Valvegear

Unknown isn't it at present who might get the job. It may also depend on the previous couple of posts topics of economy and reliability of motive power on offer.

ss
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Interesting TV ad from GSR was just on TV.  Was marketing early purchase deals the IP and the Gahn, didn't have the Overland though I don't think.
jamesbushell.au
Even in the last few years of GSR being run by Serco, the existence of the Overland was barely acknowledged in their TV, online and print campaigns.

This is likely to continue, with Allegro having made a few other moves to decisively place the I-P and Ghan as land cruises in the few months since they took over. Allegro are likely to make money from this approach of doing one thing well than Serco did with their attempt to be the Shane Watson of train operators - an 'all-rounder' which did a rather average job of being a transport service and a tourism experience but did neither well.

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