For 3 services a week !
Oops sorry only 2 now.
There is no case for wasting public money to subsidize such a travesty of a service. The Overland should be terminated forthwith. For most of the journey the scenery is boring and the journey tediously slow.
I maintain, however, that if a real service were to be provided the patronage would come. Good as the bus services are, a rail car multiple unit could be both faster and very much safer.
Decent layback seating with leg room and head rests (as in almost all European trains) on daily overnight trains would be more than competitive. V-Line trains could run via the sizeable cities of Ballarat and Geelong from Platform 9 in Adelaide to and from Spencer Street via a modification of the Western Victorian standardisation scheme at present underway and a short standard gauge line from near the Gaol loop on the northern side of the electrified lines.
Future occurrences of the traffic chaos during the recent football semi finals, with the airways racking up their prices to exorbitant levels and dozens of carloads driving for long hours on single lane roads, will invite inevitable tragedies caused by driver fatigue, drug use or inattention.
I ask again. How much longer will Australian rail services be among the worst in the world? I have driven many times to and from Melbourne since there was only the winding Mount Barker Road via the Devil's Elbow and a single lane of bitumen in a macadamized road for many miles as soon as I passed into Victoria, and I also have very many times enjoyed the comfort of an overnight Overland service which we took for granted.
The potential patronage is there. Airways may be fast airport to airport, but they are uncomfortable for most passengers, with significant on-ground lengthy and quite costly access inconveniences. They are also subject to varying prices rather than having reasonable budgetable fares. Trains deliver their passengers to city centres and suburban and country transport hubs.
Provide the services and they will be used.