SA to keep Overland running

 
  Clarke Hudswell Junior Train Controller

I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.

And why is government money (sorry, our money) spent on rail called a 'subsidy', whereas money spent on roads is called an investment?

Sponsored advertisement

  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Long distance passenger trains have been dying a slow death in Australia for many decades. Governments are not willing to spend the necessary money to modernise and try and attract new users outside of the tourist market - that's just how it is.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Long distance passenger trains have been dying a slow death in Australia for many decades. Governments are not willing to spend the necessary money to modernise and try and attract new users outside of the tourist market - that's just how it is.
don_dunstan
But not how it should be!
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
There been a lot of talk of PN maybe testing/using 82 class locos on the Overland, will be interesting to see what eventuates.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Lots of adverts on my telly for GSR's Indian-Pacific and Ghan trains - but no mention of the Overland.
don_dunstan
Interestingly, I doubt GSR have ever produced a TV ad for the Overland, whereas their IP and Ghan ads have won awards!!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.

And why is government money (sorry, our money) spent on rail called a 'subsidy', whereas money spent on roads is called an investment?
Clarke Hudswell
Hobart has no rail service for over 35 years and Darwin and Perth are only connected by a hotel on wheels.

Re the Subsidy.
Name a number per passenger when the subsidy is now considered excessive and should be clamped or withdrawn?
I think you will find with the Overland is about how far do you go. The annual figure isn't that huge, but when you divide that by the number of shrinking passengers.........

Its a tough argument to say roads are subsidised, maybe for heavy vehicles, but the reality is they are part of modern living and exist, including freeways and city by-asses even in the most PT friendly countries.

Now is heavy road freight subsidised, that's another story.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Back to reality, does anybody know how to access times and fares as I would like to go over in February and the website denies it exists. Top marketing ploy, not.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I had no problem getting to the booking section but I noticed that some services in mid-Feb cost $139 for a Red Seat (one way) whereas the usual fare is $79. If AN had a wave of extra bookings for an event they'd put on extra carriages - not charge double.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Lots of adverts on my telly for GSR's Indian-Pacific and Ghan trains - but no mention of the Overland.
Interestingly, I doubt GSR have ever produced a TV ad for the Overland, whereas their IP and Ghan ads have won awards!!
Pressman
What would they advertise?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.

And why is government money (sorry, our money) spent on rail called a 'subsidy', whereas money spent on roads is called an investment?
Hobart has no rail service for over 35 years and Darwin and Perth are only connected by a hotel on wheels.

Re the Subsidy.
Name a number per passenger when the subsidy is now considered excessive and should be clamped or withdrawn?
I think you will find with the Overland is about how far do you go. The annual figure isn't that huge, but when you divide that by the number of shrinking passengers.........

Its a tough argument to say roads are subsidised, maybe for heavy vehicles, but the reality is they are part of modern living and exist, including freeways and city by-asses even in the most PT friendly countries.

Now is heavy road freight subsidised, that's another story.
RTT_Rules
excellent answer.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Lots of adverts on my telly for GSR's Indian-Pacific and Ghan trains - but no mention of the Overland.
Interestingly, I doubt GSR have ever produced a TV ad for the Overland, whereas their IP and Ghan ads have won awards!!
What would they advertise?
steam4ian
Exactly
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Back to reality, does anybody know how to access times and fares as I would like to go over in February and the website denies it exists. Top marketing ploy, not.
62440
Works fine for me ..........
Fares = http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/fares_and_timetables/fares/the_overland_fares_2015_2016/

Timetable = http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/fares_and_timetables/timetables/the_overland_timetables/
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I had no problem getting to the booking section but I noticed that some services in mid-Feb cost $139 for a Red Seat (one way) whereas the usual fare is $79. If AN had a wave of extra bookings for an event they'd put on extra carriages - not charge double.
don_dunstan
Don......... the web page shows fares for the period 1/4/15 to 30/6/16
$139 is the standard Adult Red service fare
$79 is the Ready Rail fare with conditions attached, like full payment when booking with NO changes permitted and NO cancellation refund

http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/fares_and_timetables/fares/the_overland_fares_2015_2016/

{Edited to include link}
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I had no problem getting to the booking section but I noticed that some services in mid-Feb cost $139 for a Red Seat (one way) whereas the usual fare is $79. If AN had a wave of extra bookings for an event they'd put on extra carriages - not charge double.
Don......... the web page shows fares for the period 1/4/15 to 30/6/16
$139 is the standard Adult Red service fare
$79 is the Ready Rail fare with conditions attached, like full payment when booking with NO changes permitted and NO cancellation refund

http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/fares_and_timetables/fares/the_overland_fares_2015_2016/

{Edited to include link}
Pressman
Okay thanks for clearing that up. The 'normal' fare is $139 each way... bargain.

Last time I drove my car to Adelaide and back the petrol was less than that in total and I got to have my car with me while I was there.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Well don, as for advertising, your probably the best thing they have got going for them, at the minute !  Laughing

If you played your cards, right you might qualify for some of that money, that is being poured into the service !

BigShunter.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Well don, as for advertising, your probably the best thing they have got going for them, at the minute !  Laughing

If you played your cards, right you might qualify for some of that money, that is being poured into the service !

BigShunter.
BigShunter
At the height of rail privatisation craziness in the UK you could start a train operating company at the drop of a hat, all you really needed was government approval and rolling-stock (and a business plan?). I don't think it's that easy in the UK any longer but it's interesting to wonder "what if".

If I was going to fund a substitute service it would probably be something along the lines discussed previously; standard gauge DMU's that meet the V/line trains at Ararat on a daily basis.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Clarke, what's the difference between a subsidy and an investment? It's complex but simply put:

If a government builds a road they have a road, it's there and it's real, and aside from a drunk rail buff with a grudge and a grader it's unlikely to disappear. Investments turn (hopefully) into assets.

When a government pays a private entity to run a train it has nothing except less money.

Or consider it like this, a mortgage payment is an investment in your property (asset).

A rent payment is a subsidy to someone else's asset.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
If a government builds a road they have a road, it's there and it's real,
When a government pays a private entity to run a train it has nothing except less money.
It's a rare pleasure for me to be able to agree whole-heartedlywith Aaron.

That is the crux of the matter. Either subsidise a real daily or overnight service or stop wasting taxpayers' money.

Don and I see eye to eye. Establish a direct Velocity standard gauge connection from Adelaide Station Platform 9 to Ararat with a connection to the existing broad gauge service to Spencer Street, with emphasis on the growing sporting (particularly AFL) and theatre commuter market. The wayside connections at major stations along the route – especially Ballarat in my own case – are not to be discounted.

The present costly 'cruise on wheels' should be abandoned forthwith. $139 from the passenger (more than double the bus competition fare) plus the subsidy to a private company which is interested only in its profits is an outrageous misuse of both private and public funds.

I have loved and used the Adelaide-Melbourne service since the Webb 500s thundered past my back fence in the early 30s, and I have frequently travelled by V-line train-bus connections, as well as occasionally the GSR train, but I would rather see it closed altogether than continue with the present situation.

Then when we can either fly or risk the drug/alcoholic/texting driver coming the other way. And most us here consider Australia to be a First World country.  Keep your eyes and minds open instead of heading for the nearest bar when you travel mateys. You may well be surprised!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
That is the crux of the matter. Either subsidise a real daily or overnight service or stop wasting taxpayers' money.

Don and I see eye to eye. Establish a direct Velocity standard gauge connection from Adelaide Station Platform 9 to Ararat with a connection to the existing broad gauge service to Spencer Street, with emphasis on the growing sporting (particularly AFL) and theatre commuter market. The wayside connections at major stations along the route – especially Ballarat in my own case – are not to be discounted.

The present costly 'cruise on wheels' should be abandoned forthwith. $139 from the passenger (more than double the bus competition fare) plus the subsidy to a private company which is interested only in its profits is an outrageous misuse of both private and public funds.
SAR526
It's nice that there's a scenic tourist train but it would be better to have a real alternative to driving or flying.

Each of those alternate options have their own painful connotations - when I was younger I used to think nothing of jumping into the car and driving eight hours with one stop. Now-days I get really tired with the concentration required after about four hours and either need to have a substantial rest of at least an hour half-way or swap for another driver.

Flying is not ideal because getting to and from the airports at either end isn't much fun and can add substantially to the cost of the airfare - Skybus is $36 return now but the airfares themselves can be as low as $50 each leg if you fly in the middle of the week.

But as articulated previously I HATE the process of booking in and waiting around at either end for a flight - hence my annoyance now that GSR are insisting on the same silly procedure for a train... anyway. The Adelaide Metro buses at the Adelaide Airport end are inexpensive but often get crowded - sometimes I prefer to rent a car for a trip of a few days duration but that's usually less than $100 including petrol.

Would I take the train? I guess if it was down to about 8 hours I would seriously consider it again; swapping at Ararat for a broad gauge Vlocity wouldn't worry me but they'd probably have to extend the canopy so you don't get wet when it's raining.

Then when we can either fly or risk the drug/alcoholic/texting driver coming the other way.
SAR 526

Fatigue apparently the biggest problem on that road, people falling asleep around the Kaniva/Bordertown mark. I take it really seriously but I think there's a lot of people not used to that long-distance driving at all who completely underestimate the requirements.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Unfortunately city to city rail in Australia is dead and has been for a long time. Its not really a commuter train, more a method for tourists or those who cannot fly.

I've always wanted to travel on the Overland, just for the experience. But twice a week at obscure times, what sort of joke is this?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
My German friend wanted to catch the Overland to Melbourne, instead I talked her into an Adelaide-Alice trip on the Ghan.

She said 'What about getting to Melbourne?' I said 'I'll fly you there from Alice hunni'.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
At least the last three return Overlands have been just 6 vehicles (including the power van), a very sad sight compared to its heyday...
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.
Clarke Hudswell
Even though I love rail travel and use it where appropriate, we really have to choose the appropriate form of travel, and just because we are discussing travel between two STATE capitals, doesn't mean that rail travel should be provided for the sake of providing rail travel.

Let's look at the Untied States, how many trains are there between Tallahassee (capital of Florida) and Montgomery (capital of Alabama), a distance of only 178 miles? Exactly ZERO! That's right, none, zilch, NADA. Plenty of other examples in the Untied States, and probably in other confederations as well

And in Australia, what about Perth and Melbourne, no service between those two capitals! Why do you feel the need for Adelaide and Melbourne to be connected by rail? You need a much better justification, apart from the fact that they are two state capitals!

Dave
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I don't understand some of the posters on this thread. I would be embarrassed to live in a country where there is no passenger rail service between 2 capital cities.
Let's look at the Untied States, how many trains are there between Tallahassee (capital of Florida) and Montgomery (capital of Alabama), a distance of only 178 miles? Exactly ZERO! That's right, none, zilch, NADA. Plenty of other examples in the Untied States, and probably in other confederations as well

And in Australia, what about Perth and Melbourne, no service between those two capitals! Why do you feel the need for Adelaide and Melbourne to be connected by rail? You need a much better justification, apart from the fact that they are two state capitals!

Dave
thadocta
I hope that your 'Doctorate' is in other than spelling and comparative statistics. While their status as capital cities, which are centres of government, business and industry, is important, their populations are the important criteria. Montgomery and Tallahassee have urban areas of less than a fifth of Adelaide's, let alone Melbourne's population. Melbourne and Adelaide have multiple ties in business, culture and sport. What similar ties do these small American backwaters have?

My question remains. What comparable adjacent cities in Europe haven't fast and frequent rail connections?

What makes Australia other than a third world country (and not just in the matter of a railway system that is nothing like as good as we had fifty years and more ago – think the NBN) and sinking further and further behind the advanced countries of the world by the day?

Oh, and Perth has two rail connections to Melbourne, even though they are poor and inconvenient ones. For a long time we had frequent comfortable air-conditioned trains, albeit slow and with gauge changes, an inconvenience which (so like much of what happens today) was the result of blinkered thinking.

Again I say to many here – do some travelling with your eyes and minds open, watch what can be seen daily on television and the net and learn, do some reading other than the sports pages, spend some time thinking, and then having done all of these things write something other than We're Australian. You can't expect us to do other than throwing a shrimp or two on the barbie.

It's a good bet that I have lived in the country of my birth for longer than any of you, and that my general education (gained when schools were efficient purveyors of knowledge) is far wider than that of most. I love Australia as much as any of you, but I am ashamed of how far we have sunk from having the best living standards in the world to being well behind in very many ways.

If you don't like what I have said in sheer exasperation, then console yourselves that you won't have many years to wait before getting rid of me, and you'll be able to lotus eat in peace.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
My question remains. What comparable adjacent cities in Europe haven't fast and frequent rail connections with no major population centres inbetween them?
SAR526
Edited for relevance

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.