SA to keep Overland running

 
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Won't be a huge loss (at least for SA), after all it'll be one less boring NR-hauled train...
What about the 82 class trials?
Donald
That ain't gonna happen with the Overland, the SA-based PN drivers don't want to drive anything else besides an NR/93 on long-distance runs.

I wonder, do PN charge more for higher-horsepower locos for use on GSR services? If so, then IMO it is madness that the latter continue to let heavy, overpowered NR/93's on such a short length train. But I bet GSR allow these locos on the Overland just to maximise comfort for the drivers/crews. Perhaps an EL should be tested on this train? Perfect loco weight & enough HP for the usual 6 carriages IMO. And that in turn would free up an extra NR/93 for other PN trains...

Just my two cents

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
No quoting of the whole post
What about these two ideas?

1. Did what they did with the The Ghan, a number of years ago, starting a Ghan consist as "The Alice" from Sydney, but this time from/to Melbourne, OR

2. Add the Overland carriages to The Ghan consist, & run the Overland carriages between Melbourne & Adelaide.

Both with the same Overland stops as now.

But if people and passengers are so concerned, you do have "public servants" (that are MEANT to serve) you can contact. The more letters these mps get, the MORE they may listen.

It was more suitable as an overnight train, as you need to leave your accommodation very early to get to Keswick for it to be day train.

Being a day train now, it doesn't connect with either The Ghan OR the Indian Pacific.

(okay okay - NOT PC Brigade, Parkland(s) - What's "park lands" about that station?)

Were more people travelling on it as an overnight train?

OR maybe a third option: What about say a V/Locity taking over?

By the way, is the official name the The Overland, or just the Overland, without the "The"?

(Slightly off, okay way off topic: Wans't The OverlandER in NZ also in danger of being extinct at one stage?)
Newcastle Express
1. The "Alice" was a service run by AN (Australian National) many years ago. At the time AN Passenger operations were based at Port Pirie. (The Alice never came to Adelaide) This was also before the line to Darwin was built.
The service was deemed by AN as a failure as it did not get good patronage, and subsequently terminated.

2. Around the same time AN experimented with extending one of the two weekly Ghan services (Adl - Alice Springs) to Melbourne. It was also deemed a failure by AN because it failed to get good patronage and the experiment was terminated.

Letter writing ...... well the SA gov has promised funding, this would not have happened if no one had been 'bugging' their MPs

Overnight v daytime ............. Once again AN experimented with a Daylight service in addition to the then existing overnight service in a bid to capture more patronage, and the daylight service seemed the most viable so the overnight service was dropped.

As to connections in Adelaide best consult (a) ARTC and see if there are better paths available and then (b) whoever owns Southern Cross about access to the SG platforms are more suitable times to suit better pathing.

V/Locity ............ Speak to the Victorian Gov (the ones not wishing to fund the existing service) about taking over the route.
Then they can spend a heap more dollars to have a few SG V/Locity's built
I'm sure GSR would gladly hand over the rights to operate the service (they never wanted it to start with!)

Adelaide Parklands Terminal is located at Keswick on the edge of the West Parklands of the city of Adelaide

Name ............ As per GSR's website their trains are named as follows:-
Indian Pacific .... The Ghan ... and The Overland


(As to across the ditch ....... I seem to remember that the Overlander was cancelled at one stage by the company that owned the NZ railways, only to be re-instated when the NZ Gov bought back the railways from the private operator)
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Won't be a huge loss (at least for SA), after all it'll be one less boring NR-hauled train...
What about the 82 class trials?
That ain't gonna happen with the Overland, the SA-based PN drivers don't want to drive anything else besides an NR/93 on long-distance runs.

I wonder, do PN charge more for higher-horsepower locos for use on GSR services? If so, then IMO it is madness that the latter continue to let heavy, overpowered NR/93's on such a short length train. But I bet GSR allow these locos on the Overland just to maximise comfort for the drivers/crews. Perhaps an EL should be tested on this train? Perfect loco weight & enough HP for the usual 6 carriages IMO. And that in turn would free up an extra NR/93 for other PN trains...

Just my two cents
greasyrhys
Strangely, PN don't bother catering to gunzels preferred lead loco desires (no idea why! Wink )

Their hock and pull contract with GSR wouldn't be loco class specific, unlike the IP and Ghan services which have branded locomotives preferenced (remember GSR's advertising still uses a photo shopped picture of a BL on the Overland)
Also I doubt the Hock & Pull contract has any mention of loco drivers' 'comfort' ....... and would GSR even care?

and .................. PN don't own any EL class locos do they?

Hands back one cent for change of your two cents worth
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Won't be a huge loss (at least for SA), after all it'll be one less boring NR-hauled train...
What about the 82 class trials?
That ain't gonna happen with the Overland, the SA-based PN drivers don't want to drive anything else besides an NR/93 on long-distance runs.

I wonder, do PN charge more for higher-horsepower locos for use on GSR services? If so, then IMO it is madness that the latter continue to let heavy, overpowered NR/93's on such a short length train. But I bet GSR allow these locos on the Overland just to maximise comfort for the drivers/crews. Perhaps an EL should be tested on this train? Perfect loco weight & enough HP for the usual 6 carriages IMO. And that in turn would free up an extra NR/93 for other PN trains...

Just my two cents
Strangely, PN don't bother catering to gunzels preferred lead loco desires (no idea why! Wink )

Their hock and pull contract with GSR wouldn't be loco class specific, unlike the IP and Ghan services which have branded locomotives preferenced (remember GSR's advertising still uses a photo shopped picture of a BL on the Overland)
Also I doubt the Hock & Pull contract has any mention of loco drivers' 'comfort' ....... and would GSR even care?

and .................. PN don't own any EL class locos do they?

Hands back one cent for change of your two cents worth
Pressman
PN don't own any EL's but they have leased them previously, albeit interstate. But still, it would be better & more efficient using a loco that's around 3,000hp to haul just 6-7 carriages from Melbourne & back, such as a BL, DL, G or 82.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

What about these two ideas?

1. Did what they did with the The Ghan, a number of years ago, starting a Ghan consist as "The Alice" from Sydney, but this time from/to Melbourne, OR

2. Add the Overland carriages to The Ghan consist, & run the Overland carriages between Melbourne & Adelaide.
1. The "Alice" was a service run by AN (Australian National) many years ago. At the time AN Passenger operations were based at Port Pirie. (The Alice never came to Adelaide) This was also before the line to Darwin was built.
The service was deemed by AN as a failure as it did not get good patronage, and subsequently terminated.

2. Around the same time AN experimented with extending one of the two weekly Ghan services (Adl - Alice Springs) to Melbourne. It was also deemed a failure by AN because it failed to get good patronage and the experiment was terminated.
Pressman
Extending The Ghan to Melbourne was also tried by GSR, and it tanked just as badly as the previous attempt by AN because the market for it did not materialise in the intervening time.

As a number of others have stated, I'm also in favour of SA co-funding a V/Line service which would run on minimal overheads (e.g. no on-board kitchen, just a vending machine or fridge) and only go as far as Ararat with a change to a connecting broad gauge train.

Their hock and pull contract with GSR wouldn't be loco class specific, unlike the IP and Ghan services which have branded locomotives preferenced (remember GSR's advertising still uses a photo shopped picture of a BL on the Overland)
Also I doubt the Hook & Pull contract has any mention of loco drivers' 'comfort' ....... and would GSR even care?
Pressman
And of course PN would be charging GSR a higher rate for the IP and Ghan to account for the inconvenience caused to their operations.

The non-specific contract for the Overland benefits everyone - GSR get cheaper rates, and PN get to use the Overland for positioning moves to/from the NR maintenance depot at Spotswood.

But if people and passengers are so concerned, you do have "public servants" (that are MEANT to serve) you can contact. The more letters these mps get, the MORE they may listen.
Newcastle Express
I have indeed written to my state MHA and the cross-bench MLCs, encouraging them to cut off this egregious corporate welfare or at least bring it down to a sensible level like $10 per seat filled.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Gentle persons.

The sad things here are that we are talking about the demise of what was once an important inter-colonial link, a mail train. It then became a prestige service and certainly a flagship for SA pride.

Even sadder IMHO are those who want it to remain purely so they can see their favourite diseasle on the front of a train. To bad about the service, or lack of it, and the cost.

As I have written before, perhaps it is time to give the Old Lady a decent burial.

Ian
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
And of course PN would be charging GSR a higher rate for the IP and Ghan to account for the inconvenience caused to their operations.
justapassenger
This kind of thing makes me wonder what would be the case if GSR had their own locomotives and did their own maintenance.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
.
This kind of thing makes me wonder what would be the case if GSR had their own locomotives and did their own maintenance.
railblogger
GSR buying their own loco's would be a massive undertaking, probably very hard to justify on up front capital costs for the amount of use they would get out of them.

Hiring loco's and crew off a nation wide rail freight operator makes more sense for loco availability and reliability (this all written up In a hire agreement contract)
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I don't believe that this history has any real parallel in Australia

...

One example of this is the interesting situation that a Senator from California, who  nominally represents some 20 million people, having essentially the same power (all other things being equal) as a Senator from Wyoming who nominally represents some 250,000 people.
SAR523
But that IS an exact parallel of the representation in the Austalian Senate, and for the same reason - even the election patterns are similar. The Senate is the State's house, there is equal representation of the States, not equal representation of the people - that's what the House of Representatives is for, proportional representation of the population.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

And of course PN would be charging GSR a higher rate for the IP and Ghan to account for the inconvenience caused to their operations.
This kind of thing makes me wonder what would be the case if GSR had their own locomotives and did their own maintenance.
railblogger
GSR don't even do their own maintenance on the rolling stock they do own, that's contracted out. Unlike V/Line or NSW Trainlink which operate a whole bunch of trains every single day, five return trips a week is not enough to justify GSR having their own maintenance crews.

If GSR had their own locos (more likely a long term lease, not ownership) the costs of having them would be higher, and they would still contract out the maintenance just as some freight operators do. The cost of having their own drivers would be the killer - you can't just have the correct number of drivers, you need to have spares at each depot to make sure one bloke on sick leave doesn't cancel a whole train. The larger the company, the lower the ratio of drivers sitting in the depot to drivers on trains.

If the Overland was replaced with a DMU/DEMU, I would bet on V/Line drivers being used for the Melbourne/Ararat to Dimboola, and one of the large freight companies being contracted to provide drivers for Dimboola to Adelaide.

GSR buying their own loco's would be a massive undertaking, probably very hard to justify on up front capital costs for the amount of use they would get out of them.
Nightfire
They would be leasing, not owning, their locos.

The low amount of usage and dependence on government welfare to keep going would make it hard to secure a deal to lease new-build locos with the capital paid by a finance company, but a decent rate for leasing from a company like CFCLA would be possible considering the low rate of wear and tear that would be incurred.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
But if people and passengers are so concerned, you do have "public servants" (that are MEANT to serve) you can contact. The more letters these mps get, the MORE they may listen.
Newcastle Express
Wow, it took you TWELVE goes to get that post right?

If 15 people write to 8 MPs across two states complaining about the loss of 'their' Overland it just means that 8 staff are going to have to document the correspondence and send 15 envelopes and 15 A4 sheets of paper to the recycling bin.

The Overland is dying (or even dead already) the public have already voted with their feet and dollars, MPs are not going to believe that the public are going to vote at the ballot box on it too.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The only MP I can find actively campaigning for the retention of the Overland is Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy - based in Horsham. She waxes lyrically here about the horrible mis-management that Labor have wrought on the rail services of the state of Victoria while conveniently forgetting that it was a LNP government that cancelled the Wimmera's rail services twenty-three years ago.

She describes the train as an essential public transport service for the Wimmera but I wonder if she's ever actually caught the Overland or could name the days on which it runs?
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
What about these two ideas?

1. Did what they did with the The Ghan, a number of years ago, starting a Ghan consist as "The Alice" from Sydney, but this time from/to Melbourne, OR

2. Add the Overland carriages to The Ghan consist, & run the Overland carriages between Melbourne & Adelaide.
1. The "Alice" was a service run by AN (Australian National) many years ago. At the time AN Passenger operations were based at Port Pirie. (The Alice never came to Adelaide) This was also before the line to Darwin was built.
The service was deemed by AN as a failure as it did not get good patronage, and subsequently terminated.

2. Around the same time AN experimented with extending one of the two weekly Ghan services (Adl - Alice Springs) to Melbourne. It was also deemed a failure by AN because it failed to get good patronage and the experiment was terminated.
Extending The Ghan to Melbourne was also tried by GSR, and it tanked just as badly as the previous attempt by AN because the market for it did not materialise in the intervening time.

As a number of others have stated, I'm also in favour of SA co-funding a V/Line service which would run on minimal overheads (e.g. no on-board kitchen, just a vending machine or fridge) and only go as far as Ararat with a change to a connecting broad gauge train.

Their hock and pull contract with GSR wouldn't be loco class specific, unlike the IP and Ghan services which have branded locomotives preferenced (remember GSR's advertising still uses a photo shopped picture of a BL on the Overland)
Also I doubt the Hook & Pull contract has any mention of loco drivers' 'comfort' ....... and would GSR even care?
And of course PN would be charging GSR a higher rate for the IP and Ghan to account for the inconvenience caused to their operations.

The non-specific contract for the Overland benefits everyone - GSR get cheaper rates, and PN get to use the Overland for positioning moves to/from the NR maintenance depot at Spotswood.

But if people and passengers are so concerned, you do have "public servants" (that are MEANT to serve) you can contact. The more letters these mps get, the MORE they may listen.
I have indeed written to my state MHA and the cross-bench MLCs, encouraging them to cut off this egregious corporate welfare or at least bring it down to a sensible level like $10 per seat filled.
justapassenger
Quite regularly for the past year or so PN have assigned the same NR/93 to the Overland for at least 3 return trips between the capitals, so I doubt that they still use this train for loco positioning moves.

Perhaps the latest Asciano talk could be an indication of a different company taking over the H&P for the Overland (& the others), maybe Bowmans Intermodal & EL's?

After all the EL's were built for passenger services whereas the NR's & 93's were not.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The ELs were bought by AN to do high speed running, but CFCLA re-geared them to run on coal drags so it's pretty much irrelevant now.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The ELs were bought by AN to do high speed running, but CFCLA re-geared them to run on coal drags so it's pretty much irrelevant now.
LancedDendrite
Really Shocked

Then what were they doing on Aurizon's 110km/h superfreighters on the DIRN in recent years?
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
I don't believe that this history has any real parallel in Australia

...

One example of this is the interesting situation that a Senator from California, who  nominally represents some 20 million people, having essentially the same power (all other things being equal) as a Senator from Wyoming who nominally represents some 250,000 people.
But that IS an exact parallel of the representation in the Austalian Senate, and for the same reason - even the election patterns are similar. The Senate is the State's house, there is equal representation of the States, not equal representation of the people - that's what the House of Representatives is for, proportional representation of the population.
Aaron
That was probably a poor example to use.  

My stated lack of parallel to Australia was with regards to the difference of population within and without the major cities.  Even in NSW, the most densely population state, I don't believe that Sydney has ever been below 70% of the state, and Melbourne has always contained the majority of Victoria.  And it's only recently (since the invention of air conditioning, i.e. a long time after the political arrangement was done and settled) that the population of the rest of QLD has exceeded that of Brisbane.  When a lot of the decisions that lead to US capitals being placed where they are (today: nowhere) were made, the US is still an agrarian or only just post-industrial society with much larger non-urban populations than exist today.

On the Senate side, IRRC, the Australian senate has 12 representatives from each state, which while it is still definitely not as representative as the house is still considerably more diluted than the 2 per state in the US.  Also IRRC, the Australian senate was modeled more on the US Senate than the Westminster (a lack of sufficient Lords might have been as problem as any more egalitarian goals).  And the US Senate was a compromise between the New England states, which while some were much larger than others, did not have anywhere near the disparity one finds between US states today.

Anyway, we should probably be having this yak over in the lounge Smile.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I have indeed written to my state MHA and the cross-bench MLCs, encouraging them to cut off this egregious corporate welfare or at least bring it down to a sensible level like $10 per seat filled.
justapassenger
The V/line subsidy is about $20-$22 per passenger per trip; as discussed earlier in this thread it's impossible to actually work out what the real level of subsidy per passenger is for the Overland because it's 'commercial in confidence' but it's somewhere in the vicinity of $150 each. Victorian Transport Minister Jacinta Allan is correct that the removal of the Commowealth pensioner subsidy will have some impact on the operating costs because higher prices will translate into few passengers buying seats.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
GSR dont even own the carriages anymore do they, as all their rollingstock is or was owned by another company most probably connected with SERCO I would imagine. This was done years back so not only do they have to hire or lease a loco or loco's they also have to lease the carriages as well. It seems that everyone has their hand  out for money running GSR trains these days.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
GSR dont even own the carriages anymore do they, as all their rollingstock is or was owned by another company most probably connected with SERCO I would imagine. This was done years back so not only do they have to hire or lease a loco or loco's they also have to lease the carriages as well. It seems that everyone has their hand  out for money running GSR trains these days.
David Peters
It's common business practice these days for many companies to lease their equipment.
You'd be surprised just how many do it and what few "assets" they actually own themselves.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

GSR dont even own the carriages anymore do they, as all their rollingstock is or was owned by another company most probably connected with SERCO I would imagine. This was done years back so not only do they have to hire or lease a loco or loco's they also have to lease the carriages as well. It seems that everyone has their hand  out for money running GSR trains these days.
David Peters
For most purposes of discussion*, paper leasing from a connected subsidiary is far closer to ownership than to a proper lease from an unconnected third party.

* i.e. we're not talking about liquidating a failed company, tax minimisation or insurance liabilities.
  62430 Chief Train Controller

Location: Metro Adelaide
ABC News have just reported an announcement by Jacinta Allen that Victoria will fund the Overland until 2018.

Alex C
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I would stick a coffee pot in front of the overland and turn it into a tourist train.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
ABC News have just reported an announcement by Jacinta Allen that Victoria will fund the Overland until 2018.

Alex C
62430

Only logical choice.  Well done!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

It's disappointing that the corporate welfare didn't get stopped this time, but a couple of years is a good temporary contract period during which a competitive tender could be run for an operator to receive a more rational level of subsidy the next time around.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Much bigger subsidy than I had imagined Shocked

The Andrews Labor Government has secured the future of the Overland rail service to Adelaide, despite the Federal Government slashing its contribution to the service.

Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, announced today that the Labor Government will invest $10.35 million to keep the service running until at least the end of 2018.

The Overland runs between Melbourne and Adelaide, and provides a vital transport link for communities in Western Victoria including Ararat, Stawell, Horsham, Nhill and Bordertown.

Currently the Overland is funded by the Victorian and South Australian Governments, with the Federal Government providing a subsidy for concessionary travel on the service.

Both the Victorian and South Australian Governments have now committed funding for the service until the end of 2018.
However, the Federal Government has announced it will not continue its funding for the service beyond 30 June this year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan

“The Andrews Labor Government is securing the future of rail services between Melbourne and Adelaide, despite the Federal Liberals and Nationals slashing their subsidy to the Overland.”

“Our more than $10 million investment will ensure trains keep running until at least the end of 2018.”

“Pressure is now on the Federal Liberal and National Government to explain why they have slashed funding to the Overland.”

“I call on the Liberals and Nationals to stand up for the people they represent and maintain funding for the Overland, which services regional centres in Western Victoria includingArarat, Horsham, Nhill and Bordertown.”

Quotes attributable to Great Southern Rail’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Tallent

“This is a fantastic result for Victorians and South Australians alike. We can now offer certainty about this important transport link for our passengers.”

Great Southern Rail will open new bookings for The Overland from today.”

http://http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/labor-invests-10-million-in-overland-and-calls-on-federal-government-to-maintain-funding/

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