What's going on with all the Canberra Xplorer cancellations?

 
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

I would presume they have found a serious problem with the xplorers and endeavours.   We forget that their is a near daily cancellation of southern highlands services due to mechanical failure.

The cancellations are probably trying to fix the problem.  The broken hill explorer a few weeks back completely stuffed itself along with the entire rail network west of emu plains.  (its odd seeing a dubbo xpt delay of 300 minutes).

I don't think think the regional rail network will be completely done with buses anytime in the future. If long distance buses were so great greyhound would be the biggest company in the  country.   We know that greyhound and Murray thrives where rail services are either useless or non existant. (townsville - mt isa, brisbane-toowoomba, canberra-sydney)
I would support sensible service increases of the regional rail network to get people to use it, because as it stands, many services have terrible timetables.

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  ANR Deputy Commissioner

This thread has appeared to fall off the radar, so I am bringing it back. Any updates on the reliability of the NSW Country train services?

Yes, the Exploders and XPTs have had little respite over the years, so what is the Baird government's take on this?

It is unlikely that we will ever see any straight stretch of track being invested in the coming years outside of Sydney, especially if we keep knocking back Chinese investment Rolling Eyes. Until it does happen, the current rolling stock will crap itself.

What about the X2000? Why not bring it back as an interim replacement to the XPT/Xpoilers (or whatever they're called these days)?

You could run an X2000 on a goat track, or through a cow paddock. This train did wonders for SJ. Why not introduce it here and shave a few minutes off an already long trip? Perhaps lease some surplus trains out of Sweden until the powers that be (whoever they are), work out how to run an effective and reliable long range pax train service? You could even get the Chinese to build new ones!

The reason why this has not become media beat up is because few people in Sydney are aware if the regional services are working or not. Sounds like the seat of Government needs to move from Sydney to Bourke (Idea). When a pax service cannot be run between the NSW state capital, and the national capital, the journos need to do their job and report it.

Sadly, many people coming to Sydney for health reasons may not be fit to fly the regional airlines. The only solution is to bundle them in a bus. Maybe there is an opportunity for say Uber - extra? Perhaps the long haul truckies can make additional income by retrofitting a small section of their livestock trailers with passenger seats. Heck, maybe they can run road trains....
  boromisa Junior Train Controller

Interestingly tomorrow is the Budget Estimates hearing for transport. It will be interesting to see whether there are any mentions of the XPT replacement.

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/DBAssets/InquiryEvent/Agenda/6964/2%20Transport%20and%20Infrastructure%20-%20Constance.pdf
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Looks like some foreigners don't understand that the nsw regional rail network is a complimentary service. The trains are only timetabled for political reasons and if an excuse can be had to move people by bus instead of rail then so will it be.

For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
  woodford Chief Commissioner



For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
simstrain

woodford, a mexican..............Wink

This is Railpage it would be fairly safe to say most people are interested rail. Its NOT a crime to be ignorant, its is a though a crime to voluntarily remain ignorant. Sometimes it is necesary to ask what to other people is a "stupid" question, treating such questions as stupid is also a crime. I have on the occasion ask such questions, as I have found it a good way to get people to open up who other wise would never post, a lot of good information has come by this method.

Bye the way, and I apologise inadvance for this, your last sentence shows you are ignorant of threads in the Victorian section of Railpage as electrifying Victoria's intercity lines has been "done to death", there being far more important things to worry about. Like increasing the capacity of the metro area in order so more time slots  can be on hand to handle the ever increasing traffic flow.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Interesting that on Saturday 27 August I saw the Griffith Explorer actually operating.  After arriving in Cootamundra (travelling south), the Explorer after having completed its station work shunted out from the platform road and then onto a yard track to allow the Melbourne bound XPT to overtake it.   I followed the XPT south to Junee and onto Harefield where the northbound Sydney XPT was in the loop for a cross.   It then headed to Junee to change crews and very shortly after the Griffith Xplorer arrived to do its changeover before heading out to Griffith.

Whilst very interesting from a railfan perspective it nonetheless highlights weaknesses in Trains NSW overall network and timetabling strategy.   Having a once weekly Xplorer service running very closely to the XPT especially when equipment is so tight and frequencies are so low is not really effective from a service perspective and of course the same applies to the weekly Broken Hill service running just ahead of the daily  Dubbo XPT.

In the scheme of things these services are not demand driven like Interurban services and if you are going to have a "regional passenger rail" network then you really should decide (as costly as this is) on an optimum service and network plan and then decide on the best fleet configuration to support that.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner



For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
woodford, a mexican..............Wink

This is Railpage it would be fairly safe to say most people are interested rail. Its NOT a crime to be ignorant, its is a though a crime to voluntarily remain ignorant. Sometimes it is necesary to ask what to other people is a "stupid" question, treating such questions as stupid is also a crime. I have on the occasion ask such questions, as I have found it a good way to get people to open up who other wise would never post, a lot of good information has come by this method.

Bye the way, and I apologise inadvance for this, your last sentence shows you are ignorant of threads in the Victorian section of Railpage as electrifying Victoria's intercity lines has been "done to death", there being far more important things to worry about. Like increasing the capacity of the metro area in order so more time slots  can be on hand to handle the ever increasing traffic flow.

woodford
woodford

I find it annoying that mexicans come on here and complain about a regional train service in NSW. If the train is cancelled they provide a coach service to replace it and normally the coach is a lot faster then the train. Trains in rural NSW have to run over some unique terrain which means they are always significantly slower then other forms of transport.

The only reason why 100% bustitution for regional rail in NSW hasn't fully taken over is the political ramifications for doing so. NSW trainlink regional continues to exist for political reasons only. The Bathurst bullet is one extreme example of this political train service.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner



For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
woodford, a mexican..............Wink

This is Railpage it would be fairly safe to say most people are interested rail. Its NOT a crime to be ignorant, its is a though a crime to voluntarily remain ignorant. Sometimes it is necesary to ask what to other people is a "stupid" question, treating such questions as stupid is also a crime. I have on the occasion ask such questions, as I have found it a good way to get people to open up who other wise would never post, a lot of good information has come by this method.

Bye the way, and I apologise inadvance for this, your last sentence shows you are ignorant of threads in the Victorian section of Railpage as electrifying Victoria's intercity lines has been "done to death", there being far more important things to worry about. Like increasing the capacity of the metro area in order so more time slots  can be on hand to handle the ever increasing traffic flow.

woodfordTrains in rural NSW have to run over some unique terrain which means they are always significantly slower then other forms of transport.

The only reason why 100% bustitution for regional rail in NSW hasn't fully taken over is the political ramifications for doing so. NSW trainlink regional continues to exist for political reasons only. The Bathurst bullet is one extreme example of this political train service.
simstrain
One reason trains haven't been overtaken by buses is because buses are only good for medium distance travel.   There is a reason why greyhound runs only a few buses a day along brisbane - sydney route.

Over long distance, the buses are slower than the train.   They have to go into the town at slow speeds, trains run at relatively high speeds through towns they stop at. (coffs harbour is a great example of this).  Due to the high rail speeds in some area's, some services like the moree explorer are faster than a bus anyway.

There is also the wanting to travel on steel wheels argument.  Steel wheels pretty much always gets more usage than a rubber tyre equivalent (i mean road, not rubber metro).


Some arguments exist for it being a political service. But they could turn these political runs into real transport solution, if they made the broken hill and griffith trains daily, with a small timetable change for the griffith run, they could do really well.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The reason why people aren't taking buses has nothing to do with trains. It is because there are plane services. Moree has a couple of services each day to Kingsford smith airport. Sure the ticket might be more expensive but you don't spend 8 and a half hours on a train or need to book a hotel. Fly into Sydney in the morning. Visit doctor, shopping etc and then return back in the evening.

As for train replacement services. If a replacement coach was needed for the moree train. Not all of the replacement coaches would be all stops either. One might be all stops with another one a limited stop service. One might only go to Newcastle while another would run to Sydney.

With the Indian Pacfic running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
With the Indian Pacfic (IP) running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.
simstrain

There are no sitting cars on the IP these days.

Mike.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

The reason why people aren't taking buses has nothing to do with trains. It is because there are plane services. Moree has a couple of services each day to Kingsford smith airport. Sure the ticket might be more expensive but you don't spend 8 and a half hours on a train or need to book a hotel. Fly into Sydney in the morning. Visit doctor, shopping etc and then return back in the evening.

As for train replacement services. If a replacement coach was needed for the moree train. Not all of the replacement coaches would be all stops either. One might be all stops with another one a limited stop service. One might only go to Newcastle while another would run to Sydney.

With the Indian Pacfic running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.
simstrain
One of the biggest reasons why buses are cheaper is because of less staff.  Having 2x the number of buses doubles the staff number.  The indian pacific is a luxury train, it is slow and expensive.  IP is limited to 115 at most, and thats only when it is running behind scheduled.   Broken hill - sydney via coach and XPT  is 16 hours, but via Xplorer it is 14 hours.   Which could easily go down to 12 with some small infrastructure improvements.  Going via the IP is 15 hours, but that is completely non-stop.

Buses generally run all stops along that route/road because it would be stupid not to.   Northern NSW is a bit different due to the shear number of people using the coaches.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

With the Indian Pacfic (IP) running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.

There are no sitting cars on the IP these days.

Mike.
The Vinelander
So. If you live 1200km's from Sydney then you should be prepared to pay for a train trip. From what I understand GSR aren't exactly complaining and are in fact finding efficiencies by not having to worry about the pensioner.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The reason why people aren't taking buses has nothing to do with trains. It is because there are plane services. Moree has a couple of services each day to Kingsford smith airport. Sure the ticket might be more expensive but you don't spend 8 and a half hours on a train or need to book a hotel. Fly into Sydney in the morning. Visit doctor, shopping etc and then return back in the evening.

As for train replacement services. If a replacement coach was needed for the moree train. Not all of the replacement coaches would be all stops either. One might be all stops with another one a limited stop service. One might only go to Newcastle while another would run to Sydney.

With the Indian Pacfic running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.
One of the biggest reasons why buses are cheaper is because of less staff.  Having 2x the number of buses doubles the staff number.  The indian pacific is a luxury train, it is slow and expensive.  IP is limited to 115 at most, and thats only when it is running behind scheduled.   Broken hill - sydney via coach and XPT  is 16 hours, but via Xplorer it is 14 hours.   Which could easily go down to 12 with some small infrastructure improvements.  Going via the IP is 15 hours, but that is completely non-stop.

Buses generally run all stops along that route/road because it would be stupid not to.   Northern NSW is a bit different due to the shear number of people using the coaches.
tazzer96

Big whoop. Why should the NSW taxpayer fund a train for a few people to broken hill. For the other 6 days of the week there is a coach from Dubbo. When you are talking about a 12 hour plus journey then what difference does it matter if it takes 12 hours or 15 hours. It is still a long time and the Indian pacific is a little more comfortable then an xplorer for such a journey.

The other reasons buses are cheaper
1. Buses are cheaper to buy. 1 train = 100 buses
2. No buffet car and therefore no food and drinks to store.
3. Less staff. Only 1 driver per bus. An Xplorer require staff for the buffet as well as the driver.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Looks like some foreigners don't understand that the nsw regional rail network is a complimentary service. The trains are only timetabled for political reasons and if an excuse can be had to move people by bus instead of rail then so will it be.

For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
simstrain
Perhaps the Baird Govt needs to consider building some new infrastructure at the southern end of the platform in Albury, like say for example, a great wall across the train tracks. Idea
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The reason why people aren't taking buses has nothing to do with trains. It is because there are plane services. Moree has a couple of services each day to Kingsford smith airport. Sure the ticket might be more expensive but you don't spend 8 and a half hours on a train or need to book a hotel. Fly into Sydney in the morning. Visit doctor, shopping etc and then return back in the evening.

As for train replacement services. If a replacement coach was needed for the moree train. Not all of the replacement coaches would be all stops either. One might be all stops with another one a limited stop service. One might only go to Newcastle while another would run to Sydney.

With the Indian Pacfic running. Why does NSW trainlink continue to run an xplorer to Broken Hill. Give it up and let GSR take those passengers.
One of the biggest reasons why buses are cheaper is because of less staff.  Having 2x the number of buses doubles the staff number.  The indian pacific is a luxury train, it is slow and expensive.  IP is limited to 115 at most, and thats only when it is running behind scheduled.   Broken hill - sydney via coach and XPT  is 16 hours, but via Xplorer it is 14 hours.   Which could easily go down to 12 with some small infrastructure improvements.  Going via the IP is 15 hours, but that is completely non-stop.

Buses generally run all stops along that route/road because it would be stupid not to.   Northern NSW is a bit different due to the shear number of people using the coaches.

Big whoop. Why should the NSW taxpayer fund a train for a few people to broken hill. For the other 6 days of the week there is a coach from Dubbo. When you are talking about a 12 hour plus journey then what difference does it matter if it takes 12 hours or 15 hours. It is still a long time and the Indian pacific is a little more comfortable then an xplorer for such a journey.

The other reasons buses are cheaper
1. Buses are cheaper to buy. 1 train = 100 buses
2. No buffet car and therefore no food and drinks to store.
3. Less staff. Only 1 driver per bus. An Xplorer require staff for the buffet as well as the driver.
simstrain

But alas I digress. Trains are great for moving large amounts of people. They aren't however that great for moving half a dozen people (if that) from an area 1200km's from it's destination.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Looks like some foreigners don't understand that the nsw regional rail network is a complimentary service. The trains are only timetabled for political reasons and if an excuse can be had to move people by bus instead of rail then so will it be.

For those of you south of the border complaining. Don't even think about comparing the NSW regional network to the Victorian network. NSW trains runs much longer distances then your service and the geelong, ballarat and bendigo trains should really be classified as intercity. Warrnambool is only 266km's from Melbourne. Moree is 666km's from Central. Broken Hill is 1200km's from Central.

If I was a Victorian I would be questioning why these services don't have wires over them and not trying to stir up issues in NSW.
Perhaps the Baird Govt needs to consider building some new infrastructure at the southern end of the platform in Albury, like say for example, a great wall across the train tracks. Idea
ANR

What are you talking about? If anybody is building a wall it is Victoria. After all these years of standarisation of the NE and vline only travels to Albury with carriages that are 60 years old and a loco.

Anyway as for the Canberra explorer. Cancellations happen and considering how few people actually use the train is it a big deal.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
tazzer96
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?
simstrain
Exactly, and there is no competing bus to Euabalong West, Ivanhoe, Darnick or Menindee. It is an important service that the Indian Pacific simply can't provide. There's good reason this train runs as three cars. What's this got to do with Canberra cancellations, anyway?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
What would the cost benefit analysis show if you used the money that is used to provide the Broken Hill service to subsidise air fares?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?
simstrain

I'd say it's unlikely they are alighting at Ivanhoe or Menindee.

Mike.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?
simstrain
The 2014 train statistics document.   From the Bureau of Transport statistics, which is part of TfNSW.  Nothing has happened that would drastically change these numbers in a matter of 2 years.

The document doesn't give exact patronage numbers of regional stations, but it does give a visual in which you can use to guestimate. (EDIT: It does give exact numbers for the overall service e.g sydney-casino xpt, canberra - sydney morning xpl)

Broken hill XPL is 20% more popular per service than the canberra XPL's.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?
The 2014 train statistics document.   From the Bureau of Transport statistics, which is part of TfNSW.  Nothing has happened that would drastically change these numbers in a matter of 2 years.

The document doesn't give exact patronage numbers of regional stations, but it does give a visual in which you can use to guestimate. (EDIT: It does give exact numbers for the overall service e.g sydney-casino xpt, canberra - sydney morning xpl)

Broken hill XPL is 20% more popular per service than the canberra XPL's.
tazzer96

But how many people are actually going to broken hill? I can't find how many people took a train to broken hill but I bet it isn't that many. Maybe you could elaborate a little more but just for your knowledge it is more likely that it is busy up till Orange.

What I do know is that 335,000 people flew to/from broken hill from statistics also on that website.

edit: I just found the document you talked about and I have found your error. Broken Hill has an orange dot which is coach ons and not train ons. In any case both of Canberra's dots are significantly larger then Broken Hill which has a sole orange dot.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Broken hill Xplorer averages 100 people per journey, which is in competition to the bus as well.
Not all that bad considering the weekly nature of it.
West of parkes it is very quick.
Where did you get these numbers for a start. I would suggest that most of that 100 isn't going the whole way to Broken Hill are they?

I'd say it's unlikely they are alighting at Ivanhoe or Menindee.

Mike.
The Vinelander

No, but there aren't that many going to broken hill either. Most of the traffic would be from Lithgow, Bathurst, Blayney and Orange.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

I know its not empty at broken hill, Most of the patronage seems to be coming from the stations between broken hill and orange.  Which is why you run a train, it's not about the end destination, but about the stops in the middle.   Inwards from orange is the slow part anyway, and closer to sydney.  
Judging from the curve diagrams, around 500km of the broken hill line is capable of 160km/h, with another 100km capable of 120-140 km/h for higher speed passenger trains. Less than 40km of that section is speed board for less than 110km/h.   Maybe when the XPT replacement comes in, use the current XPT's for a daily service to broken hill.  The extra speed and daily service would only increase the patronage.

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