- The recent consistent rise in patronage is resulting in increased service frequencies.
- Upcoming upgrades to infrastructure are only providing capacity for more increases in service frequencies to match the aforementioned consistent rise in patronage
- The line via Geelong is to be standardised
- The lines North of Ballarat are being standardised
- Ballarat East Turntable has been booked out for years, this isn't likely to change any time soon, so there is nowhere to turn a steam locomotive
So with all of the above in play, and despite the fact that Ballarat is one of Victoria's more significant Railway towns, it seems likely that in the not too distant future, Ballarat will not be a viable option for Heritage tours for organisations like Steamrail.
I mean consider this:
This year saw Ballarat feature more predominantly than usually in Steamrail's calender.
1st was the Steam Spectacular which ran 3 steam locomotives.
2nd was the annual Ballarat Heritage weekend shuttles and related transfer trips between Newport and Ballarat.
3rd was the Farewell to Broadway Wycheproof trip.
None of the above trips will work once the currently funded works are complete and the line via Geelong is SG only, and the line via Bacchus Marsh is seeing a train every 30 minutes.
- There will not be any available paths during the day
- There will be nowhere to run to once you get there (no option to run shuttles, no further destination along BG track with enough capacity)
- There will not be anyway to turn a steam locomotive
So what do you all think? Please tell me I have it horribly wrong.