Passenger Trains North of Armidale push for railway to reopen

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 08 Feb 2018 11:51
  ivahri Train Controller

The car & truck killed the railways... just like railways killed the Cobb & Co coaches...

It is called progress. Talking about Askin & Shirley says more about how some rail folk hold grudges for life than anything else. If Askin & Shirley had never been born someone else would have moved NSW with the times regardless...

I realise some here are closer to receiving the letter from the Queen than most but you may as well pee in a strong breeze... rail north of Armidale is as dead as Monty Python's parrot... the parrot has more life in it.



Richard

Sponsored advertisement

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Whilst we're thinking wishfully, extend the narrow gauge to Tenterfield to where it was supposed to go originally. Meet up there with the restored standard gauge from Armidale.

Just add some nation building slogans, a ppp campaign and we're good to go. Maybe. Or not. Probably not.

Sigh...
locojoe67

keep that foul gauge out of NSW thank you.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The car & truck killed the railways... just like railways killed the Cobb & Co coaches...

It is called progress. Talking about Askin & Shirley says more about how some rail folk hold grudges for life than anything else. If Askin & Shirley had never been born someone else would have moved NSW with the times regardless...

I realise some here are closer to receiving the letter from the Queen than most but you may as well pee in a strong breeze... rail north of Armidale is as dead as Monty Python's parrot... the parrot has more life in it.



Richard
ivahri
I don't hold grudges at all, what I look back on though very much in sorrow is the way a good system was destroyed by political ideologies, it didn't stop with Askin and Shirley but they provided a great foundation for those who followed.
  ivahri Train Controller

It wasn't a good system... we need to filter the fiction from the facts.

Fact 1. Most of the western world saw increased private car ownership, along with improved roads better suited for freight haulage direct to the customer door.

Fact 2. The NSW rail system was slow, badly engineered, badly run through decades of government & union interference. Over staffed, under capitalised.

Fact 3. Passengers were expected to travel in old, uncomfortable, slow rolling stock.


Fiction. Any claim that it was a good system.

Reminiscing is wonderful... but it isn't a substitute for honesty.

As I said... fact 1 and 2 were the prime reasons for its death. Askin & Shirley didn't invent the car & truck. Honestly, some of you rail romantics are like the deer in the proverbial headlights. You want to blame the truck that hits you, and not the fact that sometimes you just have to get out of the way & find somewhere else... That is the story of the line to Wallangarra... the freight is gone, the people are gone... and so has the train service.



Richard
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I would agree with ivahri except for the fact that the New England highway north of Tamworth and Armidale have not improved and the train corridor to glen innes is still mostly in tact. Our road toll has been going up recently and so maybe it is time to look at getting cars and coaches off the roads and re introducing a train service to glen innes.

Some line straightening here and there between sydney and broadmeadow could reduce the travel time 30 minutes on this section. I'm sure a niew alignment over the mountain between Murrurundi and Ardglen could chop 20 minutes of the journey time.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I would agree with ivahri except for the fact that the New England highway north of Tamworth and Armidale have not improved and the train corridor to glen innes is still mostly in tact. Our road toll has been going up recently and so maybe it is time to look at getting cars and coaches off the roads and re introducing a train service to glen innes.

Some line straightening here and there between sydney and broadmeadow could reduce the travel time 30 minutes on this section. I'm sure a niew alignment over the mountain between Murrurundi and Ardglen could chop 20 minutes of the journey time.
simstrain
Paid for how?
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No , I think that's too easy a cop out in the era that many of those lines were terminated .
Its very easy to think in 2018 that antiquated signalling systems/inadequate locomotives rolling stock etc  were the reasons to kill them . Obviously the governments of the day had no intentions of keeping them open and actively found ways to kick the legs out from under them .
Please don't try to tell us that both road and road vehicle technology hasn't come along in leaps and bounds since the 70s and 80s . It has for rail too as noted overseas but only government entities had the finances to make them happen and that was the last thing they wanted to do .

I am beginning to think that the greatest setback for rail in Australia was that we are a relatively young nation that started out with rudimentary labor intensive transport systems that never evolved fast enough to keep up with the times .
It was a different story in the US where most rail roads were private from the get go and they took advantage of every technological update as soon as it became available .
Dieselisation came quickly as I'm sure modern signalling systems did too , private companies are pretty good at managing staffing levels to their financial advantage .
Here the road freight industry was private and very much cost and efficiency driven . And of course there were a few "influential" people with ties to the road freight industry promoting better vastly more expensive roads - for the tax paying plebs - of course ...

The sabotage continues , justification to close the interstate rail corridors is harder to find . Wonder how the NSW North Coast line will fare post IR , can't see the Pacific Hwy suffering to any notable degree .
  ivahri Train Controller

I would agree with ivahri except for the fact that the New England highway north of Tamworth and Armidale have not improved and the train corridor to glen innes is still mostly in tact. Our road toll has been going up recently and so maybe it is time to look at getting cars and coaches off the roads and re introducing a train service to glen innes.

Some line straightening here and there between sydney and broadmeadow could reduce the travel time 30 minutes on this section. I'm sure a niew alignment over the mountain between Murrurundi and Ardglen could chop 20 minutes of the journey time.
simstrain
Firstly, the road toll is a fraction of what it once was despite a massive increase in population and car ownership. Any recent increase in the death toll is minute in percentage terms.

The highway north of Tamworth has improved significantly over the past 20-25 years. More importantly the north coast route has improved dramatically, so much so that many vehicles now choose that route. Either way, rail is not an option & never will be an option for most private travelers. Even if there were XPTs to Tenterfield 3 times a day people would not use them because the route is too slow. 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there will not beat the convenience of having the ability to move freely once you get to your destination at a time that suits the traveler.


Richard
  ivahri Train Controller

I would agree with ivahri except for the fact that the New England highway north of Tamworth and Armidale have not improved and the train corridor to glen innes is still mostly in tact. Our road toll has been going up recently and so maybe it is time to look at getting cars and coaches off the roads and re introducing a train service to glen innes.

Some line straightening here and there between sydney and broadmeadow could reduce the travel time 30 minutes on this section. I'm sure a niew alignment over the mountain between Murrurundi and Ardglen could chop 20 minutes of the journey time.
Paid for how?
theanimal
Not by tax payers... they don't want the money wasted on rail. They want better roads... If you held a poll "Given a choice of investment which would you prefer- rebuilding & re-engineering of the rail line to Tenterfield, or further improvement to the New England Hwy to the border?" The result would be a landslide...


Richard
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Wonder how the NSW North Coast line will fare post IR.
BDA
It will still be needed for freight and passenger services between Sydney, the North Coast and Brisbane.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I hope so too , but if rail freight is undercut on price and service enough to kill it can you see the line from Dungog north being kept open to run a few XPTs a day ?
The branch out of Casino didn't stay open for XPTs alone .
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
I hope so too , but if rail freight is undercut on price and service enough to kill it can you see the line from Dungog north being kept open to run a few XPTs a day ?
The branch out of Casino didn't stay open for XPTs alone .
BDA
In the eighties the North Coast Motorail was killing it with big numbers, the XPT killed it off with low capacity, tourists loved Byron and Bah fed off it.
Extension to Gle Innes could work if Government infrastructure was invested in and there was something to go to.
Its not as if the State Government was broke.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I hope so too , but if rail freight is undercut on price and service enough to kill it can you see the line from Dungog north being kept open to run a few XPTs a day ?
The branch out of Casino didn't stay open for XPTs alone .
In the eighties the North Coast Motorail was killing it with big numbers, the XPT killed it off with low capacity, tourists loved Byron and Bah fed off it.
Extension to Gle Innes could work if Government infrastructure was invested in and there was something to go to.
Its not as if the State Government was broke.
Junction box
My understanding is that the introduction of the XPT actually saw a increase in numbers, which was later impacted by discount airlines.

Regardless, retention of the North Coasl loco hauled service would have gone the same way similar services elsewhere and basically failed.

Back to Inland, the Inland will not kill off the North Coast line as there will still be most of the services today. The Inland is not being built to kill off the NCL, rather take freight from road..
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
RTT, have a look at what I have said in another reply above.

What you and many others have to understand is that there was a designed and planned project that was instigated by the Askin government following many industrial problems across the state in many areas. The late 60's had unprecedented upturn in traffic which brought out knives from media and rural groups as they could not get their business onto rail, and it was from long term users as well, and not just petty little groups either.

The steps were taken by him to rid the headship of the NSWGR and appoint someone to rationalise the system, words used was modernise it, something that has gone on for yonks since.  His wonderful appointment of Beechings hatchet mand Shirley was the result, same with his agenda that was set, withdraw steel carriages and get money to the government through scrap value, withdraw 4 wheel rolling stock, which was overdue but like the 60's restrictions on no new locomotive orders for withdrawn steam, it created huge problems.

For many it is hard to fathom and reasonings behind it, but believe me there was much to what went on, that people find hard to believe, but truth is more often than not stranger than fiction.  Few railwaymen of the time worked against the system few hated the actual job but it got to the point where a lot of dedicated people in many grades just had enough and as soon as they could retire with the super or the old 10 a penny scheme they did so.

Reality is that the traffic that was turned away turned the system into one that had made operating surpluses from freight revenue was changed into one that became a loss maker across all fields and divisions, when Askin was hit with the breach of the Railway in the late 60's, IIRC it was the 67/68 annual report, when the railways made and overall profit after tax, he was like a raging bull. the profit was not high but any profit made was supposed to go back into the system for the payment of expenses and maintenance, among other things.
a6et
I've read that post and many similar ones in the past by yourself on same topic.

I do not share your conspiracy theory because it doesn't stack up against national and global trends which were very similar.

While some of this maybe true, the reality is what happened was likely going to happen anyway. As I said look at Qld, they held onto their Lander's and local goods on some lines right up to 2010. This so called freight was northing more than local retail type which the railways used to carry and used to carry at a loss. As you said yourself, the local tables councils wanted to use rail for their freight, but for what? Culvets, gravel??? Even fuel across therail whole country is just about gone apart from 1-2 services. Livestock is carted in Qld, but only on very long runs and last I read about 15 years ago required as 80% subsidy, hence the cut backs.

Hence I strongly suspect the freight that was being pushed off rail or rejected was the goods that isn't carried today almost anywhere apart from maybe cross country long haul.

if we look at low labour cost India, a country over 2000km x 3000km, plenty of population, heavy rail density. Indian Railways doesn't even carry goods carried in Australia because they cannot make money out of it. They won't touch anything less than rake load and carted significant distance. This was the basis for ANR moderisation in the 70/80's to Tasrail, SA and other parts of their Network. QR and others since followed.

Remember when the Feds wanted the states to hand over all their freight and regional, but most refused because of the fear of loss of regional services and branch lines. It all eventually happened anyway.

BAck to the Tablelands. Arimdale rail head, local councils have pushed for turning it into a rail hub, after 20+ years nothing. because there is minimal viable freight on offer.
  a6et Minister for Railways

RTT, have a look at what I have said in another reply above.

What you and many others have to understand is that there was a designed and planned project that was instigated by the Askin government following many industrial problems across the state in many areas. The late 60's had unprecedented upturn in traffic which brought out knives from media and rural groups as they could not get their business onto rail, and it was from long term users as well, and not just petty little groups either.

The steps were taken by him to rid the headship of the NSWGR and appoint someone to rationalise the system, words used was modernise it, something that has gone on for yonks since.  His wonderful appointment of Beechings hatchet mand Shirley was the result, same with his agenda that was set, withdraw steel carriages and get money to the government through scrap value, withdraw 4 wheel rolling stock, which was overdue but like the 60's restrictions on no new locomotive orders for withdrawn steam, it created huge problems.

For many it is hard to fathom and reasonings behind it, but believe me there was much to what went on, that people find hard to believe, but truth is more often than not stranger than fiction.  Few railwaymen of the time worked against the system few hated the actual job but it got to the point where a lot of dedicated people in many grades just had enough and as soon as they could retire with the super or the old 10 a penny scheme they did so.

Reality is that the traffic that was turned away turned the system into one that had made operating surpluses from freight revenue was changed into one that became a loss maker across all fields and divisions, when Askin was hit with the breach of the Railway in the late 60's, IIRC it was the 67/68 annual report, when the railways made and overall profit after tax, he was like a raging bull. the profit was not high but any profit made was supposed to go back into the system for the payment of expenses and maintenance, among other things.
I've read that post and many similar ones in the past by yourself on same topic.

I do not share your conspiracy theory because it doesn't stack up against national and global trends which were very similar.

While some of this maybe true, the reality is what happened was likely going to happen anyway. As I said look at Qld, they held onto their Lander's and local goods on some lines right up to 2010. This so called freight was northing more than local retail type which the railways used to carry and used to carry at a loss. As you said yourself, the local tables councils wanted to use rail for their freight, but for what? Culvets, gravel??? Even fuel across therail whole country is just about gone apart from 1-2 services. Livestock is carted in Qld, but only on very long runs and last I read about 15 years ago required as 80% subsidy, hence the cut backs.

Hence I strongly suspect the freight that was being pushed off rail or rejected was the goods that isn't carried today almost anywhere apart from maybe cross country long haul.

if we look at low labour cost India, a country over 2000km x 3000km, plenty of population, heavy rail density. Indian Railways doesn't even carry goods carried in Australia because they cannot make money out of it. They won't touch anything less than rake load and carted significant distance. This was the basis for ANR moderisation in the 70/80's to Tasrail, SA and other parts of their Network. QR and others since followed.

Remember when the Feds wanted the states to hand over all their freight and regional, but most refused because of the fear of loss of regional services and branch lines. It all eventually happened anyway.

BAck to the Tablelands. Arimdale rail head, local councils have pushed for turning it into a rail hub, after 20+ years nothing. because there is minimal viable freight on offer.
RTT_Rules
Its easy to brush aside truth in regards to what took place as against what is fed outside the realm of reality.

I will leave that as my last comment on this, but I had the records of what I have said and sure they still exist owing to who I past them on to.

Plain and simple I have nothing to gain in what I have said, so I will let it die.
  ivahri Train Controller

I don't even understand what is so contentious about A6ET's claim...

The way I read it is that he is alleging that management was brought in to rationalise the railways. So what? Where is the scandal in that? They were losing money hand over fist running subsidised services that benefited few except for those employed in providing them? Am I supposed to burst into tears over that? Sorry, but good on them... The rest of society doesn't pay taxes so that a station master in remote NSW can water gardens & sell a ticket or two in a week, to hand a staff to the odd passing train pulling a single S truck of subsidised superphosphate... or paying for the fuel to run a rail motor from Tamworth to Barraba that takes 3-4 hours when a car can do it in under 2...

So they brought management in to kill that off... good on them. That is what the rest of the state wanted them to do. But if there wasn't cars and trucks in the first place that couldn't have happened.


Richard
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The rapidly changing fortunes of anything rail from the mid 50's to the mid 70's cannot be over estimated.

- Melbourne tramways went from positive to negative cash generator around 1970, rest of tram networks were closed
- Much of regional rail services and tram networks went from heavily used in the 50's to sparsely used in the 70's
- The Tasman Limited was retired in 1978 with some rolling stock not even 20 years old.
- 4 wheel wagons went from standard to retired and anything not converted to bogie was ultimately put on truck
- Had the coastal shipping not collapsed, we wouldn't even have the interstate network
- Moved away from being a General Carrier to a bulk carrier
- Up until the mid 60's the govt were not used to providing subsidies.

It may seem weird that railway stations were given a quota of seats, but what was the reason for it? In 1997 I booked a trip via phone on Brisbane XPT from Gosford 20min after the train left central. We  arrived 15min before the train to pick up tickets and the guy at the station made this big hoo har we left it too late and he wouldn't guarantee we would get on the train.

What however failed to occur was modernisation of the longer hauled routes and corridors and I suspect anything that was attempted was labeled anti-rail as it ultimately led to reduced workforce and eliminating the bulk of small freight and short haul freight. It would appear only ANR was ultimately looking at the longterm big picture and that was rake load, long haul,, heavy axle loads, no 4 wheel wagons and minor passenger traffic converted to a bus.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
It would appear only ANR was ultimately looking at the longterm big picture and that was rake load, long haul,, heavy axle loads, no 4 wheel wagons and minor passenger traffic converted to a bus.
RTT_Rules
ANR was already most of the way there, since it had huge distances to cover with very little freight generated/dropped off along the way.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I don't even understand what is so contentious about A6ET's claim...

The way I read it is that he is alleging that management was brought in to rationalise the railways. So what? Where is the scandal in that? They were losing money hand over fist running subsidised services that benefited few except for those employed in providing them? Am I supposed to burst into tears over that? Sorry, but good on them... The rest of society doesn't pay taxes so that a station master in remote NSW can water gardens & sell a ticket or two in a week, to hand a staff to the odd passing train pulling a single S truck of subsidised superphosphate... or paying for the fuel to run a rail motor from Tamworth to Barraba that takes 3-4 hours when a car can do it in under 2...

So they brought management in to kill that off... good on them. That is what the rest of the state wanted them to do. But if there wasn't cars and trucks in the first place that couldn't have happened.


Richard
ivahri
Really .
Hows about we close the Canberra Branch based on the fact that its lengthy poorly aligned and only used by a small number of trains a day .
Is this line cost effective ?
Does it pay for its upkeep ?
Can car bus truck plane get there faster than trains ?

If the answers are no no and yes then Joppa Jct should be straight railed according to you .
  ivahri Train Controller

I don't even understand what is so contentious about A6ET's claim...

The way I read it is that he is alleging that management was brought in to rationalise the railways. So what? Where is the scandal in that? They were losing money hand over fist running subsidised services that benefited few except for those employed in providing them? Am I supposed to burst into tears over that? Sorry, but good on them... The rest of society doesn't pay taxes so that a station master in remote NSW can water gardens & sell a ticket or two in a week, to hand a staff to the odd passing train pulling a single S truck of subsidised superphosphate... or paying for the fuel to run a rail motor from Tamworth to Barraba that takes 3-4 hours when a car can do it in under 2...

So they brought management in to kill that off... good on them. That is what the rest of the state wanted them to do. But if there wasn't cars and trucks in the first place that couldn't have happened.


Richard
Really .
Hows about we close the Canberra Branch based on the fact that its lengthy poorly aligned and only used by a small number of trains a day .
Is this line cost effective ?
Does it pay for its upkeep ?
Can car bus truck plane get there faster than trains ?

If the answers are no no and yes then Joppa Jct should be straight railed according to you .
BDA
Yes really.

You don't help your argument by citing a line that has been hanging by a string for years. Most people already drive to Canberra. Business people fly. Excellent cheap bus service...

Be careful what you wish for. It only survives because it still has 3 Explorers a day & a much larger population in Canberra & Queanbeyan compared to all of the towns between Tamworth & Tenterfield put together.


Richard
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't even understand what is so contentious about A6ET's claim...

The way I read it is that he is alleging that management was brought in to rationalise the railways. So what? Where is the scandal in that? They were losing money hand over fist running subsidised services that benefited few except for those employed in providing them? Am I supposed to burst into tears over that? Sorry, but good on them... The rest of society doesn't pay taxes so that a station master in remote NSW can water gardens & sell a ticket or two in a week, to hand a staff to the odd passing train pulling a single S truck of subsidised superphosphate... or paying for the fuel to run a rail motor from Tamworth to Barraba that takes 3-4 hours when a car can do it in under 2...

So they brought management in to kill that off... good on them. That is what the rest of the state wanted them to do. But if there wasn't cars and trucks in the first place that couldn't have happened.


Richard
Really .
Hows about we close the Canberra Branch based on the fact that its lengthy poorly aligned and only used by a small number of trains a day .
Is this line cost effective ?
Does it pay for its upkeep ?
Can car bus truck plane get there faster than trains ?

If the answers are no no and yes then Joppa Jct should be straight railed according to you .
Yes really.

You don't help your argument by citing a line that has been hanging by a string for years. Most people already drive to Canberra. Business people fly. Excellent cheap bus service...

Be careful what you wish for. It only survives because it still has 3 Explorers a day & a much larger population in Canberra & Queanbeyan compared to all of the towns between Tamworth & Tenterfield put together.


Richard
ivahri
I think its fair to say that the Muwillibah, Armidale and Canberra branches were all slotted for potential closure, Canberra was probably placed on hold while the fuel train was running, but speculation was riff when it stopped. However 3 x XPL's a day is better than 1. Also it now has the rubbish train on part of the line and I suspect this is staying for the longterm.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Not my wish just a relevant example .
  michaelgm Deputy Commissioner

To the point of discussion the line is closed north of  Armidale or Taworth. Short of a major coal deposit being deemed worthy of mining and railed to Newcastle the line will stop at the present stop blocks.


Short line operations have been tried here, NRR, LVR others perhaps. Reopening of closed lines, Lithgow-Mudgee an example. How did those eventuate?

Rocks and seeds, intermodal sea cans, are the future. Point to point operation. Even the ILR MELB-BRIS, is curious, will only by pass SYD.  Major Investment with SSFL and NSFL. Really worth the cost?

Passengers outside the Greater Sydney basin, are a PITA, expensive, and usually of little polical value.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

To the point of discussion the line is closed north of  Armidale or Taworth. Short of a major coal deposit being deemed worthy of mining and railed to Newcastle the line will stop at the present stop blocks.


Short line operations have been tried here, NRR, LVR others perhaps. Reopening of closed lines, Lithgow-Mudgee an example. How did those eventuate?

Rocks and seeds, intermodal sea cans, are the future. Point to point operation. Even the ILR MELB-BRIS, is curious, will only by pass SYD.  Major Investment with SSFL and NSFL. Really worth the cost?

Passengers outside the Greater Sydney basin, are a PITA, expensive, and usually of little polical value.
michaelgm

There is no NSFL. The NSFC is a series of projects to assist freight movement to the north of Sydney but is nothing to do with the ARTC like the SSFL or inland line projects are. It could be said that these improvements are to help the passenger network in case of a broken down freight train.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

You don't help your argument by citing a line that has been hanging by a string for years. Most people already drive to Canberra. Business people fly. Excellent cheap bus service...

Be careful what you wish for. It only survives because it still has 3 Explorers a day & a much larger population in Canberra & Queanbeyan compared to all of the towns between Tamworth & Tenterfield put together.
ivahri
I would say that the only reason the canberra branch still exists today is due to freight.   While nowadays it only has a handful of garbage trains a day, it wasn't that long ago were it had regular freight all the way to canberra.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

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