Show of support at Mildura passenger rail rally

 

News article: Show of support at Mildura passenger rail rally

PASSIONATE community members demanded action for a long-awaited commitment to the restoration of a passenger rail service in the region, arming themselves with signs and taking to Langtree Mall on Saturday.

  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

... Melbourne is 540km's away by road and so what sane person is going to want to travel to Melbourne just to shop. Only the insane would think of that these days when the internet is a much better choice. Hence why freight is needed and passenger rail is not.
simstrain
It's not at all unusual for residents of Sth Eastern regional Australia to travel hundreds of kilometres to the capital cities for shopping and/or entertainment.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

We were talking about hospitals and not shopping and it is obvious that the people in this area will spend money in Mildura for food but Melbourne is 540km's away by road and so what sane person is going to want to travel to Melbourne just to shop. Only the insane would think of that these days when the internet is a much better choice. Hence why freight is needed and passenger rail is not.
simstrain
Dear oh dear Sim's, really!

Have you ever stepped out of a Major Metro area for a few days to know what and why and when regional folk may choose to travel to the big smoke? You are right, its not to buy the weekly shopping and yes there is the growing use of the internet for some things.

A few things to consider that I have personally done
- Buy a car, its cheaper and more choice
- Shopping for items not available locally, if you are married to a female there should be not further discussion on this topic.
- Govt business
- Private business
- Event
- Football
- Cricket
- F1 GP
- holiday to the big smoke or part of longer trip.
- Medical
- Meeting people
The list goes on

Again lets not waste time arguing over why people in regional areas travel, just accept they do. Its their life!

Again, comparing Mildura to a number of other similar locations in Australia clearly demonstrates that should a daily service be on offer and this service takes less than 8h on a mostly day time service, then you will more than likely fill a 3 car set or more daily.

The argument over the cost of the necessary track upgrades would make this service non-viable is a completely separate issue, the fact is build it and they will use it and the reason they will use it is their own reason.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
A few things to consider that I have personally done
- Buy a car, its cheaper and more choice
RTT_Rules

Haha, usually when buying a car you trade one in, so unless the train has motorail wagons attached, it's not much use to you!
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

my answers are below in bold

A few things to consider that I have personally done
- Buy a car, its cheaper and more choice
Internet, drive old car or coach
- Shopping for items not available locally, if you are married to a female there should be not further discussion on this topic. Internet and delivered to the door and I'm not married and so I will keep arguing and your not going to be able to take a shopping trolley on the train and so you need a car and not a train
- Govt business
car, mail ,internet and telephone
- Private business
car, mail, internet and telephone
- Event
car, TV and Internet
- Football
car ,TV and Internet
- Cricket
car, TV and Internet
- F1 GP
car,TV and Internet
- holiday to the big smoke or part of longer trip.
car or plane
- Medical
car, plane, ambulance or emergency medical helicopter
- Meeting people
car, internet and the local pub or sporting club
The list goes on
so could my answers

Again lets not waste time arguing over why people in regional areas travel, just accept they do. Its their life!
They may but they certainly don't need a passenger train to do so.

Again, comparing Mildura to a number of other similar locations in Australia clearly demonstrates that should a daily service be on offer and this service takes less than 8h on a mostly day time service, then you will more than likely fill a 3 car set or more daily.
For what reason when there is a perfectly fine plane or coach that can do the same thing at no cost or a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer. I can guess what the immediate reply will be "but what if people don't like a plane or coach" well bad luck.

The argument over the cost of the necessary track upgrades would make this service non-viable is a completely separate issue, the fact is build it and they will use it and the reason they will use it is their own reason.
(Outside of the like of vinelander, no they won't. There is a reason they don't have trains any more and it is because they have been replaced by more efficient means.)

I have actually been to Mildura and guess how I got their. I got there by a car on my way through to Adelaide. I stayed at HAY overnight and had dinner in the local club and guess what I didn't here from them. The need for a single one of them to head to Sydney or Melbourne by train to do any of the things on your list. Do you know what they were doing? They were watching the footy on big screen TV's while drinking and conversing with other locals and a couple of outsiders from Sydney at the local club.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
A few things to consider that I have personally done
- Buy a car, its cheaper and more choice

Haha, usually when buying a car you trade one in, so unless the train has motorail wagons attached, it's not much use to you!
Graham4405
Have you ever actually bought or sold a car in a rural area? What did I say before? and at what age and condition do you think used car buyers are going to ask you to take it away.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thoughts from woodford om why people rural people travel.

It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.
Its also NOT uncommon to drive to a Rail station with a REAL good service (Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Seymour)
and catch a train, As a lot of rural drivers hate driving in Melbourne

Its effectively impossible to sell most 2nd hand items in rural Victoria, if one wishs to buy a 2nd hand item Melbourne is by far the best place. Of my last 3 vehicles all have been bought 2nd hand in Melbourne.

Mildura is big enough to have a good range of car dealerships, so most people will very likely do a trade in. Unless they wanted something a little out of the ordinary. Mildura no being big enough to have wide range of 2nd vehicles availbible at any one time.

Probably the biggest reason for travel to Melbourne is for specialist medical services. While its certain they have a wide range of visiting medical specialists, theres alwasy a great demand for there services, Most rural towns having an aging population. In My own case in June my doctor sugested a visit to heart specialist. Now a really excellent one did visit the practise once a month but an appointment was not availbible till Febuary 2019 8 months into the future. So travel down to Melbourne is the only option.

Another aspect of this is for sports medical doctors, these are EXTREMELY rare in Rural areas. So for any mechanical injury to ones limbs ( ligament damage and certain muscle conditions ones ONLY hope is Melbourne.

woodford
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
On the medical thing, from the few people I know, Adelaide, no ifs buts or maybes. Dunno if I'm short of a few appostrappphes or not , but Mikey might correct me. Excuse me, Tuesday night is pubnight.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Have you ever actually bought or sold a car in a rural area?
RTT_Rules
Yes to both. I have also bought and sold cars in a capital city whilst living in a rural area. I drove my old car to the city traded it in and drove the new car home. No public transport required. This is the point I was making.

Edit: I doubt the number of people living in Mildura that would catch a train to Melbourne to buy a car would justify a regular passenger rail service!
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.
woodford

As a "rural person" I have been known to drive road trips up to 10,000km or so.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.

As a "rural person" I have been known to drive road trips up to 10,000km or so.
Graham4405
A friend of a friend in Gladstone Qld finished building a Landcruiser Engine and other upgrades on a Friday, decided to "run it in" and test it by doing a return trip to Alice Springs. Drive out, had a counter meal and came back in a weekend. Others would do a return run to Brisbane and even Cairns to pick up something.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Have you ever actually bought or sold a car in a rural area?
Yes to both. I have also bought and sold cars in a capital city whilst living in a rural area. I drove my old car to the city traded it in and drove the new car home. No public transport required. This is the point I was making.

Edit: I doubt the number of people living in Mildura that would catch a train to Melbourne to buy a car would justify a regular passenger rail service!
Graham4405
Sorry Graham, I thought you were Sim's. Yes I know you are in Western Qld. Yes I've done both from Gladstone as well. But common practice by alot of people I knew was to sell locally, then go to Brisbane to buy ex lease. Utes and 4x4's especially tend to be far more expensive in rural areas. When looking for my first dual cab in 2008, we went to Rocky, $18-22,000 was buying us plain looking early 90's with 200k unregistered. Go to Brisbane and for $7k more in Brisbane we got ex lease top model dual cab with 75k on the clock. My father in law sold his aging Falcon ute 60km south of BRisbane to a guy from Rocky who drove down just for that and said he paid half the price.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Thoughts from woodford om why people rural people travel.

It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.
Its also NOT uncommon to drive to a Rail station with a REAL good service (Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton and Seymour)
and catch a train, As a lot of rural drivers hate driving in Melbourne

Its effectively impossible to sell most 2nd hand items in rural Victoria, if one wishs to buy a 2nd hand item Melbourne is by far the best place. Of my last 3 vehicles all have been bought 2nd hand in Melbourne.

Mildura is big enough to have a good range of car dealerships, so most people will very likely do a trade in. Unless they wanted something a little out of the ordinary. Mildura no being big enough to have wide range of 2nd vehicles availbible at any one time.

Probably the biggest reason for travel to Melbourne is for specialist medical services. While its certain they have a wide range of visiting medical specialists, theres alwasy a great demand for there services, Most rural towns having an aging population. In My own case in June my doctor sugested a visit to heart specialist. Now a really excellent one did visit the practise once a month but an appointment was not availbible till Febuary 2019 8 months into the future. So travel down to Melbourne is the only option.

Another aspect of this is for sports medical doctors, these are EXTREMELY rare in Rural areas. So for any mechanical injury to ones limbs ( ligament damage and certain muscle conditions ones ONLY hope is Melbourne.

woodford
woodford
Lived in Gladstone, Qld, hip surgery in BRrisbane, no waiting time by Hip and knee sports specialist. Rocky, I had a 3mth wait just to get an appointment.

Want to buy a 2ndd hand car from dealer, you need to be patient and wait sometimes months for the right car to come. Go to Brisbane and do the deal in a weekend.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
my answers are below in bold

A few things to consider that I have personally done
- Buy a car, its cheaper and more choice
Internet, drive old car or coach
- Shopping for items not available locally, if you are married to a female there should be not further discussion on this topic. Internet and delivered to the door and I'm not married and so I will keep arguing and your not going to be able to take a shopping trolley on the train and so you need a car and not a train
- Govt business
car, mail ,internet and telephone
- Private business
car, mail, internet and telephone
- Event
car, TV and Internet
- Football
car ,TV and Internet
- Cricket
car, TV and Internet
- F1 GP
car,TV and Internet
- holiday to the big smoke or part of longer trip.
car or plane
- Medical
car, plane, ambulance or emergency medical helicopter
- Meeting people
car, internet and the local pub or sporting club
The list goes on
so could my answers

Again lets not waste time arguing over why people in regional areas travel, just accept they do. Its their life!
They may but they certainly don't need a passenger train to do so.

Again, comparing Mildura to a number of other similar locations in Australia clearly demonstrates that should a daily service be on offer and this service takes less than 8h on a mostly day time service, then you will more than likely fill a 3 car set or more daily.
For what reason when there is a perfectly fine plane or coach that can do the same thing at no cost or a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer. I can guess what the immediate reply will be "but what if people don't like a plane or coach" well bad luck.

The argument over the cost of the necessary track upgrades would make this service non-viable is a completely separate issue, the fact is build it and they will use it and the reason they will use it is their own reason.
(Outside of the like of vinelander, no they won't. There is a reason they don't have trains any more and it is because they have been replaced by more efficient means.)

I have actually been to Mildura and guess how I got their. I got there by a car on my way through to Adelaide. I stayed at HAY overnight and had dinner in the local club and guess what I didn't here from them. The need for a single one of them to head to Sydney or Melbourne by train to do any of the things on your list. Do you know what they were doing? They were watching the footy on big screen TV's while drinking and conversing with other locals and a couple of outsiders from Sydney at the local club.
simstrain
Again your telling people in places you have never lived how to run their lives.

As I said there are a number of comparable cities with rail pax services, they seem to work.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.

As a "rural person" I have been known to drive road trips up to 10,000km or so.
A friend of a friend in Gladstone Qld finished building a Landcruiser Engine and other upgrades on a Friday, decided to "run it in" and test it by doing a return trip to Alice Springs. Drive out, had a counter meal and came back in a weekend. Others would do a return run to Brisbane and even Cairns to pick up something.
RTT_Rules
Ha, a friend who used to live in Karratha once drove to Perth for a pie (or was it a burger?) then drove back! A round trip of a little over 3000km, not quite as far as your fof. Someone I worked with here in Dalby drove to Cairns and back for a burger or something. Seems pretty common!
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
On the medical thing, from the few people I know, Adelaide, no ifs buts or maybes. Dunno if I'm short of a few appostrappphes or not , but Mikey might correct me. Excuse me, Tuesday night is pubnight.
wobert

Sorry for your inebriated condition... Shocked

Many retired/seniors people take V/Line just to Bendigo due to the excellent medical facilities there and if appointments are made with a bit of thought, it's usually possible to undertake a round trip in one day.

...this is pretty good actually seeing as it's an 800Km round trip Exclamation

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Many retired/seniors people take V/Line just to Bendigo due to the excellent medical facilities there and if appointments are made with a bit of thought, it's usually possible to undertake a round trip in one day.
The Vinelander

Dear me - they wouldn’t be able to do that on a train!
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Many people on here seem to be confirming exactly what I am saying RTT. No trains involved and people drive or know some people or pay a towing service to get it delivered. I know my cousin bought a car from an auction house in Sydney and then asked his mother and step father to drive it up to macksville. The train is not worth anything to regional communities other then to say that we have something that the city has as well. In regional NSW they are just token political statements that do nothing other then provide an extremely expensive pensioner excursion service.

So how about leaving the rail lines in regional parts of the country to the trains that make money and not cost money.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
It would be safe to say most rural people would have little hesitation in driving distances up around 300 kilometres.

As a "rural person" I have been known to drive road trips up to 10,000km or so.
A friend of a friend in Gladstone Qld finished building a Landcruiser Engine and other upgrades on a Friday, decided to "run it in" and test it by doing a return trip to Alice Springs. Drive out, had a counter meal and came back in a weekend. Others would do a return run to Brisbane and even Cairns to pick up something.
RTT_Rules
Thats a 24 hour drive (per google maps) - surely a long or 4 day weeknd Wink ?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Many people on here seem to be confirming exactly what I am saying RTT. No trains involved and people drive or know some people or pay a towing service to get it delivered. I know my cousin bought a car from an auction house in Sydney and then asked his mother and step father to drive it up to macksville. The train is not worth anything to regional communities other then to say that we have something that the city has as well. In regional NSW they are just token political statements that do nothing other then provide an extremely expensive pensioner excursion service.

So how about leaving the rail lines in regional parts of the country to the trains that make money and not cost money.
simstrain
You are questioning the entire philosophy of public transport vs. private transport.  Which trains or train lines make money?  They are all subsidised to one degree or another.
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
This discussion seems to have moved to “I know more than you about how country people travel”, rather than whether there’s a case for a passenger train to Mildura. The perway is there now, albeit SG.

There’s a simple solution to the business case question. Have the Mildura residents pre-pay for tickets to show their willingness to use it.

Let’s assume a daily v’locity is sought. At (say) 100 pax daily, the patronage would surely justify a train. So, 30,000 tickets pre-sold with a year’s validity should make the point. Put the money in a solicitor’s trust account, then demand the right to spend the money.

For a city the size of Mildura, surely that’s not so difficult? Money...mouth...simples!
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Many people on here seem to be confirming exactly what I am saying RTT. No trains involved and people drive or know some people or pay a towing service to get it delivered. I know my cousin bought a car from an auction house in Sydney and then asked his mother and step father to drive it up to macksville. The train is not worth anything to regional communities other then to say that we have something that the city has as well. In regional NSW they are just token political statements that do nothing other then provide an extremely expensive pensioner excursion service.

So how about leaving the rail lines in regional parts of the country to the trains that make money and not cost money.
simstrain
No they are not.

As stated before, what is the difference between Mildura, Kalgoorlie, NW NSW, Broken Hill, Rockhampton, Dubbo and Griffith services? Time and Distance is all within similar ball park and they all have airline options, some probably far more than Mildura.

You are mixing your arguments. You are trying to justify your position there should be no train because rural people don't need it and won't use it, which is a pile of crap and doesn't explain the above service usage to other locations that have good correlations to Mildura demographics and distance.

You have to remember why the Mildura service was cut in the first place! So was a number of other services in Vic, many of which have since returned on half decent track with modern rolling-stock and surprise, people actually use it!

As for costs. Its highly questionable if most of the lines mentioned above actually make money. In the case of Mildura, the govt obviously feels strongly enough the line and actually more than that, the entire NW will benefit by converting to SG, so there is obviously a rate of return that is acceptable to the govt.

The real issue that most are arguing is if the required upgrades for the passenger service to nearly 400km of track is worth the passenger numbers it will get? As I stated above, the comparison with Kal and others would seem to indicate a 6 day a week 3 car service would likely be patronised with a few cavets.

The existing train takes 2h 15min to travel 182 km to Maryborough. To travel a further 380km at an average speed of 80km/h would become a 7h journey or 8h at an average speed of 66km/h. Considering the travel times of the Rocky, NW NSW, Kal and Dubbo for the distances they travel, this should not be an issue, even if not desirable by our standards.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
"Sorry for your inebriated condition"
I was this morning.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
No they are not.
........
The real issue that most are arguing is if the required upgrades for the passenger service to nearly 400km of track is worth the passenger numbers it will get? As I stated above, the comparison with Kal and others would seem to indicate a 6 day a week 3 car service would likely be patronised with a few cavets.

The existing train takes 2h 15min to travel 182 km to Maryborough. To travel a further 380km at an average speed of 80km/h would become a 7h journey or 8h at an average speed of 66km/h. ...
RTT_Rules
There are a lot of suppositions in this thread, but not much hard facts.

SCS to Maryborough, on evening peak is actually 2:05, which includes a 5 minute change over at Ballarrat.
Why they can't just run straight thru escapes me. It would be a lot less annoying, and replicable multi times during the day.

We already have daily traffic between Mildura and Maryborough. Even without any upgrades, we (should) already know what is the current elapsed time and could judge what is/ is not acceptable.

Does anybody know the run time Mildura/Maryborough for the Fruity ?

cheers
John
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Many retired/seniors people take V/Line just to Bendigo due to the excellent medical facilities there and if appointments are made with a bit of thought, it's usually possible to undertake a round trip in one day.

Dear me - they wouldn’t be able to do that on a train!
potatoinmymouth

Why not Question

They could then attend the excellent medical facilities at Ballarat Exclamation

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

In my continuing quest to bring some actual evidence to this discussion I present the following.

Returning passenger rail to Bairnsdale, Ararat and Echuca cost $260,000/km, $130,000/km and $130,000/km respectively, in 2010 dollars of capital investment.1

Taking the upper figure and adjusting it to 2017 dollars gives $300,000/km, using the RBA inflation calculator.2 Admittedly this is not perfectly accurate as the CPI isn't used to adjust the cost of infrastructure, but it'll give us a ballpark.

Assuming the 390km of line between Maryborough and Mildura is to be used along the existing alignment, this gives an "acceptable" budget for the upgrade of $117 million. Anything above this would be out of alignment with comparable recent line re-openings.

The NorthWest Rail Alliance reckon the job could be done for $180 million.3 I have no reason to believe this is remotely accurate but it's the closest I could find to a credible costing from a project supporter.

Even if this figure is not being understated it is plainly over the odds compared to the routes frequently cited by Mildura train supporters as precedent.

Consider, also, that the benefits of the service are diminished compared to these other routes - as I and others have discussed at length above - and it is clear that the cost is very difficult to justify.

1. http://atrf.info/papers/2011/2011_Martin.pdf page 7

2. https://www.rba.gov.au/calculator/annualDecimal.html

3. http://www.milduraindependent.com/index.php/news/3840-mildura-to-maryborough-train-link-to-cost-just-over-180-million

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