Blayney, Milthorpe, Orange daily service

 
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

Locals are petitioning for this service as an extension of the daily Bathurst run.

How could this work? Are there enough Endeavours/Explorers and XPTs to go around? Is this a return to the hook and pull scenario of a few years ago? Should the line to Bathurst be electrified to guarantee Bathurst it's daily services?

Should the proposed Orange services just get more rubber?

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  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Locals are petitioning for this service as an extension of the daily Bathurst run.

How could this work? Are there enough Endeavours/Explorers and XPTs to go around? Is this a return to the hook and pull scenario of a few years ago? Should the line to Bathurst be electrified to guarantee Bathurst it's daily services?

Should the proposed Orange services just get more rubber?
ANR
Would you consider spending billions to electrify to Bathurst a good business decision for 1 or 2 trains a day?
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-34316/

Here is the link to the story....

Anything is possible considering the spending frenzy by the NSW govt in recent times.

Bathurst and surrounds is a growing area, and city dwellers are moving further west to Bathurst and Orange.

Where would they find the extra trains?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Locals are petitioning for this service as an extension of the daily Bathurst run.

How could this work? Are there enough Endeavours/Explorers and XPTs to go around? Is this a return to the hook and pull scenario of a few years ago? Should the line to Bathurst be electrified to guarantee Bathurst it's daily services?

Should the proposed Orange services just get more rubber?
ANR
The XPT runs the Orange-Bathurst section in 75 minutes.

The Bathurst Bullet departs at 0546 so a passenger boarding at Orange would need be awake around 0400 to get the train to Sydney for a 0930 arrival.

By all reports the Bathurst Bullet is pretty popular as-is, so I can't see them extending it beyond Bathurst unless they make it an XPT-ish sized service. However, running another XPT from Dubbo in the wee hours in a mirror image of WT27/28 at present would seem to make sense...
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
 However, running another XPT from Dubbo in the wee hours in a mirror image of WT27/28 at present would seem to make sense...
KRviator

This is the problem with lots of the regional services - Eg, if you had a Wagga-Sydney service that left somewhere like 4am and returned maybe midnightish I beleive that a significant number of people would use it.
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Looking at existing travel times could come up with the following timetable (rounded times)

Down

Sydney       1730
Bathurst     2100
Orange       2215
Welllington  2330
Dubbo        2400

Up

Dubbo        0400
Wellington  0430
Orange       0530
Bathurst     0615
Sydney      1015

Allows for day return for many destinations with 7 hours in the city.

5915
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Error above in up timetable

Dubbo 0400
Wellington 0430
Orange 0530
Bathurst 0645
Sydney 1025
5915
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
A few comments
- I don't think there are anymore spare DMU's in NSW (open to correction)

- The Bathurst Bullet currently misses some of the smaller stations that the Dubbo XPT stops at.

- Extension of the O/H is NOT going to happen, it will remain DMU for years to come.

- With the new trains coming to NSW Regional in next few years, there will be scope to add more services, but really the DMU should be running a shuttle to/from Lithgow west, not a 2 car train feeding into sparked network.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
 However, running another XPT from Dubbo in the wee hours in a mirror image of WT27/28 at present would seem to make sense...

This is the problem with lots of the regional services - Eg, if you had a Wagga-Sydney service that left somewhere like 4am and returned maybe midnightish I beleive that a significant number of people would use it.
james.au
Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
I went to Millthorpe recently and offer two thoughts:

1. It’s a very small town. Out of (say) 1,000 residents, how many would want to go somewhere serviced by the train on any given day?

2. From my observation, it looked like the track had actually been moved away from the platform, so questionable whether you could actually board at the newly-refurbished (for other purposes unrelated to accepting rail passengers) station.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I went to Millthorpe recently and offer two thoughts:

1. It’s a very small town. Out of (say) 1,000 residents, how many would want to go somewhere serviced by the train on any given day?

2. From my observation, it looked like the track had actually been moved away from the platform, so questionable whether you could actually board at the newly-refurbished (for other purposes unrelated to accepting rail passengers) station.
SinickleBird
Used to live in Millthorpe (when the station was attended)

They are currently building an extension to the platform so that trains may resume stopping there - supposed to be functional by christmas I believe.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I went to Millthorpe recently and offer two thoughts:

1. It’s a very small town. Out of (say) 1,000 residents, how many would want to go somewhere serviced by the train on any given day?

2. From my observation, it looked like the track had actually been moved away from the platform, so questionable whether you could actually board at the newly-refurbished (for other purposes unrelated to accepting rail passengers) station.
SinickleBird
Millthorpe may be a small town, thing have you been there?   I have travelled through there on off since the 60's, and there has been a degree of growth of the towns size, but likely not enough to justify a huge PT service to the town. Those without cars, likely have a bus service to Blayney or Oge so easy to say that's al they need.

Taking that aside on my last trip through there around 4 years back on a weekend, I was very surprised at the number of people in the town, cars parked in the main through streets along with side ones. Much of the old historic side of the town especially the buildings have been done up and look magnificent, while others show signs of neglect.

Millthorpe has a mining history and attracts tourists, some may find a day trip to the town interesting or even stay a night, as such going out on the XPT spending whatever time and return in a day a fair option or stay the night and return the next day.

The main line was slewed away from the station as it used to have crossing loops there, memory is that the line was single from Blayney to Springhill, the crossing loop was no longer needed and main line straightened out from the platform.  It is not a huge deal to move the line across to the platform again, as enough room is on the Down end to move it across without any loss of speed for trains the same at the up end.

The platform itself and station is in excellent condition and part of a historical society rooms. My only complaint about it is that for some reason the terrible paint scheme that the old brick station has been painted in really takes away from its character. My me, I really hope that any extension to the platform for the stops is done in a manner that compliments the old formwork of the facing and copping, instead of a suspended concrete slab.

One of the things that CL or whatever they want to call the trains these days are very poor at these days is advertising country tours. The areas and history in towns along many lines in NSW could well be put in tours, spending a night or two in places like Bathurst, then to Blayney, Carcoar, across to Millthorpe and on the OGE. Using the XPT where possible and local buses and guides off train.  

Those types of tours used to be quite popular, not just with Australians but some overseas people as well as many love to see outside of cities.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I went to Millthorpe recently and offer two thoughts:

1. It’s a very small town. Out of (say) 1,000 residents, how many would want to go somewhere serviced by the train on any given day?

2. From my observation, it looked like the track had actually been moved away from the platform, so questionable whether you could actually board at the newly-refurbished (for other purposes unrelated to accepting rail passengers) station.
Millthorpe may be a small town, thing have you been there?   I have travelled through there on off since the 60's, and there has been a degree of growth of the towns size, but likely not enough to justify a huge PT service to the town. Those without cars, likely have a bus service to Blayney or Oge so easy to say that's al they need.

Taking that aside on my last trip through there around 4 years back on a weekend, I was very surprised at the number of people in the town, cars parked in the main through streets along with side ones. Much of the old historic side of the town especially the buildings have been done up and look magnificent, while others show signs of neglect.

Millthorpe has a mining history and attracts tourists, some may find a day trip to the town interesting or even stay a night, as such going out on the XPT spending whatever time and return in a day a fair option or stay the night and return the next day.

The main line was slewed away from the station as it used to have crossing loops there, memory is that the line was single from Blayney to Springhill, the crossing loop was no longer needed and main line straightened out from the platform.  It is not a huge deal to move the line across to the platform again, as enough room is on the Down end to move it across without any loss of speed for trains the same at the up end.

The platform itself and station is in excellent condition and part of a historical society rooms. My only complaint about it is that for some reason the terrible paint scheme that the old brick station has been painted in really takes away from its character. My me, I really hope that any extension to the platform for the stops is done in a manner that compliments the old formwork of the facing and copping, instead of a suspended concrete slab.

One of the things that CL or whatever they want to call the trains these days are very poor at these days is advertising country tours. The areas and history in towns along many lines in NSW could well be put in tours, spending a night or two in places like Bathurst, then to Blayney, Carcoar, across to Millthorpe and on the OGE. Using the XPT where possible and local buses and guides off train.  

Those types of tours used to be quite popular, not just with Australians but some overseas people as well as many love to see outside of cities.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
 However, running another XPT from Dubbo in the wee hours in a mirror image of WT27/28 at present would seem to make sense...

This is the problem with lots of the regional services - Eg, if you had a Wagga-Sydney service that left somewhere like 4am and returned maybe midnightish I beleive that a significant number of people would use it.
Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"
KRviator
Agreed.  But if you had a service that was better timed that was 100% utilised you would be making better use of those funds.  And at greater than 100%, you could start increasing the price to recover more costs.....
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

 However, running another XPT from Dubbo in the wee hours in a mirror image of WT27/28 at present would seem to make sense...

This is the problem with lots of the regional services - Eg, if you had a Wagga-Sydney service that left somewhere like 4am and returned maybe midnightish I beleive that a significant number of people would use it.
Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"
Agreed.  But if you had a service that was better timed that was 100% utilised you would be making better use of those funds. And at greater than 100%, you could start increasing the price to recover more costs.....
james.au
So you anticipate that people will be happy to stand for a 5 hour journey to Sydney?
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Millthorpe may be a small town, thing have you been there?   I have travelled through there on off since the 60's, and there has been a degree of growth of the towns size, but likely not enough to justify a huge PT service to the town. Those without cars, likely have a bus service to Blayney or Oge so easy to say that's al they need.

Taking that aside on my last trip through there around 4 years back on a weekend, I was very surprised at the number of people in the town, cars parked in the main through streets along with side ones. Much of the old historic side of the town especially the buildings have been done up and look magnificent, while others show signs of neglect.

Millthorpe has a mining history and attracts tourists, some may find a day trip to the town interesting or even stay a night, as such going out on the XPT spending whatever time and return in a day a fair option or stay the night and return the next day.

The main line was slewed away from the station as it used to have crossing loops there, memory is that the line was single from Blayney to Springhill, the crossing loop was no longer needed and main line straightened out from the platform.  It is not a huge deal to move the line across to the platform again, as enough room is on the Down end to move it across without any loss of speed for trains the same at the up end.

The platform itself and station is in excellent condition and part of a historical society rooms. My only complaint about it is that for some reason the terrible paint scheme that the old brick station has been painted in really takes away from its character. My me, I really hope that any extension to the platform for the stops is done in a manner that compliments the old formwork of the facing and copping, instead of a suspended concrete slab.

One of the things that CL or whatever they want to call the trains these days are very poor at these days is advertising country tours. The areas and history in towns along many lines in NSW could well be put in tours, spending a night or two in places like Bathurst, then to Blayney, Carcoar, across to Millthorpe and on the OGE. Using the XPT where possible and local buses and guides off train.  

Those types of tours used to be quite popular, not just with Australians but some overseas people as well as many love to see outside of cities.
a6et
The rise in the population of Millthorpe has been led by 2 things, it is now a commuter suburb for Orange and many people live round Millthorpe who are working at the Cadia mine.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"
KRviator

This is typical of the thinking that fortunately was dismissed some time in the late 20th Century. 'Operating costs' now have social connectivity, less cars on the road, induced travel and convenience for people with disabilities factored in which are hard to quantify on a raw cost basis.

Using Victoria as a model for intercity services as I'm sure Gladys' team is, the new thinking is build or provide it and they will come.

I well recall in these pages the discussion before the Bathurst bullet commenced operation that it would be too slow, uneconomic, the bus is faster etc...but guess what, even though it's a crappy train that's noisy and with hard seats, the locals and others between Lithgow and Bathurst have embraced it and it would be a very courageous decision by any government that tried to remove it.

Really the only direction this service can go is to expand when the new rolling stock is implemented

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"

Using Victoria as a model for intercity services as I'm sure Gladys' team is, the new thinking is build or provide it and they will come.
The Vinelander
Your Victorian "build it and they will come" claim is just as flawed here as it was in the Mildura context; the evidence doesn't exist for journey times >2 hours.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Millthorpe may be a small town, thing have you been there?   I have travelled through there on off since the 60's, and there has been a degree of growth of the towns size, but likely not enough to justify a huge PT service to the town. Those without cars, likely have a bus service to Blayney or Oge so easy to say that's al they need.

Taking that aside on my last trip through there around 4 years back on a weekend, I was very surprised at the number of people in the town, cars parked in the main through streets along with side ones. Much of the old historic side of the town especially the buildings have been done up and look magnificent, while others show signs of neglect.

Millthorpe has a mining history and attracts tourists, some may find a day trip to the town interesting or even stay a night, as such going out on the XPT spending whatever time and return in a day a fair option or stay the night and return the next day.

The main line was slewed away from the station as it used to have crossing loops there, memory is that the line was single from Blayney to Springhill, the crossing loop was no longer needed and main line straightened out from the platform.  It is not a huge deal to move the line across to the platform again, as enough room is on the Down end to move it across without any loss of speed for trains the same at the up end.

The platform itself and station is in excellent condition and part of a historical society rooms. My only complaint about it is that for some reason the terrible paint scheme that the old brick station has been painted in really takes away from its character. My me, I really hope that any extension to the platform for the stops is done in a manner that compliments the old formwork of the facing and copping, instead of a suspended concrete slab.

One of the things that CL or whatever they want to call the trains these days are very poor at these days is advertising country tours. The areas and history in towns along many lines in NSW could well be put in tours, spending a night or two in places like Bathurst, then to Blayney, Carcoar, across to Millthorpe and on the OGE. Using the XPT where possible and local buses and guides off train.  

Those types of tours used to be quite popular, not just with Australians but some overseas people as well as many love to see outside of cities.
The rise in the population of Millthorpe has been led by 2 things, it is now a commuter suburb for Orange and many people live round Millthorpe who are working at the Cadia mine.
theanimal
I did mention the mining history of the town and should have mentioned that it still is operating.

When I last went through Millthorpe it was on the return of a trip we did from Sydney - Cowra for the blossom festival, came back through Canowindra across to OGE via Cargo & Nashdale, I have to say I was staggered at how far out the city had grown in that direction, likewise as we headed back the next day through Millthorpe.

Yet when reflecting on how long it had been since my last venture on that road its hardly surprising.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Very likely true, but the sad reality is, even though it could be full to capacity, it isn't going to cover its' operating cost. Public transport rarely, if ever, does, in Australia at least... So it's easier (not as much planning, paperwork etc), cheaper (no new rollingstock, no extra paths) and faster for the Gumbyment to say "Well, they have a train service now that's only 55% utilised, why spend millions giving them a new one that there's no assurance of paying for itself?"

This is typical of the thinking that fortunately was dismissed some time in the late 20th Century. 'Operating costs' now have social connectivity, less cars on the road, induced travel and convenience for people with disabilities factored in which are hard to quantify on a raw cost basis.

Using Victoria as a model for intercity services as I'm sure Gladys' team is, the new thinking is build or provide it and they will come.

I well recall in these pages the discussion before the Bathurst bullet commenced operation that it would be too slow, uneconomic, the bus is faster etc...but guess what, even though it's a crappy train that's noisy and with hard seats, the locals and others between Lithgow and Bathurst have embraced it and it would be a very courageous decision by any government that tried to remove it.

Really the only direction this service can go is to expand when the new rolling stock is implemented

Mike.
The Vinelander
A lot of people who wanted the bullet and those who have come on board since its inception do so as while the bus to Lithgow is ok for many, the road from Bx to LGO is not the most pleasant one to travel on, likewise the traffic especially trucks, I have never seen anyone on those buses read papers let alone books, and few will really even doze. OTOH, rail is usually the complete opposite for the vast majority of people.

Trains are becoming more popular for travel as well, I travelled two XPT services the week leading up to the long weekend from Maitland to Sydney and then to Albury, at 0415 we left Maitland and the carriage was full, and the train booked out. At Central the MLBN train was full, no seat swaps were possible as it was fully booked through to Wagga Wagga, from there the carriage was more than 75% full.  Not all were pensioners either.  That was the case with the whole train as well.

In regard to the bullet, one can get on at BX and stay in a seat without change until you reach your destination, and be relatively sure there will be no real mishaps to delay things too much, compared to the prospects of being a bus and having to mix with the road traffic over the mountains and through to Sydney, same on return.

Biggest problem I understand is that the service if very much too popular and needs to be increased in size.  The idea of extending and starting the service from OGE or even Dubbo makes more sense owing to the numbers calling for it, the big problem is that it may be too popular for the governments acceptance.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Reports are that the new Crossing Loops at Georges Plains and Rydal are progressing well with the Points only at each end of the Loop installed.  
It will be interesting to see once both Loops are 'In Service' how that will affect the running of the Bathurst Bullet and the current Goods program along with any other services (Passenger) in the future?

Its my understanding the Loops will be able to 'Do Miracles' once in operation..................
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
They should join forces with that group that want to reintroduce passenger services on the Tottenham branch.
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
They should join forces with that group that want to reintroduce passenger services on the Tottenham branch.
bingley hall
Or the bloke who wants 'railmotors' (and a louvre van behind) on every branchline in NSW.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
They should join forces with that group that want to reintroduce passenger services on the Tottenham branch.
Or the bloke who wants 'railmotors' (and a louvre van behind) on every branchline in NSW.
SEMartin
Does the RRA have a NSW Chapter we dont know about????
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
They should join forces with that group that want to reintroduce passenger services on the Tottenham branch.
Or the bloke who wants 'railmotors' (and a louvre van behind) on every branchline in NSW.
Does the RRA have a NSW Chapter we dont know about????
james.au
His groups and his execrable newsletter is on Facebook, but I don't want to give this dipstick more attention than he already has.

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