Victorian Goldfields Railway (VGR) 2018

 
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
x31 - Try the link that BG posted - it worked for me.

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The team at the VGR do a remarkable job, it is great to see that their success has driven the need to expand.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I haven't had time to carefully read the Prospectus yet, but it certainly seems as though this a change forced by the VGR's successes to date. Good to see!
Valvegear
Valvegear (and others) it is true that the railway's success has led to this change but that is really only half the story.

When the CMRPS got going after the line was closed they envisioned that the railway would be a tourist attraction for Maldon - it was (and still is) a popular tourist destination and people would take the train from Maldon to the end of the line and return.

As more and more work was done the end of the line kept moving ever onwards until it reached Castlemaine after which over time more and more pax started their journey at CME rather than Maldon.

Now the best patronised are the (currently) 12.00 service CME > Maldon and the 14.45 Maldon > CME. The first service out of Maldon at 10.30 and the last service back to Maldon are nowhere near as busy. This results in a lot of empty seats on these services and full trains on the main 2 legs of the running day. It is quite a sight to see those 7 car trains full of people in the holidays but it is also a lost opportunity, if there were 2 return services per day from CME just imaging how many more people we could accommodate!

So the re-orientation project aims to capitalise on this by running services from CME to Maldon where most pax want to go. That way it is hoped that all services can be close to full instead of just the 2 in the middle of the day.

I wonder what those original members who had the courage and foresight to preserve and rebuild the little branch line would think of the VGR now, I hope they would be proud, but I do sometimes ask myself if they ever imagined it to be running out of Castlemaine rather than Maldon.

As always please remember that the above is my opinion only, i am just an ordinary member of the society and do not speak on it's behalf.

BG
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Having now read the Prospectus through, I can see exactly where the VGR management is coming from, and it makes very good commercial sense.
Thanks to BG for his comments which provide a good precis of the reasons for the proposed change. Bums on seats rules!
Well done to the group; I think it's fair to say that from humble beginnings we have seen the growth of a very good preservation organisation.
Will the Castlemaine base enhance the cooperattion between VGR and Steamrail? I would have to believe that it will, and I hope I'm around for long enough to see the A2 steam into Maldon.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I hope I'm around for long enough to see the A2 steam into Maldon.
Valvegear
Me too but it might be considered too heavy for the condition of the line these days like the T class (although a full track re-build seems to be the plan) and it would have to run Tender first one way as it wouldn't fit on the 53 footer at Maldon (the CME table on the other hand easily accommodates it for turning when it runs MEL > CME trips).

Would make a fine sight dragging a loaded train up the hill past the Ganger's shed into Maldon though!

BG
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
I hope I'm around for long enough to see the A2 steam into Maldon.
Valvegear
I don't think you will be; track quality isn't preventing that particular event from occurring. Rather, a much more expensive piece of infrastructure would need to be replaced to enable that to happen...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
An NR would be more likely. Very Happy
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
An NR would be more likely. Very Happy
YM-Mundrabilla
On my Beloved Gauge
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Getting away from fantasy NR Overland diversions via Maldon and back to VGR matters, another update to the VGR Mechanical blog this week shows more work on Y133.

https://vgrmechanical.wordpress.com/

A great job by the youngsters from the VGR's Young Volunteers Group.

Looks like the Civil boys have been busy as well, I am not sure if the references to increased speeds are related to the Service Re-orientation plan or just a co-incidence

https://vgrcivil.wordpress.com/

BG
  themetptc Junior Train Controller

Location: Ballarat
Getting away from fantasy NR Overland diversions via Maldon and back to VGR matters, another update to the VGR Mechanical blog this week shows more work on Y133.

https://vgrmechanical.wordpress.com/

A great job by the youngsters from the VGR's Young Volunteers Group.

Looks like the Civil boys have been busy as well, I am not sure if the references to increased speeds are related to the Service Re-orientation plan or just a co-incidence

https://vgrcivil.wordpress.com/

BG

Reading the mechanical report indicates that Y133 is no owned by VGR, is this true?  Would be good if it is, a Y class really suits their operations and always seemed missing in there loco pool requirements.
Sim
BrentonGolding
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Reading the mechanical report indicates that Y133 is no owned by VGR, is this true?  Would be good if it is, a Y class really suits their operations and always seemed missing in there loco pool requirements.
Sim
themetptc
Y133 is in fact owned by VicTrack Heritage

It is now allocated to the VGR I believe after many years being allocated to Seymour Railway Heritage Centre and on-loaned to the VGR

It is complicated as these things always are but T333 which the VGR owns is considered too heavy to run on the line ATM. Hopefully this will change in the future!

So yes, the Y class is very useful at the VGR especially during the Summer months when fire restrictions preclude the running of steam.

BG
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
A busy day at Maldon & Castlemaine today with Steamrail running their Maldon experience with R761 and R711 running to Bendigo, and K153 hauling 5 carriages to and from Castlemaine. On top of that, J549 was running a mixed goods service, both trains crossing paths at Muckleford. Great work from the volunteers from both the VGR and Steamrail.

  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Big news this week on funding for relocating locomotive operations to Castlemaine:
http://www.vgr.com.au/pressrelease-castlemaine-2018.php

"We are delighted to acknowledge the generosity of the Victorian Government, through Regional Development Victoria, in partnering with the VGR in this major initiative by providing a grant of $500,000 towards funding Stage 2 of our Castlemaine Redevelopment Project.

In achieving this we acknowledge the support of our local member Maree Edwards MP and the Minister for Regional Development, Hon. Jaala Pulford.

This significant grant along with our own resources will enable us to relocate our operating base from the current temporary site at Maldon to the historic but abandoned steam depot within the Castlemaine rail precinct."
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Yep, brilliant news, I saw a bit of the hoohaa going on at CME yesterday with K153, Tambo and Macedon running for the occasion.

The railway is at max capacity some days now, a couple of Wednesdays ago I was helping out in the booking office, we had a double header with 9 cars and north of 400 pax travelling on the 12.00 Down service to Maldon. With the change of direction there will be 2 real alternatives for pax to get out to Maldon, have a look around and get back instead of the current one as the plan is to run 3 return trips per day greatly increasing the options for passengers heading out that way.

By far and away the biggest pax loading these days is CME > Maldon not the other way around with many coming on V/Line trains from both Melbourne and Bendigo plus coach tours coming to CME, pax taking the train to Maldon for lunch and the coach picking them up in Maldon for the trip home.

BG
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
So very very happy for the railway.

What is likely to mean in terms of operational changes?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
So very very happy for the railway.

What is likely to mean in terms of operational changes?
bevans
All covered in this document accessible from the vgr homepage

http://www.vgr.com.au/Service%20Reorientation%20Project.pdf

3 services each normal running day (still to be Wed, Sun with Saturday running on School hols), aiming for 30 minute journey time arising from higher line speeds due to track upgrades.

Even if they don't get to 3 return services straight away a reversal will see pax able to take the 10.30 out of CME and have over 4 hours in Maldon instead of under 2 hours as it stands right now. Or they will be able to return straight away on the 11.45 back to CME or alternatively take the 14.30 out of CME and return on the 15.45.

Also enables short services to Muckleford and return from CME, possibly using the Railmotor, for those looking for something a little quicker.

Far more people want to travel from CME than the other way around so even if it is still 2 return initially it will see a rise in pax numbers. Currently the 15.45 (currently 16.00) train from CME back to Maldon is invariably almost empty.


BG
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I honestly believe the VGR is a true treasure of our state. The volunteers do a marvellous job and it is fantastic to see the government recognise that.

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