Horsham passenger rail: Wimmera leaders pleased with community support

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 29 Jun 2015 15:46
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This possibly doesn't quite fit here, but anyhow, give it the flick, if not.

A bit nostalgia from a couple of older codgers.

Murtoa's Peter Janetzki and John Kemfert reminisce about the days when Horsham had trains

MURTOA’S Peter Janetzki and John Kemfert were strong advocates for keeping passenger trains on the Horsham corridor 25 years ago.

Both men were members of the Wimmera Mallee Rail Association, which fought to keep passenger rail services in Horsham.

Mr Kemfert was the association’s chairman and also drove passenger trains in the region for about 30 years.



https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/5524582/murtoa-men-reminisce-about-the-days-when-horsham-had-trains/?cs=12

Friday's Wimmera MailTimes.

BigShunter.

Sponsored advertisement

  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
THE state government believes a $5-billion commitment to the Melbourne Airport Rail Link will lead to faster regional services from western Victoria.

The government announced on Sunday it would match the funding commitment the federal government made to the project in April – if it is re-elected in November.

Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the announcement would benefit people in Ararat and across the state’s west.

She said the Sunshine route would offer a faster journey to the airport than other proposed routes, because passengers would be able to connect to the airport at a new interchange at Sunshine.

“The planning work will continue but this could truly change the way people live and work in our part of the state,” she said.

The government estimates the rail link will cost between $8 billion and $13 billion.

Rail Projects Victoria is due to complete a full business case next year.

The state government plans to start rail link construction by the end of 2022 if it is re-elected.

https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/5540122/airport-rail-link-will-benefit-ararat-state-government/?cs=225


Also in the Wimmera MailTimes, running hot in the train dept, today.

BigShunter.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Well still tinkering away, in the Wimmera, is the public transport issue and with the election sneaking up, seems the transport situation, is right up there, with peoples thoughts.

Wimmera people have nominated their most important issues in the lead-up to this year’s state election.

A Fairfax Media survey in June and July gave residents across the region the chance to share their top priorities.

Public transport was also high on the priority list.

Two thirds of respondents disagreed with the statement that existing public transport links to Melbourne made it attractive for them to continue living in the Wimmera.

COMMUNITY LEADERS STATE THEIR POSITIONS

Horsham mayor Pam Clarke said the council was lobbying the Labor party to commit $4 million for a passenger rail business case, which the Coalition has committed to.

Northern Grampians Shire mayor Tony Driscoll; “Public transport is also a big-ticket item for us – including connectivity to Halls Gap

Yarriambiack Shire mayor Graeme Massey; “Public transport and getting passenger rail to Mildura and Horsham would be of benefit to our community. It's not at the top of the list, but we're very supportive.”

https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/5549947/top-priorities-for-the-wimmera-as-voted-by-you/?cs=225

Story and quotes cut from todays Wimmera MailTimes.

An interesting round up of peoples priorities, we will see what comes out in the wash.

BigShunter.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Well it's been quiet on this front, for a while, but another article, in todays Wimmera MailTimes, nothing new, an old summary of happenings in 1993 and a number of links to recent, story's.

Remember When: Meeting pushes rail changes moratorium, 1993

https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/5866719/remember-when-passenger-rail-changes-1993/?cs=2669

For those who may be interested.

BigShunter.
  Gavin J Junior Train Controller

Location: Stawell
Firstly excuse my sarcastic attitude but it almost matches the apathy on the subject.

It is almost 12 months since we had the infamous front page newspaper headline that we would get the train back
'tomorrow'.

I can remember it well, I was waiting for the Up steel train at Kiata when my neighbour rung me up to tell me
the good news.....gee I knew nothing of this.....with sceptism I looked up the Stawell Times News website, and
there was the news...

Then the Councils jumped in, the photo of the Horsham Mayoress kneeling down on the main running line at Horsham
station, touching the railhead ! (why ??) saying how wonderful it would be for Horsham.....yet it was only a
short time ago they had driven away the container traffic from the yard....and when the area resembled a
bombsite they complained it was an eyesore and wanted the railway diverted away from inside the township.

Our Stawell Council supported it, going on with the usual bleating about the tourism benefits, medical benefts,
old people benefits etc.

I was my usual sceptical, sarcastic, realist self.

Well 8 months later we had a State election....in the most marginal seat in the state, with the most marginal
result in the history of our state, after 4 recounts, it was exactly even, an exact dead heat, both parties
equal in votes, not 1 vote the difference (in the 5th recount the Libs won by 16 votes)

Ok, so how fortunate that we were in the most closely marginal seat in history, gee do you think we could have
asked our politicans for anything at all, the politicians could have promised anything to get the votes.
We didn't and they didn't.....no one seemed to care !

Neither party promised anything about the return of the passenger train, the Council never pushed on the
subject...yet a few months prior, we were told we would get our trains back 'tomorrow', and everyone in town got
briefly excited.

An easier rail related cause was the re-opening of the Stawell station waiting room, how damn simple is that !
at 0600 someone unlocks it and turns on the air conditioner and at 2130 they turn it off and lock the doors.
The taxi mob used to do it, then for some reason, they stopped.

So now, on a freezing cold winters morning, the passengers sit in the cold outside the closed air conditioned
waiting room...in summer they boil in the 40c heat.

What did our marginal seat politicans do...nothing....what did they promise...nothing.
Did the Council fight to get it reopened...no
Did the locals bombard Louise (Liberal) or Sarah (Labor) with complaints...no ?
Did the local newspaper run a "reopen Stawell station" campaign....no

Yet the election was a tie !

If only Sarah or Louise put their "vote for me" signs on or near the closed station, saying "if you vote for me
I will get your waiting room reopened".

Do you think the dozen odd people waiting for the bus in the hot/cold would not vote for the person/party who
promised to reopen the station....the election was a draw.....either party only needed ONE more vote to win, yet
neither candidate did anything to get that one vote.

It's not a million dollar project, it's a locked door, it doesn't even cost any money to do the job.

Yet no one seemed to care.

So Louise won on recount by only 16 votes.....what publicity for her to put on her hard hat now, have the Mayor
and the media attend at Stawell station as someone hands her 'the key', she turns it, and says,  "I now reopen
Stawell stations waiting room".....so simple, free publicity, costs nothing, good for the community.

Has that happened 2 months after we voted her back in...no.

No one cares !!

If the Politicans / Railways / Council can't get someone to just open a locked door, how are they going to bring
back the passenger train with Vline / ARTC / Vic track all fighting each other over how  they going to 'bring
back the train'.

So the recent article might raise a few locals to think...."oh weren't we meant to get the train back last year
?"
They then shrug their shoulders and continue with their life....before long the "30 years since we lost our
train" article will be written, people will show an interest for a brief time...then back to reality.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Tell ya what, Gavin J, interesting view of the situation, from your perspective and by the sound of it, quite pertinent points, however, have you sent that same letter to the local news paper and both pollies, mentioned ?

I reckon you may have written a similar transcript, on here somewhere, haven't you.

Or is that what your saying, you have and still F/A response or happening.

BigShunter.
  Gavin J Junior Train Controller

Location: Stawell
Thanks Big Shunter for the concern, and I agree with what you say.

Yes I wrote a similar prose on the lead up to the election about very little being promised for our town.

Yes I can be a hyprocrite,  expecting other people to do the complaining but not me, but I also believe in the
society 'pecking order'.

I'm at the bottom of the peck, I'm new to town, I'm a self funded retiree who keeps to himself.
There are a lot of people above me, who I believe should be doing the complaining in the right ear.
I do not use the Vline bus services or station.

It has been proven that my thoughts, wishes, complaints and even money mean nothing to the authorities in town.

Yes I've written to our local MP twice.
Yes I've written to the Council numerous times, and you are lucky to just get an acknowledgement from them, yet
alone any help.
Yes I've given my ideas to better the township, all ignored, I've even offered to invest in a Tourism venture in
town and that was ignored.
On actually seeing the Council to ask why my corresspondence was not even being acknowledged, I was told they
had received it...but....they did not want to discuss anything.

Written to Vicroads, promised a reply in 5 working days, waited 12 days and had to ask why they did not get back
to me.
Wrote to Ararat Council, received an acknowlegement and a promise of a reply in 3 days...never received it.

During the election it didn't seem right for little ol' me to write to Louise or Sarah and tell them how to do
their campaigns (although it still annoys me, even now, that neither put their posters at the station mentioning the waiting
room or trains....such easy votes for them, but they didn't think of it ?)

Not that I don't try, I'm just one of those people, who people seem to ignore !
It was exactly the same when I worked for the railways.

Thus during the election, there were 6000 people in town, the authorities, the movers and shakers who are on
committees and boards and teams.....I'm a no one.

The people who wait at the station should be complaining, the Council should be complaining on the ratepayers
behalf.

Even if Louise the MP was in town today, and I queried the unopened station, she would probably say that not one
other person in Stawell has complained about it.
That might be true, so why am I complaining...do I use the station, NO, so why am I complaining  on behalf of
6000 people, who themself don't complain.

Gee I could run for Council next election, and I could try and get things done for the town, but the town
doesn't seem to want anything done.

Thus everytime an article is written about how we the locals care so much....I like to point out that , that is
not really the case.

If anyone comes to Stawell and sits out in the 40c heat waiting for the bus, and they ask a local why the
waiting room is not open, maybe the answer will be "because that bloke on the corner house up there, did not
complain hard enough"
Oh, is he the Mayor ?  No
a Councillor ? No
an MP ? No
someone of importance in town   No !!!
no, he is a simple train crank, sitting making model train kits !

So why is it his fault that the station is closed or we don't have a train service ?
==================
Sorry if I sound bitter, back to the model railway kits !
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Hell, well I got an answer...........Shocked

Asked for it, again.

Not sure I have a response, to all that ! Something new....First time for a while......Razz...... How about volunteering to be the gate keeper, at the station, you identified a problem, offer to solve it for the patrons of V/Line, if you lead some, may follow, otherwise, stick to constructing ya model trains.

Best of luck.

BigShunter.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Firstly excuse my sarcastic attitude but it almost matches the apathy on the subject.


Well 8 months later we had a State election....in the most marginal seat in the state, with the most marginal
result in the history of our state, after 4 recounts, it was exactly even, an exact dead heat, both parties
equal in votes, not 1 vote the difference (in the 5th recount the Libs won by 16 votes)

Ok, so how fortunate that we were in the most closely marginal seat in history, gee do you think we could have
asked our politicans for anything at all, the politicians could have promised anything to get the votes.
We didn't and they didn't.....no one seemed to care !
Gavin J

The Opposition is a bit cheeky giving Louise Staley a Shadow minister role on such a disputed knife edge 'win'.

It may not be all over yet...

https://www.araratadvertiser.com.au/story/5865545/ripon-election-result-disputed/

Mike.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Well, not too sure, what to think of this effort, not sure if it will get the Govt's attention, but some will get a chuckle out of it.

Wimmera passenger rail campaign: Western Rail advocates re-enact Horsham's first passenger train arrival.

WESTERN rail advocates have re-enacted the arrival of Horsham’s first passenger train in an effort to grab the state government’s attention.

https://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/5886849/western-rail-advocates-get-creative-in-passenger-trains-quest-video/?cs=255

BigShunter.

the front bloke, is that wobert, must be dress up night, again, at the Netherby Pub.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Horsham would have decent patronage, extending it to Dimboola with long haul fleet would be wise. Would the Hamilton Line have good patronage use or should it just be Dimboola/Horsham
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Neither. Buses would be best.

If the patronage on the buses gets to a point where rail would be the better option then you can consider it.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Nah,I'm the one in the blue dress and the cute bonnet
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Horsham would have decent patronage, extending it to Dimboola with long haul fleet would be wise. Would the Hamilton Line have good patronage use or should it just be Dimboola/Horsham
ptvcommuter
Nope the report ruled out Horsham to Dimboola mostly due to the high cost of level crossing upgrades and the minimal expected patronage.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Horsham would have decent patronage, extending it to Dimboola with long haul fleet would be wise. Would the Hamilton Line have good patronage use or should it just be Dimboola/Horsham
Nope the report ruled out Horsham to Dimboola mostly due to the high cost of level crossing upgrades and the minimal expected patronage.
Nightfire
What report was that, Nightfire ?

BigShunter.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What report was that, Nightfire ?

BigShunter.
BigShunter
The big report commissioned by local councils regarding possible passenger services West of Ararat.

Isn't this what the thread Is about ?
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
What report was that, Nightfire ?

BigShunter.
The big report commissioned by local councils regarding possible passenger services West of Ararat.

Isn't this what the tread Is about ?
Nightfire
Well perhaps it did, although I don't recall it saying that.

BigShunter.

Irishman seem to have a snappy tone in their voice, don't they.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What report was that, Nightfire ?

BigShunter.
The big report commissioned by local councils regarding possible passenger services West of Ararat.

Isn't this what the tread Is about ?
Well perhaps it did, although I don't recall it saying that.

BigShunter.

Irishman seem to have a snappy tone in their voice, don't they.
BigShunter
The conclusion was Horsham and Hamilton from Ballarat, further destinations were looked at, but found not feasible.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'll have to check the report but I'm not sure they really concluded on feasibility. Hearch et al in my recollection said that Horsham and Hamilton would be good ideas for their own reasons, but not economic ones. They didn't think other palaces would be good ideas. There wasn't much of an economic analysis to support any of their suggestions either.

EDIT: Words....
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I'll have to check the report but I'm not sure they really concluded on feasibility. Hearch et al in my recollection said that Horsham and Hamilton would be good ideas for their own reasons, but not economic ones. They didn't think other palaces would be good ideas. There wasn't much of an economic analysis to support any of their suggestions either.

EDIT: Words....
james.au
The report was more or less a wish list plan, with a $600 odd million price tag.

It's not Labor Government policy, nor are Labor chancing votes In the region.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I'll have to check the report but I'm not sure they really concluded on feasibility. Hearch et al in my recollection said that Horsham and Hamilton would be good ideas for their own reasons, but not economic ones. They didn't think other palaces would be good ideas. There wasn't much of an economic analysis to support any of their suggestions either.

EDIT: Words....
The report was more or less a wish list plan, with a $600 odd million price tag.

It's not Labor Government policy, nor are Labor chancing votes In the region.
Nightfire
Ripon is marginal. Very marginal in fact, it went to 3 recounts, eventually returning the Liberal member by a handful of votes. Labor put up a big campaign here at the last election, and they will be doing so again next time, especially as Louise Staley is now the shadow treasurer and losing would be quite the embarrassment for the Liberals.

However, Ripon also happens to only extend as far West as Stawell. It includes the entire current Ararat Line, as well as the Maryborough line. Why return services to towns without when votes in an easily winnable seat can be swayed by improving existing train frequencies on those lines? I expect that by the next election Ararat will have 6 return services a day, Maryborough will have one more as well (depending on what ends up happening with the Ballarat freight separation).

West of Stawell is very safe Nationals country. There's no real incentive for any investment in public transport in a political sense. If Ararat gets more trains though, Horsham could benefit from more connecting coaches.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Ripon is marginal. Very marginal in fact, it went to 3 recounts, eventually returning the Liberal member by a handful of votes. Labor put up a big campaign here at the last election, and they will be doing so again next time, especially as Louise Staley is now the shadow treasurer and losing would be quite the embarrassment for the Liberals.

However, Ripon also happens to only extend as far West as Stawell. It includes the entire current Ararat Line, as well as the Maryborough line. Why return services to towns without when votes in an easily winnable seat can be swayed by improving existing train frequencies on those lines? I expect that by the next election Ararat will have 6 return services a day, Maryborough will have one more as well (depending on what ends up happening with the Ballarat freight separation).

West of Stawell is very safe Nationals country. There's no real incentive for any investment in public transport in a political sense. If Ararat gets more trains though, Horsham could benefit from more connecting coaches.
TOQ-1
This has been discussed many times before, there's no real incentive for either political party to extend beyond Ararat because of the extremely safe National party seat lying just beyond Stawell. I'm sure that was part of the reason why Jeff Kennett closed those services to begin with, the four country trains that got the chop in 1993 were all in fairly safe Nationals territory so there was virtually no backlash. Only Mildura and Bairnsdale made substantial noise at the time so Jeff's gambit paid off...

Fast-forward 26 years and the Bracks government's decision to re-open as far as Ararat appears to work well, there's multiple services for buses to connect to from the Wimmera/Mallee and it's also made Ararat an accessible tourist destination for day trips from Melbourne. The expense of reinstating standard gauge services beyond Ararat will probably be a permanent obstacle to any future Wimmera trains; can't see this changing any time soon.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'll have to check the report but I'm not sure they really concluded on feasibility. Hearch et al in my recollection said that Horsham and Hamilton would be good ideas for their own reasons, but not economic ones. They didn't think other palaces would be good ideas. There wasn't much of an economic analysis to support any of their suggestions either.

EDIT: Words....
The report was more or less a wish list plan, with a $600 odd million price tag.

It's not Labor Government policy, nor are Labor chancing votes In the region.
Ripon is marginal. Very marginal in fact, it went to 3 recounts, eventually returning the Liberal member by a handful of votes. Labor put up a big campaign here at the last election, and they will be doing so again next time, especially as Louise Staley is now the shadow treasurer and losing would be quite the embarrassment for the Liberals.
TOQ-1

It's still not over yet. Those votes will be again be re-counted in a few months as seems likely.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/labor-claims-ripon-recount-was-unlawful-as-it-hunts-shadow-treasurer-20190207-p50wb1.html

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It's still not over yet. Those votes will be again be re-counted in a few months as seems likely.

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/labor-claims-ripon-recount-was-unlawful-as-it-hunts-shadow-treasurer-20190207-p50wb1.html

Mike.
The Vinelander
Sigh. The cycle continues as politics contrives to eat itself - "Ms De Santis took up a position as an adviser to Gayle Tierney, Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills"

Yet another politician who will have no idea of what goes on in the real world as she spends the next 4 years closeted in the insular echo chamber of party politics.

And people wonder why independents are thriving.

BG
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
This has been discussed many times before, there's no real incentive for either political party to extend beyond Ararat because of the extremely safe National party seat lying just beyond Stawell. I'm sure that was part of the reason why Jeff Kennett closed those services to begin with, the four country trains that got the chop in 1993 were all in fairly safe Nationals territory so there was virtually no backlash. Only Mildura and Bairnsdale made substantial noise at the time so Jeff's gambit paid off...

Fast-forward 26 years and the Bracks government's decision to re-open as far as Ararat appears to work well, there's multiple services for buses to connect to from the Wimmera/Mallee and it's also made Ararat an accessible tourist destination for day trips from Melbourne. The expense of reinstating standard gauge services beyond Ararat will probably be a permanent obstacle to any future Wimmera trains; can't see this changing any time soon.
don_dunstan
I don't know - The Vic Government stepped in and 'saved' the Overland so I'm not sure they're entirely agnostic to rail in that region?

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