Future of Overland train service in doubt

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 25 Nov 2019 19:16
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud

Forget vlocitites they are junk.
Really...

Can you suggest an alternative that will seamlessly integrate with Bombardier Question

Mike.Technically Bombardier doesn't exist any more.You're getting a bit ahead of things.

The purchase of Bombardier Transportation has not yet received approval from the European Union or by Alstom shareholders. Considering that COVID-19 has happened since the heads of agreement back in February, I wouldn't blame Alstom shareholders for taking a bit of time to think over the wisdom of picking up another major transport asset.
justapassenger
There's always a chance that Alstom (if they do buy Bombardier) will decide they don't want to build anything here any longer - in which case we'll have to source another type of DMU anyway.

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  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Don, I would have thought just under five hours Horsham to Melbourne is acceptable, I think it’s about a 400 km trip . If you were driving a car and stopped for a bite to eat and a toilet break ( which are available on the train) just under five hours is on par . If you had a few kids in the car I reckon it would take longer than five hours in a car

you need to remember @Dick and @jap that when @don says "just under", he means half an hour.

Horsham - SCS
Car 3:30  + loo break say     3:45
Bus to Ararat, Vlo to SCS     4:18
The Overland (incl arvo tea) 4:33

"Unacceptable" is depending on what suits best. The killer for Overland is only 2 per week.
Car is aways gunna win if that's your thing. For PT, the Overland is highly competitive.

cheers
John
justarider
You need to arrive half an hour early for the Overland as it is allowed to run ahead of time at intermediate stops. Tighter pathing closer to Melbourne means that this rarely translates into early arrivals, so the time is actually 5:03.
"justapassenger"

Who wooda thunk a train running 30 minutes early.
Does that mean that SCS to Horsham is actually 4:03, excellent !!
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Don, I would have thought just under five hours Horsham to Melbourne is acceptable, I think it’s about a 400 km trip . If you were driving a car and stopped for a bite to eat and a toilet break ( which are available on the train) just under five hours is on par . If you had a few kids in the car I reckon it would take longer than five hours in a car

you need to remember @Dick and @jap that when @don says "just under", he means half an hour.

Horsham - SCS
Car 3:30  + loo break say     3:45
Bus to Ararat, Vlo to SCS     4:18
The Overland (incl arvo tea) 4:33

"Unacceptable" is depending on what suits best. The killer for Overland is only 2 per week.
Car is aways gunna win if that's your thing. For PT, the Overland is highly competitive.

cheers
John
You need to arrive half an hour early for the Overland as it is allowed to run ahead of time at intermediate stops. Tighter pathing closer to Melbourne means that this rarely translates into early arrivals, so the time is actually 5:03.
justapassenger
I didn't know that was official advice - arrive half an hour early in case it's ahead of schedule.
  Richard stroker Junior Train Controller

Geez you run a tight ship driving JAP , 3.45 is pushing it , I did the drive last weekend.
You also need to take into account road works and numb nuts towing caravans.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
There's always a chance that Alstom (if they do buy Bombardier) will decide they don't want to build anything here any longer - in which case we'll have to source another type of DMU anyway.
"don_dunstan"

Yeah they don't want to sell ANY trains, trams, busses in OZ. State governments are very big these days on local content.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
There's always a chance that Alstom (if they do buy Bombardier) will decide they don't want to build anything here any longer - in which case we'll have to source another type of DMU anyway.

Yeah they don't want to sell ANY trains, trams, busses in OZ. State governments are very big these days on local content.
justarider
Not true, most of Australia's rolling stock is manufactured overseas already. The new Sydney Metro trains were manufactured in India, so are Queensland's new inter-urban trains; the new series of double-deck rolling stock in Sydney (Warratah series) is made in China and the new interurban fleet is being made in South Korea. Victoria is the exception, not the rule.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
There's always a chance that Alstom (if they do buy Bombardier) will decide they don't want to build anything here any longer - in which case we'll have to source another type of DMU anyway.

Yeah they don't want to sell ANY trains, trams, busses in OZ. State governments are very big these days on local content.
justarider
Not true, most of Australia's rolling stock is manufactured overseas already. The new Sydney Metro trains were manufactured in India, so are Queensland's new inter-urban trains; the new series of double-deck rolling stock in Sydney (Warratah series) is made in China and the new interurban fleet is being made in South Korea. Victoria is the exception, not the rule.
"don_dunstan"

Its a cosmo world,  for Sydney metro "made in India" assembled bits from Australia, Brazil, China, Belgium.
For Qld, that's going well, not. Are they in service or still being fixed.

If Alstrom want to keep some skin in the game better present better.
BTW  Alstrom and Bombardier are worker sharing at Ballarat. Xtrap builders maintaining Vlos. Sounds like some commitment to staying.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Don, I would have thought just under five hours Horsham to Melbourne is acceptable, I think it’s about a 400 km trip . If you were driving a car and stopped for a bite to eat and a toilet break ( which are available on the train) just under five hours is on par . If you had a few kids in the car I reckon it would take longer than five hours in a car

you need to remember @Dick and @jap that when @don says "just under", he means half an hour.

Horsham - SCS
Car 3:30  + loo break say     3:45
Bus to Ararat, Vlo to SCS     4:18
The Overland (incl arvo tea) 4:33

"Unacceptable" is depending on what suits best. The killer for Overland is only 2 per week.
Car is aways gunna win if that's your thing. For PT, the Overland is highly competitive.

cheers
John
You need to arrive half an hour early for the Overland as it is allowed to run ahead of time at intermediate stops. Tighter pathing closer to Melbourne means that this rarely translates into early arrivals, so the time is actually 5:03.

Who wooda thunk a train running 30 minutes early.
Does that mean that SCS to Horsham is actually 4:03, excellent !!
justarider
Nope, because if you're starting at Adelaide or Melbourne you are ordered to arrive an hour before departure. Add in the nominal 4:26 journey time and take off 0:30, you get a scheduled time of 5:26 and a best possible time of 4:56.

At worst, it could be well over six hours. The last time I used it westbound, the train was over 50 minutes down by Ararat and somehow lost another 5 minutes before Horsham despite not stopping at Stawell.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Who wooda thunk a train running 30 minutes early.
Does that mean that SCS to Horsham is actually 4:03, excellent !!
Nope, because if you're starting at Adelaide or Melbourne you are ordered to arrive an hour before departure. Add in the nominal 4:26 journey time and take off 0:30, you get a scheduled time of 5:26 and a best possible time of 4:56.

At worst, it could be well over six hours. The last time I used it westbound, the train was over 50 minutes down by Ararat and somehow lost another 5 minutes before Horsham despite not stopping at Stawell.
justapassenger
what is the opposite of "excellent !!" ?

Deplorable. Dare I guess it isn't the train, more likely the scheduling of many trains on a single track. Fat Controller needs to go on a diet.

As you have described, putting a HSR on the line would still encounter the same issues.

PS: one hour before departure imposed by JB is a joke.
Could understand it on the big trains (Ghan, IP) that need to settle pax into their suites, but The Overland with carry-on ??
Even Jetstar you can get away with 15 minutes (on-line check-in, no checked bags). I wouldn't risk it, 20 minutes OK.

cheers
John
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
You need to arrive half an hour early for the Overland as it is allowed to run ahead of time at intermediate stops. Tighter pathing closer to Melbourne means that this rarely translates into early arrivals, so the time is actually 5:03.
justapassenger

This is untrue. The last time a train manager was found to be departing intermediate stops early they were severely reprimanded.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is the path that tight into Melbourne?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Is the path that tight into Melbourne?
bevans
I've never paid much attention to the timetable. That's the train manager's job - not mine. Smile
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Its a cosmo world,  for Sydney metro "made in India" assembled bits from Australia, Brazil, China, Belgium.
For Qld, that's going well, not. Are they in service or still being fixed.

If Alstrom want to keep some skin in the game better present better.
BTW  Alstrom and Bombardier are worker sharing at Ballarat. Xtrap builders maintaining Vlos. Sounds like some commitment to staying.
justarider
How much local content is in those Indian-built trains given they're arriving more or less complete - the seats? Not much local content anyway. Warratahs did require a fit out once they arrived but not the new generation inter-ubans from South Korea, they're arriving complete and ready-to-use.

Doesn't matter that QLD is having problems with their fully imported trains, they still made the judgement that it was cheaper to build them in India than it was to build them in Maryborough - and even with the modifications is probably still is.

Alstom has a "commitment to staying" - what by maintaining the trains they built as they were contracted to?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Geez you run a tight ship driving JAP , 3.45 is pushing it , I did the drive last weekend.
You also need to take into account road works and numb nuts towing caravans.
Richard stroker
Were you talking to me RE: Melbourne to Horsham? Just over three hours is my average driving - not speeding, not rushing - I used to do it without stopping quite easily. Sure, you can be held up by roadworks but the dual carriageway with the increased speed limit makes a huge difference, much safer and you aren't held up by slower traffic. Depends on what part of Melbourne you're coming from though - I used to live moments from the Westgate Fwy so I'd get off to a good start compared to most others.

The V/line bus/train isn't much slower than that, depending on which one you'd get I think the timetabled average is around 3.5hrs to Southern Cross which is pretty competitive with driving - depends on whether your bus is routed through Murtoa/Rupanyup or straight through to Stawell. The best thing about the train is you can sleep through to Ararat.

The Overland @ 4hrs 35mins really is'nt that flash by comparison - it would be interesting to know how reliable it is too given its reputation.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Can a VLocity achieve the desired travel time?  If so, it together with an increase in frequency to at least once every weekday if not daily, will certainly attract more customers.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Geez you run a tight ship driving JAP , 3.45 is pushing it , I did the drive last weekend.
You also need to take into account road works and numb nuts towing caravans.
Were you talking to me RE: Melbourne to Horsham? Just over three hours is my average driving - not speeding, not rushing - I used to do it without stopping quite easily. Sure, you can be held up by roadworks but the dual carriageway with the increased speed limit makes a huge difference, much safer and you aren't held up by slower traffic. Depends on what part of Melbourne you're coming from though - I used to live moments from the Westgate Fwy so I'd get off to a good start compared to most others.

The V/line bus/train isn't much slower than that, depending on which one you'd get I think the timetabled average is around 3.5hrs to Southern Cross which is pretty competitive with driving - depends on whether your bus is routed through Murtoa/Rupanyup or straight through to Stawell. The best thing about the train is you can sleep through to Ararat.

The Overland @ 4hrs 35mins really is'nt that flash by comparison - it would be interesting to know how reliable it is too given its reputation.
don_dunstan
In the past with a certain website that used to be around I could often see the overland reaching line speed quite quickly. It doesnt suprise me that it has to slow down near Melbourne, since usually just before it gets to Geelong usually an Adelaide or Perth bound train departs. Combined with the fact that they have to weave through Dynon to get to Southern Cross doesnt help the issue either.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Can a VLocity achieve the desired travel time?  If so, it together with an increase in frequency to at least once every weekday if not daily, will certainly attract more customers.
route14
3:30 could be achievable if the connection at Ararat is kept nice and tight.
  doyle Assistant Commissioner

3 more years great, let's see how this covid thingy goes, before I venture out
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
It doesnt suprise me that it has to slow down near Melbourne, since usually just before it gets to Geelong usually an Adelaide or Perth bound train departs.
speedemon08

It is extremely rare for the Overland to be held up by a freighter.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Alstom has a "commitment to staying" - what by maintaining the trains they built as they were contracted to?
don_dunstan
Alstrom "commitment" is to keep their workers, even though they have little Alstrom work to do at Ballarat.

Those workers have been loaned to Bombardier, which does have continuing work.
Could've just made them redundant, but would look silly hiring them back later.

John
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I rode The Overland for the first time last November. Melbourne to Adelaide on a Tuesday, then returning to Melbourne the following Monday. While I was travelling as a railfan, the people around me in my Red Premium carriage were mostly just regular punters who chose to take the train instead of driving or flying. The following is a list of the main issues these people had throughout the journey:

1. The noticeable drop in ride quality on the Victorian side of the border. Everybody noticed it. Serviceton to Ararat being the culprit here, from Maroona to Gheringhap was a fair bit smoother.

2. The slow journey along the freight lines. From Werribee to Southern Cross was well over an hour. Particularly slow once you get past Newport. Some people were a bit confused as to why at one point we seemed to be heading away from the city (when heading towards Sunshine from Newport, the city can be seen appearing to be behind you). Despite this we arrived on time into Southern Cross Platform 2.

3. Lack of both on board WiFi and mobile device charging stations. At 10 + hours, for many boredom does set in and most peoples phones were getting a good work out, which was fine until many had drained their batteries. Having a charger with you is fine, unless there is nowhere to plug it in. In 2020, this is seen as a necessity for most people, not just a luxury.


Aside from all of that, many people were very aware of the possibility that the service was on its last legs, and many were asking the staff questions about this, the staff were more than happy to talk about it, and everybody on board was hopeful that the service would continue.

Also, I need to mention the food was top notch, the service was friendly and timely and it never felt as if we weren't being looked after. I can't ever imagine V/Line matching this part of the experience. Also, with the food and refreshments counted in with the price of the fare, I thought the cost was fairly competitive too.

Yes, I am happy the service is to continue for at least another 3 years, and I hope that in that time, certain issues can be addressed and the downward trend in numbers can be reversed.
  doyle Assistant Commissioner

Now this thread should go silent for about 2 and a half years and wait for more funding or (wishful thinking) some kind of upgrading for train or timetabling.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Now this thread should go silent for about 2 and a half years and wait for more funding or (wishful thinking) some kind of upgrading for train or timetabling.
doyle
Just In time for the service to get refurbished rolling stock cascaded from the Melbourne - Albury service ?
  doyle Assistant Commissioner

Now shhhh
Silence is golden
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I'm not against Vlocities running the service, but economic considerations are inevitable.  If Journey Beyond can do the job at a reasonable demand for subsidy it makes sense for the Victorian government to contract the service to them.  It's not just about buying two less train sets, but the fuel, fleet maintenance and crew's salaries are all then subcontracted.
route14

Vlocities use a whole lot less fuel then the locomotive pulling the overland currently and adding an extra set or 2 of long distance vlocities to the 26 carriages doesn't increase costs as much as help reduce them and so your fuel and fleet maintenance argument is a non factor especially when you take in to account the 268 other vlocity carriages being operated by vline.

That $100 million would be much more efficient for vline to operate the service then Journey beyond. It would allow the long distance train vlocity to be much more viable and could allow more services to Western Victoria even if only 1-2 services went to Adelaide a week.

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