Mildura passenger service

 
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Yawn..............

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The dead run looks longer than the revenue service.
route14
About 357 km empty v 382 km revenue !
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Still a lot.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
Potentially it could work alongside a proper upgrade in rail-freight capacity on the line, simultaneously improving permissible axle weight, line speed and pathing issues. If this could get a lot more freight off the road and on to the tracks that would help on the return on investment, but then you have to work those freights around your faster passenger trains. Not insurmountable, but still an added challenge.

Parley all of that into some sort of plan to turn Mildura into Victoria's next big growth centre, with incentives for businesses to re-locate, and maybe some improved public sector opportunities, then maybe, just maybe it could be achievable. But it would take big picture thinking from all levels of government like we aren't used to seeing in this country.

Maybe if the Murray Basin Rail Project had of aimed higher in the first place, and the time and money spent on it wasn't left in the hands of people who's main priority is running commuter trains, but people who are actually experienced in major construction projects this could have all been achieved.
Gman_86
Much easier to win votes by turning Melbourne's middle suburbs into employment and transport 'hubs' with the SRL than to create opportunities 6 hours and hundreds of kilometres of tracks away with freight being part of the ticket sadly
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Much easier to win votes by turning Melbourne's middle suburbs into employment and transport 'hubs' with the SRL than to create opportunities 6 hours and hundreds of kilometres of tracks away with freight being part of the ticket sadly
Maximas

It's not all about 'winning votes', it's also about doing the right thing.

As the Independent MP for Mildura advocated the return of a passenger train as a major part of her winning the electorate from the National party with more than an 8% swing, she has every right to advocate on behalf of her substantial community.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/vic-election-2018/guide/mild/

Mike.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Much easier to win votes by turning Melbourne's middle suburbs into employment and transport 'hubs' with the SRL than to create opportunities 6 hours and hundreds of kilometres of tracks away with freight being part of the ticket sadly

It's not all about 'winning votes', it's also about doing the right thing.

As the Independent MP for Mildura advocated the return of a passenger train as a major part of her winning the electorate from the National party with more than an 8% swing, she has every right to advocate on behalf of her substantial community.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/vic-election-2018/guide/mild/

Mike.
The Vinelander
@mike Welcome back to your favourite topic. Its been quite a long time.

For a change RRA have made some sense.
N class Maryborough to Mildura is a reasonable compromise to limit the cost.

Of course the 3 per week won't attract. It needs to be daily.

Daily would necessitate 2 train sets on the timetable suggested.

All very wasteful having a set working just 5hr per day , by thinking inside the box of the current VLO timetable.

Outside the box:
Mildura N down meets waiting VLO  (mid-day ish). An opposing VLO up from Melbourne meets the N waiting to do it's return.
Its just smart time tabling to get full use from the assets.
Of course that flows on to the Ararat time table, and on and on... and the freight timetable,  on and on...

The tight factor is how long to prepare an N for the return trip, dont want it sitting in the way on the main line.

cheers
John
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I believe the initial submission from the Member for Mildura is for one return service from Maryborough per week. I must emphasise that it's going to be marketed in Mildura as a tourist train due to the slow speed of the train and the inumerable level crossings the train will be slowing for.

I think the Member for Mildura advocating for it to be a return service a week may carry more weight than the other submission from Rail Revival Alliance that doesn't appear on their website as yet.

As a tourist service, post COVID-19 and a major part of a tourism campaign encompassing the regional towns along the line called 'OutBack Vic', speed will not be a factor.

The whole point of the exercise I believe is for the project to have a minimal impact on the state budget and it may not commence, if AT ALL until a set has been released from the NE SG, so it may be early days yet.

Again, for clarity...speed is not a factor...it would be just like travelling on a QR tourist train in regional Queensland...except it will be in Victoria.

Mike.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
I believe the initial submission from the Member for Mildura is for one return service from Maryborough per week. I must emphasise that it's going to be marketed in Mildura as a tourist train due to the slow speed of the train and the inumerable level crossings the train will be slowing for.

I think the Member for Mildura advocating for it to be a return service a week may carry more weight than the other submission from Rail Revival Alliance that doesn't appear on their website as yet.

As a tourist service, post COVID-19 and a major part of a tourism campaign encompassing the regional towns along the line called 'OutBack Vic', speed will not be a factor.

The whole point of the exercise I believe is for the project to have a minimal impact on the state budget and it may not commence, if AT ALL until a set has been released from the NE SG, so it may be early days yet.

Again, for clarity...speed is not a factor...it would be just like travelling on a QR tourist train in regional Queensland...except it will be in Victoria.

Mike.
Thanks for your input Mike.

2 very different clientel.

Not so sure about "slow speed", it is class 3 track after all. 100kph for pax trains. How you could achieve that interspersed wilth definitely slow freights would be a big timetable challenge.

As a tourist train, speed no factor, then the long way round with visit to Avoca/Ararat may be attractive.
Always stopping for lunch at the Maryborough station definitely worthwhile, maybe even on a daily commute.

cheers
John
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
There is not that many slow freight trains on the line.  The most at one time would be the fruity + one grainy.  
The grain trains would be off the main line loading or be programmed not to run on the days of the pass.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
According to last weeks Weekly Notice, the number of level crossing speed restrictions between Maryborough and Mildura has been drastically reduced to around three. Not sure what the story is there

Mike.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Whilst we are arm chairing, what about Mildura-Geelong service with 2 sets?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

North Shore you mean?  Is there SG connection into Geelong?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Well North Shore is part of the general Geelong area right? I do mean North Shore of course but lets not split hairs.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Is there a run-around loop at North Shore?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
This proposed timetable is a bit sad all things considered.

The N set & N class locos are approaching 40 years old and are being phased out of their current roles due primarily to age. I understand the attempt to keep the cost of this proposal down, but utilising ancient rollingstock on a 'new' long distance service is just asking for a lot of trouble.

Introducing a new service that is slower than the existing service isn't going to get the crowds queuing to jump aboard.

----

I don't know how many threads need to be made on this forum that say the same thing, but here goes:

If your train isn't going to compete on time with my car, why would I take your train? Even then, if I do how do I get about when I get up there? Why would I hire a car up there when I can just drive my own to begin with?

That is how the vast majority of the population think and this is the first hurdle you have to jump. You need to get people to see the train as a part of the trip, speed is one part of that, comfort is the other. A properly fitted out SG Vlocity could provide the comfort and the speed, but only if the track its running on is up to it. The current track is not.

To achieve that, you need to get the journey under 6 hours. 370km of major track upgrades between Maryborough and Mildura to allow Vlocity operation at 160km/h would do the trick, I'm talking rail, sleepers, ballast, signalling, crossing loops, bridges, level crossings, station upgrades. That should cost a few billion. Someone else may be able to give a better idea of the cost of that potential upgrade, but I can't see it being under $5 Billion, it may be more than double that. Good luck getting the business case to stack up for a multi-billion dollar investment when its only return is to run a couple of passenger trains per day.

Potentially it could work alongside a proper upgrade in rail-freight capacity on the line, simultaneously improving permissible axle weight, line speed and pathing issues. If this could get a lot more freight off the road and on to the tracks that would help on the return on investment, but then you have to work those freights around your faster passenger trains. Not insurmountable, but still an added challenge.

Parley all of that into some sort of plan to turn Mildura into Victoria's next big growth centre, with incentives for businesses to re-locate, and maybe some improved public sector opportunities, then maybe, just maybe it could be achievable. But it would take big picture thinking from all levels of government like we aren't used to seeing in this country.

Maybe if the Murray Basin Rail Project had of aimed higher in the first place, and the time and money spent on it wasn't left in the hands of people who's main priority is running commuter trains, but people who are actually experienced in major construction projects this could have all been achieved.
Gman_86
That's one way to look at it, lets try this way

- Melbourne to Mildura 567 km

- Maryborough to Mildura is 385 km
(irony the service could be called the "3MMM", 3 x week Melbourne to Mary' to Mildura )

- V/line to Maryborough is 2h 22min, lets leave this as it is and assume no further improvements, the average speed is at 78km/h

- So this leaves you 385 km to cover in 3h and 38min, thats an average speed of 106km/h for 6h or 96km/h in 4h. Quite fast by any measure across Australian regional rail.

Comparable routes interstate
RTT - Brisbane to Rocky, 620 km, 7h 15min, average speed of 85km/h (this is an electric train so has grunt all the way to 160km/h)
Prospector, 653 km, 6h 50min, 96 km/h (Kalgoorlie is comparable in population and distance and surrounding population)

So lets assume the good people of the far NW settle for the same average speed as the Rockhampton Tilt train average speed for only the 385km Maryborough to Mildura route, 85km/h or 4.5h, in total the travel time is 6h 55min or 82km/h.  Lets say 7h at 80km/h to keep it simple.

- So for the Mary - Mildura corridor, average speed of 85km/h with a few station stops, assume priority running, then the top end speed ONLY needs to be around 100-110km/h, a far cry from the high cost 160km/h option. If a loco hauled freight can do 80km/h on the track, then 100 - 110km/h on straight track with a DMU shouldn't be a hard ask.

- We are talking 3 return services a week, is this really such an impost to freight even with priority running?

- Yes some track upgrades are required. But we are not in the Billion or even $100m range beyond what should have been achieved from the Murry Basin Rail project.

- The same SG train can then provide a cross platform connection to Melbourne at Mary or Ballarat, but then continue to Mel via Geelong thus satisfying the vocal groups in the SW who want there train back. Multiple birds taken with the same stone.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I believe the initial submission from the Member for Mildura is for one return service from Maryborough per week. I must emphasise that it's going to be marketed in Mildura as a tourist train due to the slow speed of the train and the inumerable level crossings the train will be slowing for.

I think the Member for Mildura advocating for it to be a return service a week may carry more weight than the other submission from Rail Revival Alliance that doesn't appear on their website as yet.

As a tourist service, post COVID-19 and a major part of a tourism campaign encompassing the regional towns along the line called 'OutBack Vic', speed will not be a factor.

The whole point of the exercise I believe is for the project to have a minimal impact on the state budget and it may not commence, if AT ALL until a set has been released from the NE SG, so it may be early days yet.

Again, for clarity...speed is not a factor...it would be just like travelling on a QR tourist train in regional Queensland...except it will be in Victoria.

Mike.
The Vinelander
1/week would be the best way to make the project a failure. may as well just let a heritage operation have a play with a sprinkle of govt money for a few months.

3/ week is the minimum standard and tourists are going to be a very minor part of the users

Some of the LX will need to be resolved, in other states they manage 100 - 115km/h on un protected crossings and this includes DMU/light weight loco hauled. The disasters of the past in Vic should not be holding Vic to 1960's technology nor operational practices.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
So what we are talking about is something akin to Queensland Rail's Inlander and Westlander services - not exactly a model of success, infamous for their very low passenger numbers and very high subsidy rate. Utilising 40 year old rollingstock with known reliability issues in their current application.

I am still sceptical.
  Maximas Locomotive Fireman

Location: Geelong
Well North Shore is part of the general Geelong area right?
james.au
Unfortunately yes
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Is there a run-around loop at North Shore?
route14
No

The next run-around opportunity would be Elders/Lara crossing loop.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Is there a run-around loop at North Shore?
No

The next run-around opportunity would be Elders/Lara crossing loop.
What a funny idea Laughing, after coming all that way from Mildura 600km to just turn and go back.

The nearest run-around with appropriate passenger facilities is Southern Cross, only another 60km.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
This proposed timetable is a bit sad all things considered.

The N set & N class locos are approaching 40 years old and are being phased out of their current roles due primarily to age. I understand the attempt to keep the cost of this proposal down, but utilising ancient rollingstock on a 'new' long distance service is just asking for a lot of trouble.
That's one way to look at it, lets try this way

So lets assume ..............  Lets say 7h at 80km/h to keep it simple.

- .... then the top end speed ONLY needs to be around 100-110km/h

- The same SG train can then provide a cross platform connection to Melbourne at Mary or Ballarat, but then continue to Mel via Geelong thus satisfying the vocal groups in the SW who want there train back. Multiple birds taken with the same stone.
RTT_Rules
took a long way around Shane to get there, but correct in the end.

The fruity up timetable Mildura to Maryborough is 8hrs, less 1hr for wait times along the way. 7hrs on the run.

The rated line speed for pax is already 100kph. Puts into the region of run time 5.5hr. A doddle for an N loco, waste of a VLO but maybe.

All up, Mildura to Melbourne under 8 hrs

Ballarat not likely to be SG anytime soon, that's  why Maryborough as the interchange is a workable alternate.

cheers
John
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Much easier to win votes by turning Melbourne's middle suburbs into employment and transport 'hubs' with the SRL than to create opportunities 6 hours and hundreds of kilometres of tracks away with freight being part of the ticket sadly

It's not all about 'winning votes', it's also about doing the right thing.

As the Independent MP for Mildura advocated the return of a passenger train as a major part of her winning the electorate from the National party with more than an 8% swing, she has every right to advocate on behalf of her substantial community.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/vic-election-2018/guide/mild/

Mike.
@mike Welcome back to your favourite topic. Its been quite a long time.

For a change RRA have made some sense.
N class Maryborough to Mildura is a reasonable compromise to limit the cost.

Of course the 3 per week won't attract. It needs to be daily.

Daily would necessitate 2 train sets on the timetable suggested.

All very wasteful having a set working just 5hr per day , by thinking inside the box of the current VLO timetable.

Outside the box:
Mildura N down meets waiting VLO  (mid-day ish). An opposing VLO up from Melbourne meets the N waiting to do it's return.
Its just smart time tabling to get full use from the assets.
Of course that flows on to the Ararat time table, and on and on... and the freight timetable,  on and on...

The tight factor is how long to prepare an N for the return trip, dont want it sitting in the way on the main line.

cheers
John
justarider
No need for two Vlos. Just have one Vlo arrive from Melbourne at the same the N arrives from Mildura. Turn them both around then both can depart on the return trip 15 minutes later.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
No need for two Vlos. Just have one Vlo arrive from Melbourne at the same the N arrives from Mildura. Turn them both around then both can depart on the return trip 15 minutes later.
railblogger
Right idea, but if it is like anywhere else in Australia for regional Pax the N will arrive late more often than not to miss the connection.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
No need for two Vlos. Just have one Vlo arrive from Melbourne at the same the N arrives from Mildura. Turn them both around then both can depart on the return trip 15 minutes later.
Right idea, but if it is like anywhere else in Australia for regional Pax the N will arrive late more often than not to miss the connection.
Big J
Mmm not right.

Turn around in 15min is very tight.

In any event, Maryborough has 2 services per day, each way.
The morning down is required to stay and form the afternoon up. That's 2 VLO. There's been vague talk of a 3rd service.

The schedule I outlined gives scope for a late N up from Mildura.

cheers
John
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Mildura line is maintained to freight train standard in terms of line and top. For passenger loco hauled 80kmh as previously would be the maximum. Especially with the VLP Safety Nazis over trailable points.

As I have written many times previously the Mildura line is particularly difficult to maintain the track geometry for an acceptable passenger ride.
1. There is a clay belt between Donald and - Birchip that makes the railway and adjacent highway look more like a light ocena swell, then north of Oyen one is on a very sandy base.

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