Mildura passenger service

 
  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.
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.
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
justarider
Turn around in 15min is very tight.

My point.

Good luck having long distance loco haul meeting that punctuality requirement. Not necessarily due to the loco, but all of the issues that a driver cannot control.
  1. The public on the train
  2. The public on the track
  3. Train control and other traffic.
  4. Weather.
  5. Failure of equipment.

Possible, yes. Probable that it will be later than timetabled, yes.

I hope an allowance is made for the connection to wait for another 30 Min.

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  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The time between the midday Swan Hill arrival and departure is 31 minutes, and even that is quite tight to run around and do brakes etc.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
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.
Gman_86


Qld ALP has promised replaced of these trains if they win govt. Qld has ample supply of mid sized NG loco's, Vic fleet of BG locos more suited to the task are aging.

The best pathway forward is DMU, far more efficient for which there is a ready supply if needed.
  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.
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.
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
justarider
Just showing my working for the nay sayers

- 7h trip time seems within reach and reasonable without major track upgrades, focus on LX.

- is that 100km/h for loco hauled pax or all trains

- VLO, not loco hauled which will are most likely in their last decade of service, nothing wrong with a VLP for this duty, far better suited than loco hauled anyway.

- Mary not Ballarat, no issue, works either way, thanks for correction. .
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
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.
kuldalai
Its maintained to that standard because thats the traffic that uses it. If you change the traffic dynamic then you change the maintenance standard to suit.

Interesting and thanks for this and I'm sure not the only track on similar conditions.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

They've got trailable points on heavy rail!
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

From Rail Geelong's website:
https://www.railgeelong.com/article/trailable-facing-points/

Sutherland and Emu loops, from SA Track and Signal's website:
https://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/VCRN/VL1171.pdf
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Today's V/Line doesn't like running passenger trains through trailable crossing loops, so the loops at Sulky, Tourello and Talbot were removed before passenger trains resumed to Maryborough in 2010.
Rail Geelong blog
Why do V/Line not like running passenger trains through trailable crossing loops?

Is there a greater risk of derailment?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Not necessarily the risk of derailment by the blog's description, but rather the potential risk of not being able to oversight them and control them by a human controller.  Also there is unnecessary wear with one direction always routed via the loop even when there is no train to cross.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Throwing caution to the wind I decided to travel to Mildura on the overnight bus.

So I booked my ticket at Ballan and asked for seat 41 on the bus.

Seat 41 has 2 meters of leg room in front of it to allow for the very infrequent wheelchairs that use this space.

I caught the 22:12 from Ballan and arrived at Platform 2 at Ballarat and walked over the stairs and as I was arriving at the coach bay the Mildura bus was arriving.

The bus looked different to the run-of-the-mill Swan Hill bus lines buses that ply the Mildura-Swan Hill route and also operate the overnight bus which replaced the Vinelander rail service around 27 years ago.

The inevitable smokers alighted from the bus as soon as it arrived and soon after the driver approached me and asked if I was booked on the bus.

I had a chat to him about this new bus and he told me some of the older buses still in daily operation have covered over 1,5000,000 Km. This is amazing but true because any bus plying the route will probably cover over 1,000 km a day.

I headed to my seat and settled in. Soon I took out my blow up... Shocked ...

foot stool (poof or pouffet) if you are old like me and with my neck pillow I settled in for the journey.

The stations are announced automatically by the on-board programme and we are now according to the electronic voice 'valuable customers'. Creswick, Clunes, Talbot x 2 stops, Maryborough x 2 stops (one on), Avoca, St Arnaud then Donald where we stopped for an hours refresh.

Whilst there the southbound 'Southern Cross' bound bus arrived and it was like the old days when the north and south bound Vinelander's used to cross for a crew change at Donald.

We headed north and I dozed off and though the Sunraysia Highway is at its worst along this stretch with its undulations I missed Watchem, Birchip, Woomelang, Speed and a few others till I woke at Ouyen and the bus was stationary and the pax were outside stretching legs and smoking.

I stayed on board and the bus continued through Hattah, Red Cliffs, Irymple and Mildura 5 late at 06:55.

I reckon I had 3 hours sleep in total and at a stretch I'd probably repeat the experience, provided I could get the same seat.

8 alighted at Mildura so we lost a few from the original 11 at Ballarat.

This is by far the least utilised V/Line service to/from Mildura and tomorrow I'm booked on the 13:10 bus to Swan Hill thence to Castlemaine and already there are 11 bookings on that service.

The forecast 39c tomorrow will test the AC of the old bus if it's still operating.

Mike.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The smokers lit up before getting off?  In year 2020?  Perhaps the next feature new buses should have is facial identification surveillance so that the police can review them later and post them tickets.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Yesterday early afternoon in typical HOT and glary early Summer in Mildura...they don't call it Sunraysia for nothing; I caught the 13:10 bus, coincidentally the same bus I caught last Thursday night from Ballarat from Mildura to Swan Hill. We were away on time with 11 on, and headed to the Calder Hwy and Hattah for the long detour which eliminated crossing the border into NSW, however the driver said this was the last service to do so and the DOWN midnight Bus from Swan Hill to Mildura would resume its regular route from last night.

2 off and 2 on at Robinvale was the only difference with a driver change just on the UP from Robinvale.

I think the drivers will be pleased with the scheduled route, via Euston, NSW which is over 30Km shorter and hopefully will no longer have to worry trying to make the 277Km journey from Mildura to Swan Hill in time to connect with the train. We made it yesterday with 3 mins to spare. No...the drivers cannot speed as the bus is limited to an actual 98Km/h.


I think our driver knew time was starting to get away from him when he ceased stopping at the 'compulsory' stops after Boundary Bend.

New bus...I thought I'll try the new toilet.
BIG FAIL Exclamation

Almost no ventilation as there is no separate AC vent. The seat and lid won't stay up on the undulating Murray Valley Hwy and if you're a bloke, the seat and lid will fall whilst undertaking 'the business'.

The basin had good pressure though.

At Swan Hill I took my place in the rear car of the train by the power socket and proceeded to plug my laptop and phone in for a charge and settled back to watch a video. No heat speed restrictions despite it being 34c in Swan Hill.
Soon we were at Bendigo with a few on and in the rear car and Castlemaine where I changed and caught the Sunday only bus to Ballarat. 5 on at Castlemaine, 2 off at Daylesford.

A 15 min wait at Ballarat saw me on the 21.18 UP (the last on a Sunday) and arrive Ballan at 21:37. For me its 20 mins quicker to take the bus to Ballarat from Castlemaine than to change at Footscray off the Swan Hill and catch to next DOWN Ballarat.

At the moment, V/Line patronage on the Swan Hill-Mildura route is down by around 75% due to COVID-19 as this bus from Mildura is always popular and often full after leaving Robinvale.

Mike.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Yesterday early afternoon in typical HOT and glary early Summer in Mildura...they don't call it Sunraysia for nothing; I caught the 13:10 bus, coincidentally the same bus I caught last Thursday night from Ballarat from Mildura to Swan Hill. We were away on time with 11 on, and headed to the Calder Hwy and Hattah for the long detour which eliminated crossing the border into NSW, however the driver said this was the last service to do so and the DOWN midnight Bus from Swan Hill to Mildura would resume its regular route from last night.

2 off and 2 on at Robinvale was the only difference with a driver change just on the UP from Robinvale.

I think the drivers will be pleased with the scheduled route, via Euston, NSW which is over 30Km shorter and hopefully will no longer have to worry trying to make the 277Km journey from Mildura to Swan Hill in time to connect with the train. We made it yesterday with 3 mins to spare. No...the drivers cannot speed as the bus is limited to an actual 98Km/h.


I think our driver knew time was starting to get away from him when he ceased stopping at the 'compulsory' stops after Boundary Bend.

New bus...I thought I'll try the new toilet.
BIG FAIL Exclamation

Almost no ventilation as there is no separate AC vent. The seat and lid won't stay up on the undulating Murray Valley Hwy and if you're a bloke, the seat and lid will fall whilst undertaking 'the business'.

The basin had good pressure though.

At Swan Hill I took my place in the rear car of the train by the power socket and proceeded to plug my laptop and phone in for a charge and settled back to watch a video. No heat speed restrictions despite it being 34c in Swan Hill.
Soon we were at Bendigo with a few on and in the rear car and Castlemaine where I changed and caught the Sunday only bus to Ballarat. 5 on at Castlemaine, 2 off at Daylesford.

A 15 min wait at Ballarat saw me on the 21.18 UP (the last on a Sunday) and arrive Ballan at 21:37. For me its 20 mins quicker to take the bus to Ballarat from Castlemaine than to change at Footscray off the Swan Hill and catch to next DOWN Ballarat.

At the moment, V/Line patronage on the Swan Hill-Mildura route is down by around 75% due to COVID-19 as this bus from Mildura is always popular and often full after leaving Robinvale.

Mike.
The Vinelander
The driver was more than likely my brother............
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
At the moment, V/Line patronage on the Swan Hill-Mildura route is down by around 75% due to COVID-19 as this bus from Mildura is always popular and often full after leaving Robinvale.

Mike.
The driver was more than likely my brother............
trainbrain
Ahh the brother, well if he has comments along the way similar to yours, should be a fairly lively trip...Razz

BigShunter.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The resumption of Mildura passenger rail services just goes around in circles.  There really isn't any reason why a city of a decent size should not expect a rail service especially with the investment already sunk.

What is the population down there now 60,000+?
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
What is the population down there now 60,000+?
NSWGR8022
Hmm, wonder what that Google thing does....Idea.....Rolling Eyes   a few sausages short of a BBQ for some in NSW  

BigShunter.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
The resumption of Mildura passenger rail services just goes around in circles.  There really isn't any reason why a city of a decent size should not expect a rail service especially with the investment already sunk.

What is the population down there now 60,000+?
NSWGR8022
You really have no idea the can of worms you have just re-opened.
Over to you @don
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

The resumption of Mildura passenger rail services just goes around in circles.  There really isn't any reason why a city of a decent size should not expect a rail service especially with the investment already sunk.

What is the population down there now 60,000+?
You really have no idea the can of worms you have just re-opened.
Over to you @don
justarider
I'll get some popcorn:)
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

At the moment, V/Line patronage on the Swan Hill-Mildura route is down by around 75% due to COVID-19 as this bus from Mildura is always popular and often full after leaving Robinvale.

Mike.
The driver was more than likely my brother............
Ahh the brother, well if he has comments along the way similar to yours, should be a fairly lively trip...Razz

BigShunter.
BigShunter
never a dull moment............
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
New bus...I thought I'll try the new toilet.

BIG FAIL Exclamation

Almost no ventilation as there is no separate AC vent. The seat and lid won't stay up on the undulating Murray Valley Hwy and if you're a bloke, the seat and lid will fall whilst undertaking 'the business'.

The basin had good pressure though.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yes, I can see the predicament you've got Mike...... how about standing on 1 leg, put the other foot against the dunny seat and aim carefully, this could be challenging while rockin' and rollin' in the cubical on the move. Perhaps some practice at home first Wink

BigShunter.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
New bus...I thought I'll try the new toilet.

BIG FAIL Exclamation

Almost no ventilation as there is no separate AC vent. The seat and lid won't stay up on the undulating Murray Valley Hwy and if you're a bloke, the seat and lid will fall whilst undertaking 'the business'.

The basin had good pressure though.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yes, I can see the predicament you've got Mike...... how about standing on 1 leg, put the other foot against the dunny seat and aim carefully, this could be challenging while rockin' and rollin' in the cubical on the move. Perhaps some practice at home first Wink

BigShunter.
"BigShunter"
the ladies don't seem to have our problem. Something to learn?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@NSWGR0822 The problem is that the journey time to Melbourne will be some 6-8 hours vs 2 hours by plane (including travel to and from the airport and check in/bag collection). Add to that a lack of large towns along the line and you have a recipe for a bottomless money pit.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The resumption of Mildura passenger rail services just goes around in circles.  There really isn't any reason why a city of a decent size should not expect a rail service especially with the investment already sunk.

What is the population down there now 60,000+?
You really have no idea the can of worms you have just re-opened.
Over to you @don
justarider
This thread has been quietly festering away since Bevans re-opened it some months ago. I keep seeing it pop up on the list of active threads but I really have nothing to add here that hasn't already been said a dozen or more times over. Not only is the standard gauge track restricted to an impractical 80km/h but there's now a break-of-gauge at Maryborough that means you'd have to change trains in the hot sun or the pelting rain. Google says the Sunraysia Highway over that distance is just under 400km so you're looking at a 5+ hour rail journey on that leg even before you take into account passenger stops, passing loops waiting for freight traffic, temporary and permanent speed restrictions, etc etc.

It ain't gunna happen. They'd better off trying to finish the Murray Basin standardization project first and then (if there's any money) look at returning services to Horsham/Dimboola once or twice a day - it would be much cheaper and despite the break-of-gauge at Ararat the timings would at least be quite competitive with road (which is essential). Mildura is just too far and there's too many obstacles in the way - why not focus instead on completing the Murray Basin project and at least get some trucking traffic off those dilapidated roads?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
New bus...I thought I'll try the new toilet.

BIG FAIL Exclamation

Almost no ventilation as there is no separate AC vent. The seat and lid won't stay up on the undulating Murray Valley Hwy and if you're a bloke, the seat and lid will fall whilst undertaking 'the business'.

The basin had good pressure though.

Mike.
Yes, I can see the predicament you've got Mike...... how about standing on 1 leg, put the other foot against the dunny seat and aim carefully, this could be challenging while rockin' and rollin' in the cubical on the move. Perhaps some practice at home first Wink

BigShunter.
the ladies don't seem to have our problem. Something to learn?
justarider

I agree...but it's quite feral in there. Unfortunately the toilets are not regularly serviced and there was much 'evidence' of previous occupants misfires.

I agree that taking a seated position would be preferable, especially in view of a constantly 'moving target'...but the thought of the toilet lid hitting my back was too much.

A letter to the appropriate Minister may soon follow.

Mike.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Sometime you'll have unruly passenger doing business standing with the dunny seat down so it can no longer be used for sitting.

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