Not opposed to this, but doesn't need to be anything fancy either, something like airport showers as is.
Indeed - simple setup, relatively free of frilly pizzaz. Mainly targeted at Economy passengers who might be willing to sacrifice a little to get a good shower on arrival or before departure, and for Club/Business/First passengers who may not appreciate showering while hurtling down the line.
Cabin is a cabin, high end offering day or night. One thought I had was to run the sets with 1st class only over night (so laying over for approx 12hrs) and a Bus/Econ only service
during the day, which has the added bonus of a decent maintenance window, but it necessitates 4 trains. Alternatively conversion of the cabin during the day could have the bed fold up to become a comfy (leather?) lounge, again a twinette set-up, with bedding provided on request. Fewer sets are needed, but given the tightness of the maintenance window things are going to be squeezy and you're working them hard, which AIUI is half the issue with the current XPT fleet.
We're also doing the Brisbane service, so more trains really shouldn't be an issue, since it is a pretty bespoke order. I give slightly more preference to the idea of Business-only on day trains and First-only on night trains. (If so, they would be best branded as both being First Class, just day/night versions thereof.)
I suppose creating daysitters from First cabins could be done, just that the First/Business problem here is that a seat becoming a bed is usually better as a seat, and a bed becoming a seat is usually better as a bed.
The question we have to ask is: do we want a small, hardworking fleet or do we want a larger, ore spaced out fleet? If the maintenance and physical toughness of the fleet is up to scratch, a relatively small fleet of five to seven trains could do the two inter-capital runs. How the First and Business cars are marshalled into the consists should be drawn from there.
Not keen on any service to economy, they have free wifi and power, what more do they want comped? Again it comes down to target market, ultra-cheap is what we're hitting here, looking at 50% of an airfare. As for 1st/Business, the idea I'm selling is to the seat/cabin service, I see no issue however with customers requesting to have their meal served in the lounge and reserving a place at a given time for that.
Fair enough, they can walk down to the dining car and get a pie if they want; and I suppose to-the-seat/cabin service is a worthwhile sell.
Not massively, would need to examine the economics closer though. A standard business airfare (Qantas) Sydney to Melbourne is about $600 (non-sale), the first class option needs to come in at or below this, business class seat on the train should be about half this. As I said economy should be half a normal fair (typically $125 with Qantas, non-sale), so our pricing structure is something like:
First Class Cabin - $550.00 (sale/early bird $500.00)
Business Class Seat - $250.00 (sale/early bird $225.00)
Economy Class Seat - $65.00 (sale/early bird $50.00)
This makes a lot of sense.
Pensioner discounts etc, I don't think should be included in the stats per say. Basically if the gov't wants to offer a discount, cool banana's, charge the customer the reduced rate and the balance to the government. Now that can be a notional charge (as in no money changes hands), but just have the accounts balanced in such a way that the underlining profitability of the operation doesn't appear compromised because the gov't has ordered that all seats be filled with pensioners on discount.
I completely agree. Hopefully, with relatively low fares, people will begin taking the train.
Basically they are the sort of numbers we have to work with, if we can make the flat bed profitable with say 65% of the train full on average then great, otherwise we need a re-think.
That'll have to be stirred through the calculation wok, so we'll leave it open.On this note, I actually don't think a separate dunny is required necessarily in each 1st class cabin, fitting in a shower and basin is more of a priority. A private toilet would be nice, but the first thing I would ditch for space.
I calculated that it would indeed be possible to just
fit it in, but it would be a bit squeezy. Since this is a premium offering, I don't want showers to be shared across twinettes as they currently are. They're forking over good money for this.Speaking to the actual configuration of the rolling stock, 8-10 car sets seem to be the standard elsewhere (2 locos + 6-8 trailers), lets assume there is a good economic reason for this. As I've said before I favour:
night config (L-1-1-B-B-D-E-E-E-L)
day config (L-B-B-B-D-E-E-E-E-L)
Somehow, I think we only really need six or seven trailers, with either two First cars and one Business car, one First car and two Business cars or three Business cars; then the dining/club car and the three Economy cars.
Again, I think I've said this before, but the routes I'd suggest for these services are:Day servicesBrisbane-Sydney (1 service dep.9am-arr.9pm)Canberra-Sydney (Hourly through day)Melbourne-Sydney (1 service dep.9am-arr.9pm)Sydney-Brisbane (1 service dep.9am-arr.9pm)Sydney-Canberra (Hourly through day)Sydney-Melbourne (1 service dep.9am-arr.9pm)
Night ServicesBrisbane-Sydney (1 service dep.8pm-arr.8am)Melbourne-Sydney (1 service dep.8pm-arr.8am)Sydney-Brisbane (1 service dep.8pm-arr.8am)Sydney-Melbourne (1 service dep.8pm-arr.8am)
Works for me - the one-hour turnaround should
be enough, but might get squeezy; but there's not much choice, besides building a larger fleet.
If we work off seven trains, that's 15 power cars and however many trailers required.