WCWR to close?

 
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
According to the Examiner, the Federal group has decided to stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway as of April.

http://www.examiner.com.au/story/1277396/federal-group-to-shut-wilderness-railway/?cs=95


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  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
I have heard of this happening, but not sure of when. It has had a big drop on tourists for awhile. I have a very good source for my info.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways


The story in the link says "FEDERAL Group has informed staff that it will stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway at the end of the month". That means end of February.  Where did you see a reference to April?

That's a blow. I haven't travelled, but was planning to do so later this year.

  jt393 Assistant Commissioner

Location: los jinetes enmascarados' clubhouse



That's a blow. I haven't travelled, but was planning to do so later this year.

"duttonbay"


Yep a big blow too. I wanted to go on the train as well, sometime down the line but, too bad it has to stop operating. Damn.



  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne



The story in the link says "FEDERAL Group has informed staff that it will stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway at the end of the month". That means end of February. Where did you see a reference to April?

"duttonbay"


First paragraph under the way too large breaking news logo:

"Federal Group has informed staff that it will stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway at the end of April."




  duttonbay Minister for Railways


Thanks.  Whilst it's not good news, for people like me trying to arrange a trip that does give me more time.  My February and March are very busy - looks like I'm Tasmanian bound sometime in April.

BTW, the quote in my post was a copy/paste from that page, so it's obviously been changed somewhere.

  Railnthusiast Chief Commissioner

Location: At the computer
There is another thread on this in the news section as well.
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Think may have to make a trip down in mid April.
  Amraks Junior Train Controller


I'm going to do a trip too.

Its ashame that federal group love to rip the pensioners in their gambling games.
but can't run a heritage rail road at a loss. maybe they should of put some pokies on these trains.

  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

I say shame on The Federal Group.

The ABT operations were crossed subsidised from gambling revenue, It could not operate sucessfully in any other way.

I heard a Tasmanian political party say that more should be spent on tourism promotion. Just about everywhere I have been there has been ABT Wilderness Railway brochures and advertising so that is not the problem.

A report requested by the Federal Group suggests the cost of maintaining below rail infrastructure is the main cause, I suggest the lines bridges are of concern some needing major attention i.e. the iron bridge.
Just maybe the due diligence process conducted by Federal before taking over the operation was not robust enough.


The big problem I see is the loss of a very skilled workforce.

Is there a lesson here for the Heads of Tasmanian Tourism and Governments, you bet, how do they think mostly Volunteer operated Tourist Railways are faring?

  jamiec Station Staff


And the Greens want to stop new mines here on the west coast and rely on tourism for jobs Rolling Eyes
I have been on the WCWR two times over the years and it was great. Getting a bit expensive that puts off some peaple.

Cheers Jamie

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE



I'm going to do a trip too.

Its ashame that federal group love to rip the pensioners in their gambling games.
but can't run a heritage rail road at a loss. maybe they should of put some pokies on these trains.

"Amraks"


Their business, like any company is to run at a profit and return a dividend to the shareholders, there is nothing wrong with them off-loading a loss making operation as per any business

However life is a 2 way street and the govt could require the operation as a condition of their license if they had a substantial asset in the area. Like a Casino above the Station in Q'town. Perhaps your idea of pokies, card tables etc on the train isn't a bad thing, but so long as its a adults only carriage?

Lets hope the state and Federal Casino's can come up with a transition plan to enable ongoing operations. What hasn't been stated is what the annual losses actually are. Basic number is that 48 people at an average employment cost of $100,000pa is around $5mpa + other costs, so lets say tripple this $15mpa operating costs. This is just over $250k per week minus revenue. Perhaps the state could make up the difference for a short term to enable the oepration to continue until a new operator or heritage group can be established? However I'm sure Federal have already spoken with the state.

Anyone wishing to go, I just had a look at their website and that it appears you must phone to book. no online data is available. Just reading Tripadvsior, it gets a 4.5 star rating. negatives comments mostly seem to be about the price and lunch.

regards
Shane

  Deccapod Beginner


I say no shame to the federal group at all.

The previous operator built a sub standard railway in every sense, with out federal there would be no railway at all. The massive amount of money continually invested coupled with the rapidly declining visitations to the West Coast, coupled with the governments lack of action have resulted in this decision being made.

Remember that when originally taken over the gambling laws were radically different to what they are now.

Hats off to Greg Farrell for pesisting with the state's mismanaged attempt at rebuilding this in the first place.

Congratulations to all WCWR staff for persevering in what is the most challenging railway to operate in Australia.

A sad loss to Tassie.

Lets enjoy the last three months!!

  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld





The story in the link says "FEDERAL Group has informed staff that it will stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway at the end of the month". That means end of February. Where did you see a reference to April?

"duttonbay"


First paragraph under the way too large breaking news logo:

"Federal Group has informed staff that it will stop operating the West Coast Wilderness Railway at the end of April."

"lkernan"


When I read it earlier it said what duttonbay said above. Other things on that page have changed too...

  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne




When I read it earlier it said what duttonbay said above. Other things on that page have changed too...


"Graham4405"


I don't doubt that at all, the Examiner has a bit of a habit of doing that.

  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld






When I read it earlier it said what duttonbay said above. Other things on that page have changed too...


"Graham4405"


I don't doubt that at all, the Examiner has a bit of a habit of doing that.

"lkernan"


But the strange thing is I read it after you started this thread, as I suspect duttonbay did too...

  benscaro Chief Commissioner




no surprises there. i remember discussions on this with senior state public servants when i worked for the federal gummint in hobart when it was approved. the back-read was it wasn't viable, and there wasn't a scenario anyone could come up with where it ever would be.

the whole thing was lampooned in an- IMHO -not very good- tasmanian novel around the time. the novel is still popular; its magical realism evidently outlasted that in the abt business plan.

  exarmidale Train Controller


ABC news article.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/jobs-in-balance-as-tourist-railway-closes/4499832?section=tas

This was a fantastic trip last February.

Though with a 5000mm annual rainfall in the area makes it hard to maintain track. Some of the storm damage along the route you have to see to believe.

  Carnot Minister for Railways

A real shame if it was to close.  I have fond memories of going on it in early 2008 and was impressed with the professionalism of the operation.  I just wonder if the ticket prices scared people away?
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner


http://www.facebook.com/SaveTheWestCoastRailway



"Like" this page and add to the numbers that want West Coast Wilderness Railway to stay open.

I really dislike all these "like" this and "like" that nonsense on Facebook.  However, this is the sort of thing that it can be useful for.  It makes it simple to be counted as a supporter of WCWR.

  VRfan Moderator

Location: In front of my computer :-p



That's a blow. I haven't travelled, but was planning to do so later this year.

"duttonbay"


Hmm, I was also planning to go down there this year and do all the Tassie tourist railways :/

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE



no surprises there. i remember discussions on this with senior state public servants when i worked for the federal gummint in hobart when it was approved. the back-read was it wasn't viable, and there wasn't a scenario anyone could come up with where it ever would be.

the whole thing was lampooned in an- IMHO -not very good- tasmanian novel around the time. the novel is still popular; its magical realism evidently outlasted that in the abt business plan.

"benscaro"


Seems strange after 10 years of operation they are walkinga way. While there have been some comments that numbers have declined alot. I'm am not sure when this started. How long has Federal being running the train at a loss?

  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
From my understanding, the losing passengers has been happening for awhile, about 3 years.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld



From my understanding, the losing passengers has been happening for awhile, about 3 years.
"Z1NorthernProgress2110"


The day we were on the train (about 3 years ago) there were 6 passengers, the 3 of us and 3 more! The train left with the food car and the premier car only, so we travelled in the premier car for the standard fare. Bargain...

  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.



http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-02-04/jobs-in-balance-as-tourist-railway-closes/4499832?section=tas

....Five years ago the railway carried 45,000 passengers but in the past year the figure had dropped to just over 30,000.
&
.....The Infrastructure Minister, David O'Byrne, says it will cost between $15 million and $20 million to maintain the railway and the government cannot afford the investment on its own.
"ABC news article"


Does that mean the Federal Group has possible skimped on maintenance and now it has caught up to them.
Losing a third of patronage is quite a big drop.

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