Former 'Murraylander' sets and 909/907- situation update

 
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Kind of like a more direct friend of mine who locally works in a field somewhat similar to steamforian, who when approaching a local group was informed that they could be someone who helped out in the station when the train arrived...
Aaron

Kind of like the Head of an SA Government department who volunteered locally, rang the bell and collected the fares.

I mean what were they thinking? The guy should have been running the group from the moment he walked through the door.

Down at the club last night I saw a guy, who runs his own successful business, stocking up the portaloos with toilet paper in readiness for this evening's Adelaide United/ Phoenix game. What a loser.

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  steam4ian Chief Commissioner


Kind of like a more direct friend of mine who locally works in a field somewhat similar to steamforian, who when approaching a local group was informed that they could be someone who helped out in the station when the train arrived...
Aaron

Steam4ian is quite happy to help out in whatever capacity he finds needing help. He doesn't get to PRR very often so does not have a trained role. He has cleaned toilets at Quorn RS, he has wiped the dust of all the exterior window frames of the building, he has swept the station forecourt, he has cleaned out the ash pit when nobody seems to have done it for weeks. He could go on but his point is made. He has also had some memorable cab rides.

In any club you must be prepared to start at the bottom to prove your worth and to get known.

In society and in the work place you have to earn the right to speak and that earning does NOT ONLY include the letters after your name. As a cadet engineer getting belted around the ears by foremen in a steel works taught me the hard way (Thanks Bill, John and John).

Ian (Post nominal to 22 letters) Laughing
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Agreed, Ian, you can't walk in and expect to be in charge of anything just because of your experience or expectations.  

Talking generally of experiences in volunteering for not-for-profits: I've never volunteered for any rail-related organisations but I've certainly done lots of work for community outreach organisations and my experiences have generally been unfavourable.  My issue is that a lot of the time you end up doing work that should really be filled by paid employees. One not-for-profit that I volunteered for recently was quite ruthless in the way that they exploited their free labour and expected people to provide a lot of resources on their own (eg insurance and petrol) for a program that they were actually funded by the government to provide. I left fairly soon after starting and it was no surprise that a lot of other volunteers didn't last long either.

I'm also really concerned about Work-for-dole projects headed in this direction too. If someone is working 25 hours a week in a semi-skilled occupation like gardening, maintenance or personal care services, isn't it fair that they should be paid a living wage to do that work?
  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
Actually JAP, I'd suggest that the conversation had moved on from that to discussing the individual factors behind the destruction of the line, being:
- Alan Scott's reluctance to support gauge-conversion of the South East line in 1995 (in fact he went on the record as saying it should be allowed to die);
- Whether gauge conversion would have made any difference to the question of viability of the line;
- Whether connecting Mt Gambier to the national rail network would have bought new operators and (potentially) new traffic? Pulp, woodchips and timber being the obvious potential traffic.

Maybe you could add to that list Australian National's management of the network and whether it would have been better off under G&W or perhaps SAR? Tassie ended up having to have their own government railway again; South Australia for some reason didn't go down that path.

What Aaron is saying is that nothing would have saved it. I just don't agree with that proposition; as Brian says above, had they converted the line (as they ultimately did with Pinaroo/Loxton) then maybe (just maybe) there would still have been some viable intra- and inter-state freight coming out of the South East.
don_dunstan

Right on don_dunstan. One does get annoyed of hearing that now old worn out addage "nothing would have saved it"  that's total rubbish. Of course, at present day yes it's now too late, that horse (opportunity) has well bolted. In fact I think the horse now long dead, even the smell of it near gone. But at the time back in 1995 if a certain person really had Mt Gambier and the South East's best interests at heart, he would have helped make it a workable road-rail if he had gone right way about it, also to his company's benefit. It's near impossible for one to see past one's total self interest, as one then becomes blind and then all the South East looses out.

Seems his idea from where I sat was to build an empire where your the total king by getting rid any possible opposition. If rail was fully privitised, others could then sneak in and out by and through rail. If one had been here in the Mount during those earlier old rail days, one would not have to be blind Freddy to see and to figure that out. Of course being an outsider living here in the Mount, it was so easy to see what was happening. If one looks back since the rail has been totally trashed, there were lot of things happened since in the South East would have gained by having a good Rail and Road system working together.  So now as far as Govts go these days and getting worse, the South East of SA will and has become invisable on the map.

End of the beginning.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
just an idea,
it would be awesome to a twice weekly whyalla, barossa, bordertown and broken hill service. perhaps even a weekly mallee service from Adelaide to Karoonda and pinnarroo for the tourists.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
just an idea,
it would be awesome to a twice weekly whyalla, barossa, bordertown and broken hill service. perhaps even a weekly mallee service from Adelaide to Karoonda and pinnarroo for the tourists.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
just an idea,
it would be awesome to a twice weekly whyalla, barossa, bordertown and broken hill service. perhaps even a weekly mallee service from Adelaide to Karoonda and pinnarroo for the tourists.
Heath Loxton

It is easier to take your own vehicle.   First you have to drive into Adelaide, park your vehicle for whatever time you are gone, then when you get there, hire a car.   Not too many Avis agencies at any of the above towns (the one's with Capital letters) I guess!

'for the tourists' - yeah right.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I think many of you have missed the point in my prior post, when people appear with a specific skill set, it is best not to tell them that their skills are not of use, or not needed, quickly these groups find that no one cares to help them.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Kind of like the Head of an SA Government department who volunteered locally, rang the bell and collected the fares.
bingley hall

Well so long as there wasn't a Minister to mislead...
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
John: I agree. I think that from a business perspective they could see rail privatisation coming over the horizon and didn't want any potential competition, particularly with bulk haulage. It's a shame because other operators like Lindsay Fox are ardent campaigners for improving both modes of transport. It would have added to the economy of the Mount if there was more competition, no doubt about it.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
or what about 2 sets;
Then there can be twice weekly services to Whyalla, Broken Hill, Bordertown. and weekly services to Parachilna for flinders rangers tourism, Pinnaroo and Loxton with bus connections to the Riverland. the services can be aimed at tourists. Smile
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
...when people appear with a specific skill set, it is best not to tell them that their skills are not of use, or not needed, quickly these groups find that no one cares to help them.
Aaron

Yeah that's absolutely right - unless your particular skill-set meets the exact needs of the organisation it's likely you'll be doing the work-a-day things that Ian described earlier. It might be that even if you are highly skilled you enjoy interacting with the public selling sausage rolls and train tickets just because you're putting something in.

Heath: Who would want to sit in a noisy, presumably un-airconditioned railway carriage for hour upon hour looking out at the Mallee plains? I just don't know who would want to use such a service - given the marginal viability of existing tourist services such as Steamranger and the failure of ventures like YPR and Limestone Coast... it tends to point to such things being un-viable in South Australia.

Even here in Victoria the various excursion services run out of Newport are helped by a relatively extensive and well-maintained rail network BUT they run very infrequently and even when they do the cost of buying a ticket is astronomical (to pay for things like insurance, accreditation, fuel, paid operators/drivers, vehicle upkeep, track access etc). If they can't make a regular tourist rail excursion like that work in a state with a much better rail network and four times the population then they have no chance whatsoever of making it work in SA.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Twelve years ago I was in Adelaide briefly and had the chance to ride the Wine train to the Barossa. At that time the adult fares were over $100 per pax. For the two of us that was a substantial impost.

Other (cheaper) rail related things were enjoyed. But the average punter may be unwilling to fork out big bucks for heritage rail. And if they do, will they be a repeat customer? Unlikely.

If a rail corridor becomes available for preservation, the most viable option i see into the future for minimising maintenance overheads and maximising viability would be to opt for narrow gauge in two foot, or two foot six. Anything bigger can go in a museum.

The golden age of volunteerism is fading, and groups that fail to notice will suffer. Otherwise, we wouldnt see a bunch of long standing, very popular groups like zzr and mvhr stop operating and need assistance to recover.

Would a puffing billy style operation work around Mt Gambier? Noone knows, but it would trump the current status of zero trains. And it would be cheaper than $140 a head.
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

just an idea,
it would be awesome to a twice weekly whyalla, barossa, bordertown and broken hill service. perhaps even a weekly mallee service from Adelaide to Karoonda and pinnarroo for the tourists.
Heath Loxton

Heath , GSR already run trains to most of the places above .

The Barossa line looks like it is going to close now with the stonie not running .


The best idea would be for Heath to charter a train  to where you wish to go and then try to find tourist etc to sell tickets too .

Then you will come into the real world . Trying to get money from people to go to nowhere places were there is really nothing to see .
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
where would you charter a train from?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Hi,
where would you charter a train from?
"Heath Loxton"

Maybe GSR would be a good starting point?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The golden age of volunteerism is fading, and groups that fail to notice will suffer. Otherwise, we wouldnt see a bunch of long standing, very popular groups like zzr and mvhr stop operating and need assistance to recover.
locojoe67

The Barossa line has the best chance of actually providing a viable 'day tour' type excursion service from Adelaide; it's truly spectacular scenery, it can easily be done as a day trip and there's a lot to see and do as a tourist once you're there - but as discussed many times on this board it's never really been sustainable longer-term.  

The railway line through the South-East has been lifted through Mt Gambier and is in an extremely poor state where it remains in place; it's not really a suitable candidate for any kind of tourist service unfortunately.  There was formerly a very enthusiastic volunteer group down there; I tried to ride the Limestone Coast red hen service when that was operating about 14 years ago but when we turned up it was cancelled because no-one (apart from myself, a friend and her daughter) had shown up that day! Very sad but they just couldn't make that work.

For the Barossa line to be viable they would need to fix several things that were factors in the failure last time, including the extremely poor state of the tracks and the fact that the rolling stock they've used isn't really fit for purpose.  If you're paying around $100 a ticket as you say then you expect a much higher standard of comfort than the Bluebirds they were using in my opinion - not the fault of the operator but an unfortunate reality that they were the only vintage train available in South Australia.  Again, cars like the former Murray-lander ones are really not up to any sort of a standard that would attract interstate and overseas visitors apart from hard-core gunzels.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The interior of the Wine train is not standard Bluebird set out though. It has  modern coach (Bus)type seating and a couple of bars in it as well. I had to walk through it when it arrived at the NRM for storage, my son and I had to remove the air hoses laid through the cars! It has been completely work over in side and about the only thing really missing is retention toilets which may prove to be a stumbling block on the power cars as there is just no room under the car for the retention tank!

However having said that no one is really going to sit in it while it trundles along at walking pace almost when you could go by car visit a few places and probably be on the way back while the train is still slowly ambling along to get there! The ticket price has to cover costs though so if it cost $100 back then it would be most probably $200 or more today! The car is still cheaper though even with petrol prices going through the roof!
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
David: Even if you fly to Adelaide, a rental car is still a better option for exploring than having to rely on an unreliable, slow and rigidly time-tabled 'cruise' train. I love rental cars, they let you to go anywhere and do almost anything you like while you're visiting and you can just dump them off and fly home at the end.

Any effort to reinstate the Wine Train would need the tracks to be up to a reasonable standard first (as you say), there's not much fun in spending several hours in transit to a destination which is really only an hour or so from the metro area.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Any effort to reinstate the Wine Train would need the tracks to be up to a reasonable standard first (as you say), there's not much fun in spending several hours in transit to a destination which is really only an hour or so from the metro area.
don_dunstan

Correct, ARS to Tanunda by car (or even a tour bus/limo/cab) in less than an hour is quite standard and all well below the former cost of a BWT ticket.
  allan Chief Commissioner

The Barossa line will not survive as a tourist line only. Is there any potential for suburban services in that direction? Or, to put it more plainly, is any attempt being made to beef up the population base in the Valley as has been done at Mt Barker? Or, is the real estate too valuable for that?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Allan.

The latest expansion of Mt Barker was most unpopular and there were strong hints of foul play by the Land Management Corporation. I doubt any government would dare do the same thing again for quite a while.

There is a growing resistance to development in the Southern Vales region which appears to have Planning Department support. The wine industry has a big pull.

All this suggests that any significant increases in town sizes in the Barossa Valley, east of Lyndoch', will face significant opposition. To expand the population to a size which justified a rail based public transport system would mean the valley would be taken over by tar and cement.

There is pressure on Roseworthy and Wasleys to greatly enlarge those towns sizes at the expense of some of SA's best wheat growing areas.

Having increased populations then raises the question of what supports these persons, how do they pay the mortgage? Most employment, if there is any will not be convenient to public transport so people will be force to rely on private vehicles.

Ian
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

I have done some searching on the web about the Barossa line and tourist sites and the facts are .

Passenger trains finished late 1968 ? . Barossa wine train finished 2003

So between 1968 - 2003 it was Steam ranger and the AN Explorer train and Barossa wine train running tourist trains on the line .

The BWT ran 3 services a week which took 90 minutes to get to Tanunda from the Adelaide train station . I take the train was express .

Different tourist sites have the journey from Adelaide central to Tanunda by car as 70 to 90 minutes depending which way you go by road .

At the moment there is a train service from Adelaide to Gawler to connect with a bus service ( link SA ) which takes 1hr 45 minutes to get you to Tanunda . 9 connecting services Mon to Fri , 4 connecting services Saturday , 2 connecting services Sunday . Bus ticket cost under $10 and then metro ticket cost .

Tanunda is 70 train kms from Adelaide . Of which Gawler central ( end of the metro line )is at 42 kms .

Which leaves 28 kms of track to Tanunda which is not being used anymore .

So could a tourist train pay for the up keep for the 28 km line by it self . I don't think so as it might need to run 7 days a week and where would all the tourist come from . ( If the train was volunteer only it might be a different story & the BWT was a business )

Maybe the only way to keep the line open would have metro trains go all the way to Tanunda to help pay for the line with a tourist train running 3 days a week . But then you wouldn't need tourist trains to get to Tanunda.

If The Barossa line closes or should it be when ?

I hope that there could be a farewell trip on the line . But yet again what is on broad gauge . Adelaide metro train or maybe a NRM Red hen special .
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The latest expansion of Mt Barker was most unpopular and there were strong hints of foul play by the Land Management Corporation. I doubt any government would dare do the same thing again for quite a while.
steam4ian

Anyone could see that Mt Barker was going to end up being an unloved overgrown exurb in the hills - the problem is suburban blocks around metro fringes are really expensive so people move further out to unregulated exurbs where it's much cheaper to get the house and land dream.  Same thing happening in Victoria on a much larger scale with Bacchus Marsh, Wallan and Drouin.  The difference over here is that there's usually a frequent train service to the city - Mt Barker doesn't even have that unfortunately.

I noticed when I drove through earlier this year that Lyndoch is showing signs of turning into an exurb. I think (as you say) there's a lot of resistance to that sort of thing in South Australia, which is probably a good thing - the hills and the Barossa are really attractive places and it would be a shame to see them ruined by an uncontrolled commuter belt kind of development spread.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
i recently had to conduct a business plan for regional rail in SA as part of a school project

this is what i come up with:

1) one year of prep upgrades of 7 of steves good carriages.
2) six months of once montly trial railfan services from Adelaide to Whyalla. Broken hill and Bordertown.
3) one year of twice weekly whyalla and once weekly rail services to broken hill and bordertown.
4) expanding staff obtaining and restoring the wine train for a thrice weekly barossa service.
5) obtaining the CB class railcar from port augusta and runnning it montly to parachilna, loxton and Pinarroo for the railfans.

thoughts on my A+ school project?

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