Regional Rail Link Bendigo Wise

 
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It's basic dishonesty.

We have this comment from the article:

Mr Bond, who has been catching the 8.06am train from Castlemaine to Southern Cross twice a week for the past six years, said he had noticed a marked difference in the service over the years.
"When I first came up here, it was a beaut train service. It used to take an hour and five minutes but now it's an hour and 30 minutes and that's when it runs well.
"And if we get caught behind a stopper (suburban train) at Sunbury, you can add an extra 20 minutes to that."
Mr Bond said the other difference he had noticed was that there seemed to be less people catching the 8.06am train these days.

The 6:02am express takes 1hr23min (added stop at Gisborne), and it is the only train to have done 1hr5min.


Only it has suffered anything above negligible time extension, indicating its timings were unsustainable.


The 8:06am was 1hr17min, at the moment with an odded stop at Sunbury it is 1hr25min (oh the humanity).


Timetabled arrival (not actual) times have not changed since January.


Travel times have been extended 3-5 minutes on most services.


Timetabled arrival times will most likely drop at least 5 minutes with new timetable.


Mr Bond, who has been catching the 8.06am train from Castlemaine to Southern Cross twice a week for the past six years, said he had noticed a marked difference in the service over the years.
"When I first came up here, it was a beaut train service. It used to take an hour and five minutes


but now it's an hour and 30 minutes and that's when it runs well.



Mr Meadows has been catching the morning express train three times a week for over four years and his travel time has blown out from an hour to an 100 minutes per trip in that time.



"The thing that is frustrating about it is that it has the proven capacity to do the trip in 60 minutes and they have put all of this work in to improve the track but it's not as fast as it was, in fact it's slower."


All complete BS.

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  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Why do you think they are complaining? To annoy you? Because they have nothing better to do than sit at home and write letters to newspapers? Or because a few years ago they had a good service and it has got worse to the point that it no longer serves the needs of some of them. In general people don't expect services (government or otherwise) to get worse - to the contrary they expect them to get better over time.

And your average Joe catching the 8.06 doesn't have insight into the inner workings of VLine and certainly isn't having it explained to them by the powers that be. All they know is that their train takes 10-20 mins or thereabouts longer than it used to to get them to work.

And they're not gonna take it anymore!
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Because they have nothing better to do than sit at home and write letters to newspapers?
BrentonGolding

Winner.

And your average Joe catching the 8.06 doesn't have insight into the inner workings of VLine and certainly isn't having it explained to them by the powers that be. All they know is that their train takes 10-20 mins or thereabouts longer than it used to to get them to work.
BrentonGolding

It is timetabled 8 minutes longer.


It's not inner workings, it's not secret, it's historical fact.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It is timetabled 8 minutes longer.
ZH836301

But nobody explains to people WHY it is timetabled 8 minutes longer it just happens. Then they have to either get to the station 8 minutes early or arrive at their destination 8 minutes late! Or a combo of both.

If you think that makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside you are living in a parallel universe.

The delays (which you assure us every hour or so will fix themselves) have been dragging on in one form or another for years.

And Vline / Government / you just keep saying 'wait awhile, everything will be OK'

Gee that's comforting - because they have such a good record of delivering on their promises!
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980

I don't care that a solution is in hand...

I don't care that they are working on it as we speak...

I don't care that things will improve in a few months...

The train takes 8 minutes longer than it used to and I want it to go faster NOW!!!
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

I don't care that a solution is in hand...

I don't care that they are working on it as we speak...

I don't care that things will improve in a few months...

The train takes 8 minutes longer than it used to and I want it to go faster NOW!!!
Bogong

The problem as I have said before is that these people are are not getting the information that they want so they have gone to their local representative for action. (it may come as a shock but very few of these people read Railpage!)

And this being an election year who knows what will happen! I don't think the timing of this is a coincidence, the vote being 2.5 months away.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Latest Vline annual report just out makes for some interesting reading.
http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/publications/annualreports/Annual_Report_2013-14.pdf

Patronage on the Bendigo line has dropped from 3.45 million p.a to 2.35 million p.a (2013-2014) since Sunbury was electrified.  Metro haven't released Sunbury figures yet, but it would be interesting to know.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Latest Vline annual report just out makes for some interesting reading.
http://www.vline.com.au/pdf/publications/annualreports/Annual_Report_2013-14.pdf

Patronage on the Bendigo line has dropped from 3.45 million p.a to 2.35 million p.a (2013-2014) since Sunbury was electrified. Metro haven't released Sunbury figures yet, but it would be interesting to know.
Carnot

Interesting figures, would be great to see it broken down stop by stop from Sunbury to Bendigo
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
But nobody explains to people WHY it is timetabled 8 minutes longer
BrentonGolding

More trains, same amount of track.  It isn't complicated.


That, and an added stop at Sunbury, is why that service has lost 8 minutes since the original 2007 timetable.


It has not lost any time between the January and July 2014 timetables, and the savings from RRL will appear once the works are complete.


(Though we are hearing from the likes of Vinelander that the trains are turning up to SoCro earlier already anyway).


The delays (which you assure us every hour or so will fix themselves) have been dragging on in one form or another for years.
BrentonGolding

Let's kick all the suburban trains off the tracks.  Or maybe run all services to Castlemaine.

All you do is whinge, what's your solution?

(And keep in mind Vline is a major loss making venture, so unless you propose raising fares to reasonable levels, nothing over the top).
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Hey Broken Record,

It is indeed Groundhog day everyday where you're concerned.

One last time

a) I (and other people on this page) ALREADY KNOW that stuff. The people who are writing to papers, councils etc don't

b) I am merely reporting what other people are saying to me in conversation and via the local papers

Get it?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
More trains, same amount of track. It isn't complicated.


That, and an added stop at Sunbury, is why that service has lost 8 minutes since the original 2007 timetable.
ZH836301

Not much point trying to tell us here on Railpage, as it is not us that are ill-informed, but other travellers who probably don't know about the increased number of trains.
All you do is whinge, what's your solution?

(And keep in mind Vline is a major loss making venture, so unless you propose raising fares to reasonable levels, nothing over the top).
ZH836301

How about slashing the running costs?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Cutting the second conductor from long distance services and outsourcing the catering would be a goer.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Not just long distance. I find there are two conductors on some commuter services.
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

V/line has an operating budget of $577,479,000 in 2013/14..
I agree every dollar counts but I think you'll have to come up with better cuts than a few conductors.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
V/line has an operating budget of $577,479,000 in 2013/14..
I agree every dollar counts but I think you'll have to come up with better cuts than a few conductors.
g00r

The only other thing that I can think of that would make a significant difference would be to electrify and use renewable energy.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Fares++.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The only other thing that I can think of that would make a significant difference would be to electrify and use renewable energy.
railblogger

What !! you think this will cut costs ?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It would cut out the need to pay for fuel.

As for increased fares, how is that cost cutting?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It's not cost cutting, it's increasing revenue.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
http://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/v-line-fails-to-meet-punctuality-targets

Vline cuts will need to ensure they do not have a further adverse affect on their on time performance as this has ben down a second year.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
And what are the Government going to do about it?   Bring in another operator to use the same rollingstock on the same infrastructure with the same staff.   The only thing that would change will be the logos on the carriages!!   Big improvement.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Could a mod please split the thread so we can further discuss cust without going too far off-topic?
It's not cost cutting, it's increasing revenue.
ZH836301

Depends on how much you increase by. You do not want to be driving away your revenue sources (i.e. passengers), or you will actually lose more.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
It's a fair point, but much of their revenue base is periodicals, which aren't all that price sensitive (since the alternative is a lengthy drive+congestion+parking).

The more price sensitive customers (discretionary travel) don't contribute all that much in the scheme of things.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

VLP subsidy per pax carried is an horrific. 19 dollars per pax journey.
The best ways to improve this apalling cost recovery would be selective fare increases above cpi, and reductions in running costs, coupled with a judicious expansion of services to generate more revenue through smarter use of existing resources.

The peak hour commuter service dictates the maximum fleet and service level but daily commuters generally pay a very low fare per km travelled. So increase periodical fares above cpi progressively over 5 years and one gets a lot more revenue with minimal if any loss of patronage.

Secondly off peak concession fares are absurdly low like 7 dollars return from Geelong and these should be progressively moved up above cpi I.creases too, generating extra revenue. The political decision to make all Inter City services was crazy, and Inter City travellers on am Up and PM Down Inter City services should be paying a higher rate per km like Inter urban Peak travellers.

With fares however Governments continually interfere to depress fare increases and efforts to charge fares the market will bear.

Cost wise VLP needs to re configure its Vlocith fleet into 3 and 4 car sets , to better tailor train size to individual return trip requirements. Currently Geelong off peak run as 6 car sets, whereas 4 car sets would suffice. So a lot  of unnecessary kms at big cost is being run because VLP has locked itself into 3, 6 or 9 car Vlocity operation.

Finally it is possible to run a 30 minute off peak service to Ballarat and Bendigo within the existing fleet and staffing resources with modest improvements to infrastructure in both corridors. There would be plenty of available driver and conductor hours within the existing off peak roster to run a 30 minute frequency to Ballarat and Bendigo. So it becomes an issue of marginal additional running costs to run a higher off peak frequency,  versus the potential additional revenue to be gained by attracting new travellers and enticing existing travellers to undertake additional journeys .

Finally as a minimum a fourth additional return trip can be run on Weekdays to Warrnambool, Shepparton, Albury (sg), and Sale, again within existing resources and infrastructure . Again it is case of marginal extra costs, offset by additional revenue .
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Maybe we could ditch off-peak fares as well? That would bring in a lot more revenue and simplify the fare system.

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