Regional Rail Link Bendigo Wise

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Castlemaine and Bendigo commuters need to realize that the world doesn't revolve around the single peak hour express services in each direction. The commuters on these services still have vastly superior travel times compared to other towns of similar distance. For example Traralgon's AM flagship takes just over two hours to get to the city and doesn't even stop at Southern Cross!

Almost all trains have had extended travel times since the RFR timetable was introduced in 2006. For some reason only those using the fastest express services are the ones whinging. Whinging that it takes the same amount of time to travel 120 km to Castlemaine or Ballarat as it takes to reach Lilydale or Frankston on Metro.
712M

When the RFR timetable was introduced in 2006, there would have been an expectation that the Flagship time from Castlemaine to Southern Cross would remain at 65 mins, however it has now blown out by around 20 mins.

The introduction of concrete sleepers all the way to Bendigo should have realised an even further decrease in running times. EG, the track speed limit from Castlemaine to Elphinstone is 130kph (was /still is timber sleepers), regardless of the direction, however a VLocity can easily exceed 130kph from the Elphinstone tunnel to just before Castlemaine and a higher speed on the up, hence the savings of a few minutes.

Sadly with a conservative government, the flagship services have become just another train, hence the stop at Gisborne. One would hope that with the all new 2015 timetable some pride will be put back into the flagship services...though I'm not holding my breath.

The East Question   I'm just glad I don't live in the East....that's a real second rate service..Sad

Mike.

Sponsored advertisement

  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
*Sighs* Poor Vinelander. He just can't resist a bitchy partisan comment, even when the situation is much the same now as it was 4 years ago when his team was in charge. Rolling Eyes
  ScottAus Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
"Sadly with a conservative government, the flagship services have become just another train, hence the stop at Gisborne. One would hope that with the all new 2015 timetable some pride will be put back into the flagship services...though I'm not holding my breath."


I did not realise that Labor was all for peak hour expresses Smile
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
"Sadly with a conservative government, the flagship services have become just another train, hence the stop at Gisborne. One would hope that with the all new 2015 timetable some pride will be put back into the flagship services...though I'm not holding my breath."


I did not realise that Labor was all for peak hour expresses Smile
ScottAus

With a looming major shortage of rolling stock, I don't think V/Line will have much luxury to run flagship express services, as express services deny minor stations a service In a particular time slot.

To run express services properly, the morning flagship service would leave the regional centre limited express to Melbourne and a sweeper service would depart soon after stopping at all stations (reverse In the evening) but you need the rolling stock and track capacity to run this type of serve everyone service.

Sadly Labor's RFR project was heavily designed on the operation of a handful of flagship express trains

These were the travel time targets back In 2000

Geelong - Melbourne 45 minutes
Ballarat - Melbourne 60 minutes
Bendigo - Melbourne 80 minutes
Traralgon - Melbourne 90 minutes
  Calgully Deputy Commissioner

Location:
With a looming major shortage of rolling stock, I don't think V/Line will have much luxury to run flagship express services, as express services deny minor stations a service In a particular time slot.
Nightfire


IF  its done properly, a two tier service can actually deliver improved rollingstock utilisation and better capacity.

A single tier service all stations requires trains of sufficient capacity to accommodate the busiest part of the journey, but will run a lot of empty seats at the outer end.  For example, 6 car Vlocities are used Melbourne to Bendigo, and they're crowded to Gisborne, but after Kyneton much less so.  If however those six cars were run as two separate trains - one express to Kyneton then all stations Kyneton to Bendigo, the other all stations to Kyneton then more seats will be filled, and you've got a 3 car set at Kyneton that can be freed up sooner for a return trip and another load.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
IF its done properly, a two tier service can actually deliver improved rollingstock utilisation and better capacity.

A single tier service all stations requires trains of sufficient capacity to accommodate the busiest part of the journey, but will run a lot of empty seats at the outer end. For example, 6 car Vlocities are used Melbourne to Bendigo, and they're crowded to Gisborne, but after Kyneton much less so. If however those six cars were run as two separate trains - one express to Kyneton then all stations Kyneton to Bendigo, the other all stations to Kyneton then more seats will be filled, and you've got a 3 car set at Kyneton that can be freed up sooner for a return trip and another load.
Calgully

All depends on how much rolling stock Is a available.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
*Sighs* Poor Vinelander. He just can't resist a bitchy partisan comment, even when the situation is much the same now as it was 4 years ago when his team was in charge. Rolling Eyes
Bogong

That's not entirely correct.

Under the watch of the present Baillieu/Napthine government the running times for all RFR flagship services have blown out by 15 to 20 minutes.

That's not being partisan...it's simply a fact.

Armchair critics who write in these pages are clearly NOT representative of today's long distance commuter.

Minister Peter Batchelor who introduced these express services wanted to utilise the upgraded RFR tracks to the limit of their capabilities and despite adverse comments in the now archived threads in these pages of nearly 10 years ago, the long distance commuters have embraced the flagship services, even to adjusting work time commitments to utilise them particularly on the Bendigo line as car beater along the parallel Calder highway and as a way of travelling up to 320+ Km every day in way that assists in retaining ones sanity.

Moreover Minister Mulder clearly has little concept of the growing band of commuters from these marginal electorates which in all likelihood will not change at the upcoming poll.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Fair enough, I'm not sure about your claim that services have blown out by 15 minutes, but I won't challenge it.

So what are the reasons? Obviously extending sparks to Sunbury is partly responsible for the slower times, as is singling the track beyond Kyneton rendering it unable to cope with increased demand. Is there any other reason?

... and no, depicting Mulder as a comic book style baddie motivated by malice and personally responsible for evil plans to inconvenience passengers is NOT an acceptable answer when most of us know that he regularly catches the train from Melbourne back to his rural electorate.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Fair enough, I'm not sure about your claim that services have blown out by 15 minutes, but I won't challenge it.

So what are the reasons? Obviously extending sparks to Sunbury is partly responsible for the slower times, as is singling the track beyond Kyneton rendering it unable to cope with increased demand. Is there any other reason?

... and no, depicting Mulder as a comic book style evil baddie motivated by malice and personally responsible for plans to inconvenience passengers is NOT an acceptable answer when most of us know that he regularly catches the train from Melbourne back to his rural electorate.
Bogong

When the first Bendigo RFR timetable of 2006 was implemented, the then flagship service departed at 6:02am, Castlemaine at 6:22 arr SCS at 7:27.

Today, the same train, though it's been extended to Eaglehawk which is a positive...departs Bendigo 5:43am, Castlemaine 6:02, with an extra stop at Gisborne now scheduled arrival SCS at 7:25.

Yes the Sunbury sparks haven't assisted the flagship run times, however, ultimately that's a political decision.

Singling of the line north of Kyneton had no bearing on the up flagship service.

It's always a positive when the local member OR Minister travels by PT, however s/he won't be constrained by working hours to fit in a day around express trains.

Below of interest is the draft 2006 Bendigo RFR timetable. Of further interest is that all services were planned to operate with either 2 or 4 car VLocity sets, the centre cars at this time hadn't even been thought of.

http://www.ptua.org.au/allies/brag/BendigoBrochure.pdf
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It could almost be argued that RFR has become a victim of its own success:  
They built it, and they came.
Lot's of people, more than expected came.
Longer, slower trains with more stops.
And today it's barely any faster than the Sprinter services of 2004....

The singling of the track North of Kyneton does cause problems if any train loses its path.  Happens all the time.

Incidentally, the Up morning flagship is typically running Bendigo 0543 - SCS 0719.  Not too shabby, but 11 minutes slower than 2006.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It could almost be argued that RFR has become a victim of its own success:
They built it, and they came.
Lot's of people, more than expected came.
Longer, slower trains with more stops.
And today it's barely any faster than the Sprinter services of 2004....

The singling of the track North of Kyneton does cause problems if any train loses its path. Happens all the time.

Incidentally, the Up morning flagship is typically running Bendigo 0543 - SCS 0719. Not too shabby, but 11 minutes slower than 2006.
Carnot

Agreed.

A mate of mine, of MANY years driving for VR onwards remembers driving one of the 2006 down Bendigo flagships and because it was 2 cars, it was very difficult to maintain the very tight timetable; particularly on the hills it seemed the VLocity's had trouble maintaining the schedule.

Move forward a few years and now the Bendigo flagship has 5 cars, all that extra power means the timetable, assuming a good run from Sunshine to Sunbury can easily be maintained by a driver who is interested in keeping to the schedule....BTW, there are some drivers who are CBF about time-keeping as well, but that's the subject for another thread.

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The 9.08am service from Castlemaine (8.35 ex Bendigo) was a good 10 minutes late into Southern Cross yesterday (5th August). Seemed to make good time to Sunbury, waited for a while at Sunbury station (waiting for a path or running early, I could not tell) and then lost a heap of time AFTER we got on the RRL including a very annoying wait just before the new RRL flyover.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Re "Castlemaine and Bendigo commuters need to realize that the world doesn't revolve around the single peak hour express services in each direction. The commuters on these services still have vastly superior travel times compared to other towns of similar distance." Actually for many people the world DOES revolve around this service. Many people have made huge lifestyle decisions centred around using these services. Sold up their house in Melbourne and moved lock stock and barrel to the bush only to find that the deteriorating rail service makes commuting either difficult or impossible. As I posted elsewhere my neighbour in the Goldfields recently moved back to Melbourne. He had a great job with the local council, she commuted to the CBD by rail. She was late for work so often in the last year that her boss said he might have to let her go so our little town loses 2 long time residents and the local shire loses a long term and well respected care worker. Luckily for me my travel is only once a week and not time critacal, hence I relax on the 9.08 stops all stations and read the paper!
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The 9.08am service from Castlemaine (8.35 ex Bendigo) was a good 10 minutes late into Southern Cross yesterday (5th August). Seemed to make good time to Sunbury, waited for a while at Sunbury station (waiting for a path or running early, I could not tell) and then lost a heap of time AFTER we got on the RRL including a very annoying wait just before the new RRL flyover.
BrentonGolding

Did you complain to the V/Line feedback website, citing details of the service and the delays etc

BTW...the City of Castlemaine is no 'little town'...a little town might be a Mallee town like Sea Lake or Manangatang...but despite those V/Line delays of which I was also affected as well (Ballarat line)...Castlemaine holds its own...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The stars aligned on this morning's Up Flagship - got into SCS at 0716, a full 9 minutes ahead of official timetable, 4 minutes ahead of VLine schedule.

Regarding delays on the flyover - I suspect this might have something to do with points switching between SG and BG lines and general congestion.  Saw a Down Velocity train waiting for the Down Albury N-Set ahead of it to get halfway to Bunbury St before it moved....
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... BTW...the City of Castlemaine is no 'little town'...a little town might be a Mallee town like Sea Lake or Manangatang...
The Vinelander

As a former Castlemaniac, I can tell you that my home town is no city and it hasn't been city sized for 150 years.

About 50 years ago, the state government started designating mid to large sized towns (with populations from 6,000 to 15,000) as "cities". This was purely a political stunt and bore no resemblance to any normal definition of a city. Fortunately common sense returned in the council amalgamations of the 1990's and most places of that size lost their preposterous designation as cities, the one exception being Ararat.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Did you complain to the V/Line feedback website, citing details of the service and the delays etc

BTW...the City of Castlemaine is no 'little town'...a little town might be a Mallee town like Sea Lake or Manangatang...but despite those V/Line delays of which I was also affected as well (Ballarat line)...Castlemaine holds its own...
The Vinelander

No, I prefer wasting my precious time here on Railpage to wasting my precious time on the V/line website - I get much more enjoyment out of this one as opposed to a form letter full of excuses which I would get out of V/line.

Pass holders "who hold commuter tickets of four weeks or more" can get a refund on services running more than 5 minutes late but for occasional users like myself it has to be more than 60mins late for me to get compo.

Thankfully that has only ever happened to me once.......
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Did you complain to the V/Line feedback website, citing details of the service and the delays etc

BTW...the City of Castlemaine is no 'little town'...a little town might be a Mallee town like Sea Lake or Manangatang...but despite those V/Line delays of which I was also affected as well (Ballarat line)...Castlemaine holds its own...
The Vinelander

No, I prefer wasting my precious time here on Railpage to wasting my precious time on the V/line website - I get much more enjoyment out of this one as opposed to a form letter full of excuses which I would get out of V/line.

Pass holders "who hold commuter tickets of four weeks or more" can get a refund on services running more than 5 minutes late but for occasional users like myself it has to be more than 60mins late for me to get compo.

Thankfully that has only ever happened to me once.......
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

As a former Castlemaniac, I can tell you that my home town is no city and it hasn't been city sized for 150 years.

About 50 years ago, the state government started designating mid to large sized towns (with populations from 6,000 to 15,000) as "cities". This was purely a political stunt and bore no resemblance to any normal definition of a city. Fortunately common sense returned in the council amalgamations of the 1990's and most places of that size lost their preposterous designation as cities, the one exception being Ararat.
Bogong

To be fair on Castlemaine, it's very different to many other towns/cities of it's size in Victoria.  Half the population seem to typify the laid-back and conservative country citizen, while the other half are hipster/alternative lifestyle/Greens-voting lefties.  Kind of a relic of the region being at the end of the hippy trail in the 1970s....
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Agreed.

A mate of mine, of MANY years driving for VR onwards remembers driving one of the 2006 down Bendigo flagships and because it was 2 cars, it was very difficult to maintain the very tight timetable; particularly on the hills it seemed the VLocity's had trouble maintaining the schedule.

Move forward a few years and now the Bendigo flagship has 5 cars, all that extra power means the timetable, assuming a good run from Sunshine to Sunbury can easily be maintained by a driver who is interested in keeping to the schedule....BTW, there are some drivers who are CBF about time-keeping as well, but that's the subject for another thread.

Mike.
The Vinelander

I thought that all VLocitys were the same power and more or less the same weight. How, in these circumstances, does a 5 car set perform better than a 2 car set, please?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Vinelander logic.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

I thought that all VLocitys were the same power and more or less the same weight. How, in these circumstances, does a 5 car set perform better than a 2 car set, please?
YM-Mundrabilla


They brake better, a 2 x 3VL stops better than a single 3VL
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Why?

I will concede for Vinelander, a longer service will have proportionally lower wind resistance.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
To be fair on Castlemaine, it's very different to many other towns/cities of it's size in Victoria. Half the population seem to typify the laid-back and conservative country citizen, while the other half are hipster/alternative lifestyle/Greens-voting lefties. Kind of a relic of the region being at the end of the hippy trail in the 1970s....
Carnot

Actually Castlemaine is very much a hybrid town with two different populations that rarely interact with each other.

One section of the population is the one you refer to, artsy-fartsy city types, often over educated and often quite wealthy. They started arriving in the 1970's, but didn't make much of an impact until the 80's. By the 90's they had really transformed the nature of the town.

The other part of the population are the people that have been there for over 150 years. Down to earth types who often worked in heavy industry. Castlemaine was quite working class until the 80's and almost everyone had a feel for the communal vibe of the town. Essentially, the place felt like no one had moved into the town for over a century except for a few people providing services such as teachers, doctors and policemen.

When industries such as the woollen mill, Thompsons Foundry, clothes factories (like ?Givonnies?) and many others started down sizing or closing down, many of the locals became unemployed for the first time in generations. At the same time the "blow-ins" started arriving, attracted by cheap heritage housing in a town characterised by scenic valleys and tall hills.

The locals are still a majority in town, but they tend to stick to their own business, unlike the more visible "noisy blow ins" with their arts festivals and political activism. Typically they have a quiet resentment towards these new comers who have forced them out of much of their town, they have taken many of the houses, pushed up house prices to a level that locals can't afford and displaced their rural working class culture with something quite alien to them. People in their 40's that I went to school with are quietly upset that they are being pushed to the periphery of the town that their ancestors built and lived in for centuries.

Castlemaine would be a fascinating study for a sociologist looking to compare a traditional, established, native population feeling confused and impotent about being displaced by brash, self confident, wealthy new comers with totally different values and lifestyles.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

One section of the population is the one you refer to, artsy-fartsy city types, often over educated and often quite wealthy. They started arriving in the 1970's, but didn't make much of an impact until the 80's. by the 90's they had really transformed the nature of the town.
Bogong

It's these people who are often (but not exclusively) the regular train commuters from Castlemaine each day.  Many of them now jump off at Footscary (sic) on their way to Melbourne University....  They're pretty cheesed off with no more North Melbourne drop off.

As for the working class who can no longer afford to live in Castlemaine..... they tend to live in Maryborough these days (house prices are almost half those in the 'maine).  And just one train each way per day....

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.