Rail Alliance applaud new Member for Mildura

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Dec 2018 20:50
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

What is completely clear from the election less than  1 month ago is about progressive and inclusive government with services for all Victorians.  The last two posts are not in this theme.

The Mildura service will be returned as it provides services that voters clearly want.
The fundamental problem with the "we deserve a train, like other Victorians" line is that it leaves precisely zero room for nuance. Who can successfully argue that one town is more deserving than another?

The reality is, however, that even with a very substantial capital investment in track, facilities, signalling and rollingstock, a train to Mildura would be slow, circuitous, infrequent, and, on the whole, INFERIOR to the bus services it replaced.

The bus is slow...limited to 100Km/h for literally hours on end...

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/19e67ce6-d5ed-47df-a94e-4b673448e6cf/Mildura-Melbourne-(via-Swan-Hill-and-Bendigo)-(2)

AND

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/13b11bca-35cb-4323-9dfe-14a183d9f5de/Mildura-Ballarat-(2)

Yes it takes 2 separate timetables to cover the V/Line services on offer to Mildura...


The SG track would be third rail from Maryborough to Ballarat by the time this proposal eventually grows legs. Pax will change trains at Ballarat.

Trains would operate in tandem with the existing bus service so the towns that currently receive a V/Line bus service remain as part of the system EG Robinvale, Euston, Manangatang, Nyah etc.



The train is INFERIOR to the bus because the track is upgraded BEFORE any scheduled passenger trains commence operation on the Mildura line.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it has superior disability access and facilities.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it encourages freedom of movement within the train cars.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it has catering at hand.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it has two classes of accommodation, both of which are more spacious.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it will be travelling faster than 100Km/h.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it will ride more smoothly than the bus on the Murray Valley, Calder and the goat track, Sunraysia Highway.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it is a safer mode of transport.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it is an inducer for people to travel by PT instead of driving or paying exorbitant air fares.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because the point to point times will be faster than the current train/bus timetable. (see above)

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because it will actually be an enhanced population changer like the other regional cities with regional trains.

The train is INFERIOR to the bus because the railway stations the train will serve now become community hubs and Tourist Information centres instead of deserted buildings.


I think that wraps up enough discussion regarding why the train is INFERIOR to the bus.

Mike. Smile
The Vinelander
The fact that there are two timetables is no criticism of the service as you seem to suggest - in fact, it shows the connectivity inherent in having multiple routes to Melbourne via several major centres.

The rest is a classic example of the Gish gallop - trying to overwhelm the debate by providing a vast number of arguments, without regard to the accuracy or logic of them. So, taking you point by point:

  1. (addressing the comment here and in the other thread) Do you have any idea how much it would cost to upgrade the track to a standard that you perceive as a given? Getting DMU operation above 100km/h, high speed points, protecting level crossings... I think a very conservative estimate would be $500 million. The question must be asked whether half a billion dollars is a justifiable investment for, at the very most, one train load of people each way each day. Imagine what the same amount of money could do for the Swan Hill line and a fleet of new, accessible buses.
  2. I won't begrudge you this one.
  3. I have no idea what "freedom of movement" between carriages has to do with the provision of public transport. By that logic you would be happy with an articulated bus.
  4. The same facility is already provided for the majority of the bus/train journey. 2 and a half hours is not a particularly long time to go without food or refreshment.
  5. There is no suggestion that the next generation of regional stock will have two classes. Or is that another extra investment we need to make for the special Mildurans?
  6. I think you'll find the train won't ride particularly well on the Murray Valley Highway. Also, see point 1.
  7. That's splitting hairs. It's like comparing the safety records of the major Australian airlines - incidents happen so infrequently it's impossible to make any sort of meaningful statistical comparison.
  8. The question has to be asked at some point how many of the potential train passengers you mention are already using public transport. My suspicion is that it would be a large number. This means your capital investment (see point 1) can't even be fairly said to benefit the entire train load of passengers. Simultaneously, you reduce the number of passengers on the bus routes, which according to you, must remain open as well, because the state hasn't thrown enough money at this thing.
  9. See point 1. Massive investment required to compete on time, can it be justified?
  10. I have no idea what an "enhanced population changer" is - it sounds like something out of Gattaca - but if it's another sad attempt to compare Mildura to the RFR routes, just remember that no one is going to be doing the daily commute from Mildura on the train.
  11. See point 1. The state should spend a cool half bill just so a couple of buildings have people in them? Really?


Ultimately all these comments do nothing towards answering the primary question, which must be answered objectively, with some sort of rigorous evidence, if this thing is to ever get up.

Is there a substantial but untapped market of potential passengers in Mildura, who would gain some sort of economic and/or social benefit from the provision of a train specifically? Emphasis on the four tests that I thing need to be applied.

I wish the campaigners luck, I really do. I am on Railpage after all and am not a total cynic. But if they are to succeed, then they must learn that successful public transport campaigns are based on evidence, broad support and obvious potential for patronage, rather than emotional appeals which do nothing to win over the government or the broader public.

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  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Some of the roads up that neck of the woods are 110kph, certainly Robinvale (Euston) - Mildura and Mildura - Ouyen.
  ed31880 Train Controller

why don't we just move the state border so Mildura is in South Australia and give them a connection to Adelaide if they are so hell bent on having a passenger rail connection to their state capital.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
why don't we just move the state border so Mildura is in South Australia and give them a connection to Adelaide if they are so hell bent on having a passenger rail connection to their state capital.
ed31880
If Mildura was in SA they would have zero chance of having passenger rail return, SA don't do regional rail anymore.


The best possible outcome would be for the entire line to be upgraded to class 1 track, and to have a long distance Vlocity derivative (similar to what is being developed for Albury) operate between Mildura and Ballarat and make that journey in about 4.5 hours. The cost for this would be in the billions. This will not be happening.

The cheapest solution, would be for the displaced N class + N sets from the Albury line (once they get their new trains) to be redeployed onto the Horsham and Mildura lines. That is currently 4 sets, to run on the two lines, between Ararat and Horsham (3 times a day) and between Ballarat and Mildura (once per day). Continue to operate Maryborough to Melbourne as its own service (BG Vlocity).

Run both 'new' services as a 24 month trial. After that time, if passenger numbers have supported the new service, then order new locomotives and new carriage stock 'off the shelf' for these 2 lines, perhaps then you may be able to expand the Western SG passenger network to include Hamilton as well.

Utilising the existing loco hauled stock on these lines will negate the need to upgrade over 50 level crossings between Maryborough and Mildura.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
why don't we just move the state border so Mildura is in South Australia and give them a connection to Adelaide if they are so hell bent on having a passenger rail connection to their state capital.
ed31880

Talk to the SA guys who are trying to cancel the ONLY regional train service in SA (there's only ONE in the whole state) that has the potential for growth.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p2127762.htm#2127762


It's a whole new ball game now... Smile

  • Some posters have written in these pages that the good folk of Mildura and environs don't actually want a passenger train re-instated..


  • Other posters cite the three airlines that fly to Mildura every day are more than adequate...


  • Others really should be posting ra ra pieces in the bus forum because they consider buses to be such a wonderful mode of transport...


  • The local federal MP for Mallee expressed concerns that a reinstated passenger train could be SO POPULAR as to make the air services unviable.


http://www.sunraysiadaily.com.au/story/5635560/mildura-passenger-rail-could-cost-airport-flights-andrew-broad-says/



Enter newly elected Independent, Ali Cupper with a 7% swing, in one fell swoop putting to be bed permanently any thoughts of no local interest in returning the passenger train...

https://alicupperindependent.nationbuilder.com/mildura_mallee_passenger_rail

Guess what...naysayers and armchair commentators... Smile

Mike.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
why don't we just move the state border so Mildura is in South Australia and give them a connection to Adelaide if they are so hell bent on having a passenger rail connection to their state capital.

Talk to the SA guys who are trying to cancel the ONLY regional train service in SA (there's only ONE in the whole state) that has the potential for growth.


It's a whole new ball game now... Smile
    Enter newly elected Independent, Ali Cupper with a 7% swing, in one fell swoop putting to be bed permanently any thoughts of no local interest in returning the passenger train...

    Guess what...naysayers and armchair commentators... Smile

    Mike.
    The Vinelander
    Mike, I'm glad to see you are mellowing

    I thought you would explode when gman said the dirty word "trial", like I mentioned a couple of months ago.
    The cheapest solution, would be for the displaced N class + N sets from the Albury line (once they get their new trains) to be redeployed onto the Horsham and Mildura lines. That is currently 4 sets, to run on the two lines, between Ararat and Horsham (3 times a day) and between Ballarat and Mildura (once per day). Continue to operate Maryborough to Melbourne as its own service (BG Vlocity).

    Run both 'new' services as a 24 month trial. After that time, if passenger numbers have supported the new service, then order new locomotives and new carriage stock 'off the shelf' for these 2 lines, perhaps then you may be able to expand the Western SG passenger network to include Hamilton as well.
    Gman_86
    There has been a bit of mischief on this thread of a 12hour run time. Not true.
    We've already established that the existing times for freight (Mildura/MBY) and passenger (MBY/SCS) is about 9 hours.
    That would be the base estimate for re-using the N sets for Mildura. Could be made a little better, but certainly no worse.

    Given your concerns about the low platforms, does the use of N set in the short term ease that somewhat?

    cheers
    John
      Nightfire Minister for Railways

    Location: Gippsland

    There has been a bit of mischief on this thread of a 12hour run time. Not true.
    We've already established that the existing times for freight (Mildura/MBY) and passenger (MBY/SCS) is about 9 hours.
    That would be the base estimate for re-using the N sets for Mildura. Could be made a little better, but certainly no worse.

    Given your concerns about the low platforms, does the use of N set in the short term ease that somewhat?

    cheers
    John
    justarider
    12 hour journey Is floated because the Mildura line historically has more than It's fair share of speed restrictions, due to the difficult ground conditions encounted, add hot Summer days and a fast timetabled run time Is going to blow right out.
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

    There has been a bit of mischief on this thread of a 12hour run time. Not true.
    We've already established that the existing times for freight (Mildura/MBY) and passenger (MBY/SCS) is about 9 hours.
    That would be the base estimate for re-using the N sets for Mildura. Could be made a little better, but certainly no worse.

    Given your concerns about the low platforms, does the use of N set in the short term ease that somewhat?

    cheers
    John
    12 hour journey Is floated because the Mildura line historically has more than It's fair share of speed restrictions, due to the difficult ground conditions encounted, add hot Summer days and a fast timetabled run time Is going to blow right out.
    Nightfire

    When the plans are drawn for the EVENTUAL further upgrade of the line, this will have to include the track, in parts and the old abandoned stations like St Arnaud, Birchip, Woomelang etc which I suggest will make excellent tourist information centres such as the fantastic one at Charleville station in Qld.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g499641-d4546693-Reviews-Charleville_Visitor_Information_Centre-Charleville_Queensland.html

    ...which sadly only sees two passenger trains a week. (don't get me started on the patronage of those two trains)

    I'm not a big fan of the tired old N cars with the stinky toilets on a hot day, the dust that encroaches under the exit doors and the apparently 'loose couplers' which guarantees a jerking ride and the rough riding bogies compared to a V'Locity, however if it has to be a 'trial' then it's probably a good compromise.

    BTW, I think the upgrade will occur before the train is introduced and it would be a great publicity venture for the new Independent MP to give frequent reports to the locals on the overall track/station upgrades as they occur, similar to the infrequent Regional Rail Revival updates.

    http://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/

    Mike.
      Valvegear Dr Beeching

    Location: Norda Fittazroy
    I'm not a big fan of the tired old N cars with the stinky toilets on a hot day, the dust that encroaches under the exit doors and the apparently 'loose couplers' which guarantees a jerking ride and the rough riding bogies compared to a V'Locity, however if it has to be a 'trial' then it's probably a good compromise.
    "The Vinelander"
    Yep. Then we can all sit back and wait for the inevitable "train fault" and buses.
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Meanwhile back in the real world, the 25 million dollar upgrade of the Mildura Airport was completed a year or so ago and the're now handling 220 000 passengers a year.
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    Meanwhile back in the real world, the 25 million dollar upgrade of the Mildura Airport was completed a year or so ago and the're now handling 220 000 passengers a year.
    wobert

    your point being...
      ptvcommuter Train Controller

    Mildura is 609km Away from Southern Cross Station
    VLocity Trains Run at 160km/h at top speed - including stops in between at Ouyen, Donald, Dunolly, St Arnaud, Speed, Wommelang and Birchip this would add about 15 Mins

    So all up VLocity Trains at 160km/h would total up with everything to a 4 Hour trip
    A VLocity Train at 120km/h would take 5 hours and 30 Minutes
    Both these are competitive with the car/beat the car, which takes 5 hours and 40 Minutes


    Now going on about these bends, Line can be straightened and speed limit increased with brand new track, why should a ridiculous speed limit apply. It wouldn’t cost an enormous amount to give a service that would take at most 6 hours, rather than the crazy 12 Hour journey that has been floated.

    I’m no expert however
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    Mildura is 609km Away from Southern Cross Station
    VLocity Trains Run at 160km/h at top speed - including stops in between at Ouyem, Donald, Dunolly, St Arnaud, Speed, Woomeleng, Birchep and Watchen this would add about 15 Mins

    So all up VLocity Trains at 160km/h would total up with everything to a 4 Hour trip
    A VLocity Train at 120km/h would take 5 hours and 30 Minutes
    Both these are competitive with the car/beat the car, which takes 5 hours and 40 Minutes


    Now going on about these bends, Line can be straightened and speed limit increased with brand new track, why should a ridiculous speed limit apply. It wouldn’t cost an enormous amount to give a service that would take at most 6 hours, rather than the crazy 12 Hour journey that has been floated.

    I’m no expert however
    ptvcommuter

    You're definitely no expert...and that includes your spelling of some of the Mallee towns... Smile

    After Maryborough there's hardly a bend on the line and even before Maryborough the bends aren't bad and no worse than some of the bends on the Ballarat or Bendigo lines.

    Mildura is around 575 Km from Melbourne via Ballan. There's no reason for the Mildura train...when it finally commences, to travel the long way to Melbourne when pax can change at Ballarat and travel to Melbourne on the shorter route.

    Mike.
      ptvcommuter Train Controller

    You're definitely no expert...and that includes your spelling of some of the Mallee towns... Smile After Maryborough there's hardly a bend on the line and even before Maryborough the bends aren't bad and no worse than some of the bends on the Ballarat or Bendigo lines. Mildura is around 575 Km from Melbourne via Ballan. There's no reason for the Mildura train...when it finally commences, to travel the long way to Melbourne when pax can change at Ballarat and travel to Melbourne on the shorter route. Mike.
    The Vinelander


    Spelling fixed ....

    Makes you wonder why the line was built with so many bends, makes it hard to make the route economical and have a competitive travel time with the car. Obviously if the bends aren’t bad around Maryborough that helps, you’d want a route like Mildura to have a speed of 160km/h.

    Maybe you could use the Robinvale Line and Eaglehawk-Inglewood that connects at Dunolly to speed it up but that may not help at all, don’t think that would work
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    PTV...did you read my second line about hardly any bends on the line after Maryborough...Question

    Did you look up the distance from Maryborough to Mildura Question
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Meanwhile back in the real world, the 25 million dollar upgrade of the Mildura Airport was completed a year or so ago and the're now handling 220 000 passengers a year.

    your point being...
    The Vinelander
    Why spend several hundred million dollars upgrading the entire line for a couple of trains a day when other options already  exist? Like Bing mentioned in the Overdue thread, there are other options.
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    Meanwhile back in the real world, the 25 million dollar upgrade of the Mildura Airport was completed a year or so ago and the're now handling 220 000 passengers a year.

    your point being...
    Why spend several hundred million dollars upgrading the entire line for a couple of trains a day when other options already  exist? Like Bing mentioned in the Overdue thread, there are other options.
    wobert

    So...never mind that the new Independent Member of Parliament got a 7% swing to her and won the seat from the National Party on the manifesto that she would meet with the Andrews government with a view to eventually further upgrading the track to allow the operation of passenger trains at a speed comparable to the remainder of the InterCity V/Line network.

    Mike.
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Mikey, we've been going around and around on this for years and nothings happened.I think it was the Bracks government that did a detailed study on this nigh on a decade or more ago and found that it could not be justified. And its been a dead duck ever since.The only time the Libs or the Nats make any noise about it is when there in opposition, like now.
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    Mikey, we've been going around and around on this for years and nothings happened.I think it was the Bracks government that did a detailed study on this nigh on a decade or more ago and found that it could not be justified. And its been a dead duck ever since.The only time the Libs or the Nats make any noise about it is when there in opposition, like now.
    wobert

    Obviously you haven't been forensically following this subject for the past 25 years as I have.

    The Bracks government, as I have written before, refused to be held hostage to PacNats obscene track access charges and therefore couldn't justify spending the money on the track for a multitude of reasons, including PacNats obstinance.

    V/Line now controls the track and we long ago waved PacNat goodbye.

    So, your next reason Question

    Mike.
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Do I need another one,but this'll do.....https://www.qantas.com/au/en.html
      potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

    Mikey, we've been going around and around on this for years and nothings happened.I think it was the Bracks government that did a detailed study on this nigh on a decade or more ago and found that it could not be justified. And its been a dead duck ever since.The only time the Libs or the Nats make any noise about it is when there in opposition, like now.

    The Bracks government, as I have written before, refused to be held hostage to PacNats obscene track access charges and therefore couldn't justify spending the money on the track for a multitude of reasons, including PacNats obstinance.

    Mike.
    The Vinelander

    I'll remind you, Mike, that the debacle surrounding PN access charges was as much the fault of the Bracks government as anyone. They insisted on commercially unworkable open access pricing for Freight Australia - which had purchased the network on the understanding that it would be able to make a killing as a short-haul US-style operator - which was a big factor in that company's collapse into the arms of PN. In any case, Bracks promised to return the Mildura services at the 1999 election, and PN didn't arrive on the scene until 2004, so let's put that big bad boogie monster aside, shall we?

    You have previously claimed the costings of $500m+ for the bare minimum track upgrades to be the work of anti-rail lobbyists, but I'm yet to see any alternative costings from you. As I have said previously, the NorthWest Rail Alliance claims a cost of $180m, which at $460,000/km of upgraded track is over 150% more expensive than the job to return rail to Bairnsdale ($300,000/km) and more than three times what it cost ($150,000/km) to return passenger rail to Echuca. All figures in 2017 dollars. That is utterly unjustifiable regardless of who owns the track. And that is using costings from a group with a vested interest, which, if anything, are skewed in the other direction, particularly given your insistence on a rolled-gold service.

    And to your final hobby horse, that people voted for Cupper and that somehow creates an imperative for the train to return. Cupper was far from a single-issue candidate; to suggest otherwise is to do her no credit whatsoever. In any case, it matters not one jot why people voted for her, it matter only whether they will catch the train. No one in all the racket about this train service seems able to present any evidence whatsoever that anyone will be catching the train on a regular basis who is not using public transport now, and, moreover, no one seems to take even the slightest moment to critically examine the idea that a train to the big smoke is the most useful public transport need. I quote from Ms Cupper's website: "The Mildura region is known for being strong, productive and independent. We don’t need the Government to do everything for us. We just need it to get the BIG THINGS right: essential services and infrastructure that can support and create jobs." For a city that is so isolated from the capital - and, I will reiterate, remarkably well served by public transport to that capital - surely a bigger impact on social outcomes and economic productivity would be achieved by improving intra-regional connectivity and developing Mildura as a centre in its own right.

    If you, or anyone have any rebuttal to any of this, other than calling me an "armchair economist", I'm looking forward to it.
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Some of the roads up that neck of the woods are 110kph, certainly Robinvale (Euston) - Mildura and Mildura - Ouyen.
    kitchgp
    Quite a few up that way are 160/180 kph
      Donald Chief Commissioner

    Location: Donald. Duck country.
    And many that shouldn't be driven on at over 90!
      wobert Chief Commissioner

    Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
    Your front end shagged to
      The Vinelander Minister for Railways

    Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
    Some of the roads up that neck of the woods are 110kph, certainly Robinvale (Euston) - Mildura and Mildura - Ouyen.
    Quite a few up that way are 160/180 kph
    wobert

    Right... Shocked

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