Future of Overland train service in doubt

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 25 Nov 2019 19:16
  X Class Locomotive Driver

Surely $200 000 wouldn't be too hard for the SA Government to find.

Future of Overland train service in doubt

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  theanimal Chief Commissioner

why would they continue to throw good money away on a money losing venture?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Daniel Andrews should ask his Chinese comrades for a hand with this. They are well accustomed to providing lavish subsidies for trains which serve no rational transport need.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Daniel Andrews should ask his Chinese comrades for a hand with this. They are well accustomed to providing lavish subsidies for trains which serve no rational transport need.
justapassenger

If Dan the Man does business with China then "he's just another bleeding Commie"

When Scomo deals with them it's "We do not like their politics, but we musn't let it interfere with our economic opportunities"

Laughing
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
Surely $200 000 wouldn't be too hard for the SA Government to find.

Future of Overland train service in doubt
X Class
Is that even one politician's salary?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If anybody was actually using this service then this wouldn't even be a question. GSR are doing there Adelaide to Brisbane journey and so it is time for vline to pony up and put in this service if they see a need for it. A reason for an SG vlocity to actually exist with 2 services to interstate destinations.
  allan Chief Commissioner

Been here before... 119 pages of prior discussion at https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11382337-0-asc-s0.htm
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

This has come for a couple of years at about the same time and one year South Australia pulled the plug on the thing knowing that it was just wasting money. So the Victorian Govt now give money to run the train simply because it save's V/line getting some carriages and loco or a railcar to run on their side of the border on standard gauge. The scheduled stops in SA are almost non existent, well two any way Murray Bridge and Bordertown, but there are 6 scheduled stops in Victoria before finally stopping at Southern Cross Station in Melbourne. The First one is Nhill from memory.

So if it does finally get the axe then it will be because the Victorian Govt did not cough up the money for another year to do it. GSR I don't think really want to run it at all now with the new train they are promoting from Adelaide to Brisbane via Melbourne and Sydney. If the Overland was cancelled completely their new train could run in the same path from Adelaide to Melbourne at least and save paying for another path on that line. So to get there you would have to pay top dollar on their new train service. You will find that the Overland now is pushed more into the background almost on their website, where the others get the more attention and publicity.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

GSR
DJPeters
GSR does not exist any more. The business has been fully integrated into the parent company Journey Beyond, a tourism operator which has no interest in operating public transport services.

(Journey Beyond) I don't think really want to run it at all now with the new train they are promoting from Adelaide to Brisbane via Melbourne and Sydney. If the Overland was cancelled completely their new train could run in the same path from Adelaide to Melbourne at least and save paying for another path on that line. So to get there you would have to pay top dollar on their new train service. You will find that the Overland now is pushed more into the background almost on their website, where the others get the more attention and publicity.
DJPeters
The schedule for the Great Southern has already been confirmed, and it does not run in the same path as the Overland or feature stops in Melbourne and Sydney.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I wouldn't say Journey Beyond (JB) don't want to run it anymore, they will run anything that adds to their bottom line and subsidies are above the bottom line.

However I don't think JB should have been running it for many years and should have been a V/line SG V/locity set. If V/line was running say 6 return services a week (1 each way each day) with a 3-4 car set (which they would easily get), no one would question it.

Regards
Shane
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Been here before... 119 pages of prior discussion at https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11382337-0-asc-s0.htm
allan
I feel like we could mark our times as posters on RP by the number of times we have participated in an Overland funding discussion....
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I wouldn't say Journey Beyond (JB) don't want to run it anymore, they will run anything that adds to their bottom line and subsidies are above the bottom line.
RTT_Rules
I didn't say they don't want to run it, but that they have no interest in running it.

Were the golden tap to be turned off, they would drop it in a heartbeat as it contributes nothing else to the strategic priorities of the company.

Heck, if the last subsidised run was from Adelaide to Melbourne they would probably fly the onboard staff back to Adelaide and get PN to chuck the empty carriages on the back of a freight service. It would be far cheaper than running a non-funded passenger trip back to Adelaide.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Been here before... 119 pages of prior discussion at https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11382337-0-asc-s0.htm
I feel like we could mark our times as posters on RP by the number of times we have participated in an Overland funding discussion....
james.au
If $1 was provided to the train as a subsidy per post on this topic, the trains future operation would be guaranteed.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I wouldn't say Journey Beyond (JB) don't want to run it anymore, they will run anything that adds to their bottom line and subsidies are above the bottom line.
I didn't say they don't want to run it, but that they have no interest in running it.

Were the golden tap to be turned off, they would drop it in a heartbeat as it contributes nothing else to the strategic priorities of the company.

Heck, if the last subsidised run was from Adelaide to Melbourne they would probably fly the onboard staff back to Adelaide and get PN to chuck the empty carriages on the back of a freight service. It would be far cheaper than running a non-funded passenger trip back to Adelaide.
justapassenger
Yes, that's what i basically meant.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Surely $200,000 wouldn't be too hard for the SA Government to find.

Future of Overland train service in doubt
X Class

It's a shame the SA economy is in such a parlous condition that the SA (Liberal) government cannot stump up the meagre $$ to co-fund its operation for another year to enable those who wish to travel to Adelaide to spend $$ during SA's obvious downturn in a comfortable train instead of a less than comfortable bus.

Whenever I've travelled on it the loadings have always been way more than a bus and if the Overland were to turn into a bus, the intending pax would likely fly instead as the bus to/from Bendigo-Adelaide would be more than adequate.

No doubt it will be up to Victoria and the Andrews (Labor) government to stump up the cash as per last year as we have the buoyant economy and a government that's interested in retaining and expanding PT infrastructure.

Mike.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Ah; nostalgia.

Last night I was looking at some old Newsrail records of "Black Thursday" 1976.  There was the Overland departing Spencer Street- twin X class locos and 17 vehicles.
It was also preceded by an Adelaide relief express.

Pacing a full consist Overland up the Ingliston Bank was an awesome sight and sound.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Surely $200,000 wouldn't be too hard for the SA Government to find.

Future of Overland train service in doubt

It's a shame the SA economy is in such a parlous condition that the SA (Liberal) government cannot stump up the meagre $$ to co-fund its operation for another year to enable those who wish to travel to Adelaide to spend $$ during SA's obvious downturn in a comfortable train instead of a less than comfortable bus.

Whenever I've travelled on it the loadings have always been way more than a bus and if the Overland were to turn into a bus, the intending pax would likely fly instead as the bus to/from Bendigo-Adelaide would be more than adequate.

No doubt it will be up to Victoria and the Andrews (Labor) government to stump up the cash as per last year as we have the buoyant economy and a government that's interested in retaining and expanding PT infrastructure.

Mike.
The Vinelander
You can't help yourself can you, you enjoy baiting/fishing more than me.Laughing
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Ah; nostalgia.

Last night I was looking at some old Newsrail records of "Black Thursday" 1976.  There was the Overland departing Spencer Street- twin X class locos and 17 vehicles.
It was also preceded by an Adelaide relief express.

Pacing a full consist Overland up the Ingliston Bank was an awesome sight and sound.
Valvegear

I recall Black Thursday of 1987 and 1988 recently moved to Ballan and driving down to Bank Box loop in my 1983 Mazda 626 which had a digital dashboard and pacing the 19 carriage Overland emerging from the cutting and travelling through the loop at a very, very slow 23Km/h, both locos flat chat with that long load trailing behind....memories... Sad

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Below in Italics is a copy of a reply to a SA resident who wrote a letter of appreciation to Premier Andrews regards The Overland as a result of the Victorian government's decision to fund the service during 2019:


Dear Mr Chapman



Thank you for writing to me in support of the Victorian Government’s recent funding for the Overland train service between Melbourne and Adelaide.



The Overland is an Australian rail treasure that provides an important connection for many people in Western Victoria and South Australia, including you and your wife. I am happy to hear you use this service regularly to visit family and enjoy the best Melbourne has to offer.



As you are aware, the Victorian Government has provided $3.78 million in funding to ensure the 131-year old route and the twice-weekly service it provides – stopping at Murray Bridge, Bordertown, Nhill, Dimboola, Horsham, Stawell, Ararat and North Shore in Geelong – will continue to run in 2019. We are proud to continue our support for this historic service.


Thank you again for writing to me on this issue. I wish you many safe travels


The tone of the letter doesn't appear to give the impression that the service won't be further funded for 2020.

Mike.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Surely $200,000 wouldn't be too hard for the SA Government to find.

Future of Overland train service in doubt

It's a shame the SA economy is in such a parlous condition that the SA (Liberal) government cannot stump up the meagre $$ to co-fund its operation for another year to enable those who wish to travel to Adelaide to spend $$ during SA's obvious downturn in a comfortable train instead of a less than comfortable bus.

Whenever I've travelled on it the loadings have always been way more than a bus and if the Overland were to turn into a bus, the intending pax would likely fly instead as the bus to/from Bendigo-Adelaide would be more than adequate.

No doubt it will be up to Victoria and the Andrews (Labor) government to stump up the cash as per last year as we have the buoyant economy and a government that's interested in retaining and expanding PT infrastructure.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Wrong about everything, as usual. The Victorian government is currently running a budget deficit of $800,000,000 and has an overall debt of something like $30,000,000,000 so their fiscal position really isn't that good. The Swanston metro line is already over budget by quite a large factor but they're trying to hide that from the public at the moment.

I travelled on the V/line Daylink bus the other day from Ballarat and it was perfectly adequate; I dare say nobody else on the train/bus/bus would have cared if it was a train or a bus either; all you want as a passenger is to get where you're going reliably. I wouldn't have been able to catch the Overland anyway since it hasn't run that route since 1994 and the 'twice a week' schedule is impractical anyway.

Is there a business case for the Overland which is going to grow the numbers? Are the numbers increasing? Unlikely since they've been reluctant to publish them since the new contract... slightly more than a bus-load using it according to you yourself. And have you used it how many times this year in order to support it?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There Is something like 4 private Road Coach services to and from Melbourne and Adelaide every day, alongside V/Line's Daylink services.

Sadly for the Overland the traveling public have voted with their feet.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
There Is something like 4 private Road Coach services to and from Melbourne and Adelaide every day, alongside V/Line's Daylink services.

Sadly for the Overland the traveling public have voted with their feet.
Nightfire
Were they Nightfire or forced too by having no other option. If there was an each way train between the two cities each day, I wonder how many coach's would drop off the radar ?

Seems old don would be traveling on the rails if able but it's not an option for him so, yes he's happy to use the coach. I as I've said before used to catch the bus from Horsham to either Ararat or Ballarat and was happy to do so but if I had the choice would have been on the rails.

It's seems to be the way, to apply the strangle hold on something and then say, look not many people are using the service.

Looking from the other side of the glass.

BigShunter.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I suggested a few answers to questions posed at the beginning of one of the duplicate threads:

It seems there is a failure also by GSR in marketing the service [sic] properly …
Crossover
There is no real incentive for Journey Beyond (GSR has been fully absorbed into the parent company) to put resources into it.

It's not core business for them, and the subsidy is paid in a lump sum which encourages them to run it as cheaply as possible rather than investing in improving it.

Maybe the subsidy should be put out to competitive tender, with the terms of the tender to specify that it would be paid per ticket sold rather than a fixed sum. Then it could have an operator which really wants to run it and is prepared to commit the required investment to make it succeed.

Is the viability of a service only to be measured in money terms ?
Crossover
For Journey Beyond, yes.

The Overland is mostly just a mechanism for them to make money, though it might contribute to their other operations by providing a low stakes environment for staff training.

What about the value to the towns …
Crossover
That was presumably the basis on which the state governments decided to subsidise the Overland's continued operation.

People who actually live in those towns/cities along the route have a different view of things. When the previous ALP government had a marketing firm run a "public consultation" in 2015, even the use of blatantly leading questions (the last ALP government was infamous for announce-and-defend policies) wasn't enough to get the people of Murray Bridge and Bordertown to say that the Overland was important.

The government decided they were wise wizards who knew more about what people in the regions wanted than the people actually in the regions and renewed the Overland subsidy anyway. They also got a heavier than usual butt kicking in those seats when the next state election rolled around in 2018.

It would be interesting to see how high the Overland would rank if you were to run a survey with the residents who actually live in the towns/cities along the way in Victoria. Maybe ask them to list their top 10 priorities for state government expenditure in the region, without any leading questions to corrupt the process.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Were they Nightfire or forced too by having no other option. If there was an each way train between the two cities each day, I wonder how many coach's would drop off the radar ?
BigShunter
The Overland's service frequency has progressively declined, from 7 nights each way per week to something like 4 nights (+1 GHAN) each way per week, down to 3 days each way per week, than reduced to 2 days each way per week.

The decline has been going on for a long time.

The airlines have the lions share of passenger traffic with dozens of services each way every day.

Road Coach companies manage to stay In business.

note Firefly operate the V/Line coach services (that connect with trains at Ararat and Bendigo) separate to their through Intercity coach services.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Were they Nightfire or forced too by having no other option. If there was an each way train between the two cities each day, I wonder how many coach's would drop off the radar ?
The Overland's service frequency has progressively declined, from 7 nights each way per week to something like 4 nights (+1 GHAN) each way per week, down to 3 days each way per week, than reduced to 2 days each way per week.

The decline has been going on for a long time.

The airlines have the lions share of passenger traffic with dozens of services each way every day.

Road Coach companies manage to stay In business.

note Firefly operate the V/Line coach services (that connect with trains at Ararat and Bendigo) separate to their through Intercity coach services.
Nightfire

I don't disagree with what you're saying airlines were always in this day and age going to win the the travel battle but if the train service hadn't been strangled to death and kept an up-market progressiveness with the service and equipment, it might share an equal part of the market, as a secondary alternative.

As a comparison, the XPT doesn't seem to be be under threat, what's the difference, similar distance, why does it seem to be operating ok ?

Still observing from a distant otherside of the glass......Razz

BigShunter.

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