Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train ride aims to revive regional rail

 

News article: Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train ride aims to revive regional rail

The railway line between Maryborough and Castlemaine turns 140 this year and parts of it look every day of it.

  MikeyJackson Locomotive Driver

Location: Footscray, Victoria, Australia
The railway line between Maryborough and Castlemaine turns 140 this year and parts of it look every day of it. Decaying sleepers better suited to firewood than fast trains, flood-wracked foundations and rusted rail bridges pockmark the 55-kilometre line, which has been fallow for the past 10 years.

On Sunday a gang of 50 rail enthusiasts will pay homage to the derelict line, and have hired a heritage diesel train to ride from Melbourne to Maryborough on a cross-country route via Geelong and Ballarat.

The meandering joy ride is a celebration of rail heritage with a political message many in Spring Street would prefer not to hear.

The four-hour journey is meant to demonstrate that those quiet regional rail lines are fit for the return of passenger trains, just like the Coalition promised it would plan for at the last election.
Geelong-Ballarat-Bendigo train ride aims to revive regional rail


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Anyone going?

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
A slightly better question. Does anyone have the timetable for the trip ?
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I am looking forward to it.
I am travelling on the Nth Shore to Ballarat section in the morning, something that I have never done before (ride the section), and unlikely to do again for quite some time.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
A slightly better question. Does anyone have the timetable for the trip ?
freightgate

All information can be found here.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bradley captured the action

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  stuie83 Train Controller
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Excellent trip!
I was lucky enough to have a seat on the Nth Shore to Ballarat section. Throughly enjoyed the trip.
Full marks to Noel and the other organisers of the trip.
I believe there was some sort of ceremony at Maryborough attended by some pollies, and a few notable others.
The DERM apparently returned to Melbourne via Ballarat and Geelong at full capacity.

With a DERM running on the Geelong to Ballarat section, and V/Line apparently moving V/Lo's on the same section (due to the Melb Ballarat line being out of action, and V/Lo's being required for Ballarat to Ararat and Maryborough), it amazes me as why we haven't got a regular Geelong to Ballarat passenger train up and running.

Anyway, here is my contribution to the photo collection.
The V/Lo at the top of the photo is about to form the 0945hrs Ballarat to Ararat service.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Whilst I appreciate the effort...

“People want to be able to get on a train and sort of travel as fast as a car.”

It is expected the 84-year-old diesel train will do just that on Sunday, travelling at 70-80 km/h for much of the journey. A V/Line driver has been hired to drive the train, although V/Line points out it has no political motive in joining the exercise.

Bit of a contradiction.


This also struck me in another article...


"At the moment, if I want to catch the train to Bendigo I have to catch the tain to Melbourne then to Bendigo"

Apparently if it's not a train, it doesn't exist.



And this comment sort of sums out how out of touch with reality these people are...


It would realy make sense to link bendigo, ballarat and geelong by rail as the three major regional citys in victoria. Many people think of this as passenger service only but it could also be used for light freight service attatched to a passenger service. Give locals the rights to operated limited food and drink stalls at stations along the way such as bannokburn etc and combine guard,ticket inspector,conductor, station assistant jobs on these trains into the one position. Tickets can be purchased online with ticket inspectors etc on train able to check via a tablet or laptop.

Light freight? Oh my.

And of course...

Mr Laidlaw said the current bus services between regional centres such as Geelong and Ballarat were "terrible" and were a disincentive to travel.

So naturally the solution must be train. Not simply running more buses. That would make too much sense.


At the end of the day stuff like this is toxic, at it draws funds and attention away from much needed projects like suburban quadding for example.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Apparently if it's not a train, it doesn't exist.
ZH836301

They're not technically wrong, as they wanted to catch the train to Bendigo. If they'd said they wanted to travel to Bendigo, then you're right, there are buses...

Laughing
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Touché.

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