Mike Baird is planning to privatise Sydney Trains

 
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Until we see proof of these 'secret documents' that have been leaked, I'd take this with a very large grain of salt.


It's seems to be a beatup to create fear and hate towards the Liberals, who let's be honest have done a damn site more for this state and it's infrastructure in their time so far than Labor did in more that twice that.


And if these 'secret documents' do surface, they would probably be nothing more than a proposal to investigate privatising the running of the system, as doing so to Sydney ferries has been a success (apparently). If it's an option why not look into it.


And just because it didn't work in Melbourne doesn't mean that it won't in Sydney. Not saying that it will or that I agree with it, but it's apples and oranges.


Let's get the facts first.

Yes the problems with running govt. You want to look at all options and any fair minded voter would expect of their govt, so commission studies but must kept them top secret in case a few people interrupt a study or even an EMAIL as a plan to do.

Issue with Melbourne is who said it hasn't worked? The ALP renewed the Franchise.
RTT_Rules
The wheels are literally falling off the trains is why it has failed in Melbourne.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Out at Nyngan they have just finished building a massive Multi Million Dollar Solar Panel array so who know what the future holds even for places 'Out the Back O'Bourke' ?
Now, common sense dictates those areas you named would only be usable to the nearby property owners BUT, lets get somewhat closer into Sydney where land space and prices ride the big wave which is what their looking at.
Some of the area that was Clyde Yards that are now buried under myriads of foliage certainly could be sold off ON Condition that it isnt wanted or suitable for any form of use either as a Heavy or Light rail Corridor.

Recent times has seen private companies opening new corridors for Freight and if an existing pathway was available for such use, it should be utilised.
gordon_s1942

Clyde yards are still in use so I'm not too sure what you are talking about. Plenty of 81's and wagons in there.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The wheels are literally falling off the trains is why it has failed in Melbourne.
simstrain

The wheels have already fallen off the network down here privatisation of transport services in Australia does not work.  Melbourne, well Victoria has been doing this for years without it working well although I am told the network ran better under Connex?

Sydney wants to avoid privatisation.  You need to ask yourself, What will privatisation deliver that can't or is not being delivered already?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Woo there peoples, sell Sydney Trains? How do you sell something that takes 65c in the dollar of its operating costs from the taxpayer? So common sense should state this will not occur.

Most likely is contract out Management in some form such as what was done in Mel.

The question is whether its in the best interest of the taxpayer to do so?

Will be interesting to see what Baird really proposes.
RTT_Rules

Almost certainly a franchise system.  But IMHO it's another rent-seeking snout in the trough.  

I'm not against privatisation per say, but for it to deliver benefits to the taxpayer two things have to happen:
1) the private operator has to make beneficial decisions the gvt owner can't otherwise make
2) the government/taxpayer has to at least share in these benefits somehow, not having it all disappear through higher economic rents paid to the privateer

Sydney's rail system is such a financial basket case I don't see how think privatisation will help in any way at all.  IMHO it will make the needed reforms even harder to achieve, and if they ever occur the benefits won't go to the taxpayer anyway.

In my view no-one has ever been serious about addressing the issues with rail PT in Sydney.  The only reason this idea would even be floated is because someone in the private sector sees an opportunity (to collect rent from the taxpayer) and is lobbying their business friendly gvt to make it happen.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I think it was the perfect time to sell the poles and wires because very soon with the solar panel and battery storage deals electricity retailers are selling, the poles and wires will be redundant.
simstrain
Separate issue but they won't be redundant any time soon. its still far cheaper to stay connected to grid than battery storage and if you live in medium or higher density your options are less.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Woo there peoples, sell Sydney Trains? How do you sell something that takes 65c in the dollar of its operating costs from the taxpayer? So common sense should state this will not occur.
But should the private sector be able to reduce that 65c to a lower number, whilst maintaining service, that can only be good.
We are no London but the London underground at least covers costs, this should be something that our metro aims for in the interests of sustainable operation and therefore sustainable government.
james.au
I'm not sure Sydney Trains could run cost neutral without significant reduction in off-peak services and any service carrying less than bus load. I highly doubt there is much "low hanging fruit" for a private operator, potentially yes costs could be improved as well as practices and productivity, but I doubt it would get to 50%. cost recovery.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes the problems with running govt. You want to look at all options and any fair minded voter would expect of their govt, so commission studies but must kept them top secret in case a few people interrupt a study or even an EMAIL as a plan to do.

Issue with Melbourne is who said it hasn't worked? The ALP renewed the Franchise.
The wheels are literally falling off the trains is why it has failed in Melbourne.
simstrain
And the question is why?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The wheels are literally falling off the trains is why it has failed in Melbourne.

The wheels have already fallen off the network down here privatisation of transport services in Australia does not work.  Melbourne, well Victoria has been doing this for years without it working well although I am told the network ran better under Connex?

Sydney wants to avoid privatisation.  You need to ask yourself, What will privatisation deliver that can't or is not being delivered already?
JimYarin
V/line is govt owned and operated and is this a shinning example of how to run a railway? (Not being sarcastic, just asking the question) If so, then yes you could say Mel would be better converting back to govt ownership, if not or if its worse then maybe not.

Under Connex there were lots of complaints, under the current mob, there are lots of complaints. I'm sure if returned to govt control there would be lots of complaints. Question is perception or reality?

Back to Sydney, lets say the
- running costs are 65% subsidy
- On time performance is 96%
- Safety is X?
There are obviously other KPI's

If the private sector can improve on most of these, you would go down that path. the problem is how do you know? Do you break off a piece and say "here have a go at this for 5 years and we will see how you go"? Issue is what effect does this have on the remaining govt section? Is it likely things improve simply to prevent further privatisation?

There have been a number of studies on how well Mel has fared under private control, but the question has always remained. What would have happened had it stayed with Govt?

The various hard line opposition to the new Metro being both a Metro and privately run is mostly driven by fear of both the technology and the operational costs will be proven to be far superior to that of the existing network and hence a lever for more conversion (as proposed under ALP govt), although unlikely.

Personally I see no reason why a govt should involve itself in the day to day operation of a railway. The govt is not a railway expert and constantly has a low level of trust of its work force and govt sectors world wide are not renown for the cost effectiveness in what they do although there are exceptions.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
*cough cough, Bob Carr, Freightcorp*

Why would beat up on the Libs not having privatised Cityrail (we have seen a meme and absolutely no evidence) when good old Labor, with Bob Carr, son of a train driver has already taken the plunge?

Jeez, talk about whipping up a frenzy.

M
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
If they do sell the suburban trains, the folly of making the metro lines incompatible will be fully shown.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If they do sell the suburban trains, the folly of making the metro lines incompatible will be fully shown.
Gaz170
No, it wasn't just about private ownership, the large cost saving is in the technology.
  Alamein_Line Chief Commissioner

Previous franchise rumours have suggested the ESR - Illawarra as a "self contained" line

I use Kings Cross station on workdays and have noticed the Ticket Office is now mostly closed , staff at the barrier offering to assist people with the ticket machines

Obviously , off station sales / top-up of Opal cards will have reduced the need for the Ticket Office ( weren't they supposed to "eventually" get Opal issuing machines ? ) but it I wonder if the quiet closure of Ticket Offices is happening along the line ?

Anyone know ?

Kings Cross is receiving a refresh at the moment and 6 of the original 19 refresh stations were on  ESR - Illawarra

Is  the ESR - Illawarra being quietly readied as a franchise ?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Previous franchise rumours have suggested the ESR - Illawarra as a "self contained" line

I use Kings Cross station on workdays and have noticed the Ticket Office is now mostly closed , staff at the barrier offering to assist people with the ticket machines

Obviously , off station sales / top-up of Opal cards will have reduced the need for the Ticket Office ( weren't they supposed to "eventually" get Opal issuing machines ? ) but it I wonder if the quiet closure of Ticket Offices is happening along the line ?

Anyone know ?

Kings Cross is receiving a refresh at the moment and 6 of the original 19 refresh stations were on  ESR - Illawarra

Is  the ESR - Illawarra being quietly readied as a franchise ?
Alamein_Line

No station has a ticket office anymore because paper tickets are no more. You basically have to have an opal card to use public transport in Sydney. So removing office staff at stations is happening everywhere and not just the ESR.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Welcome to 21st century.

Do you realise that some railways around world closed their ticket offices years ago.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Welcome to 21st century.

Do you realise that some railways around world closed their ticket offices years ago.
RTT_Rules
Ticket offices existed at most stations because the station master was also the ticket collector and seller, toilet cleaner, sweeper, time keeper and a host of other things. At larger stations there was a separate ticket office and staff but those staff are now redundant with Opal fully activated.
  bevans Site Admin
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Seems there could be some truth to this thread:

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/19/18/10/nsw-government-could-privatise-sydney-trains-cost-recovery-documents-reveal
bevans
Yes it would appear to be, but the wording is important. "Franchise", not "sell".

"Liberal MPs believe the sale would only relate to the operation of the trains, with the tracks, trains and stations remaining in Government hands."
  Matthew Chief Train Controller

Yes it would appear to be, but the wording is important. "Franchise", not "sell".

"Liberal MPs believe the sale would only relate to the operation of the trains, with the tracks, trains and stations remaining in Government hands."
RTT_Rules

The British franchising model. With the experience the senior management of Sydney trains has with that model probably considered a bonus.

By franchising operations they get to keep the assets and somewhat mollify the public over 'flogging off' assets, as they keep the physical assets, but it gets all those operations staff off the government's books.

And when the franchisee starts to put the screws on the unionised work force's terms and conditions, the government of the day will just stand back wave their hands and say 'not our problem, that's a commercial issue with the franchisee, were are not going to get involved'. And issue a press release saying they expect the franchisee to meet their contractual obligations over service availability.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

Issue with Melbourne is who said it hasn't worked? The ALP renewed the Franchise.
RTT_Rules

When was that? The ALP signed up MTR as a new franchisee (because Connex was so bad) in 2009 for eight years.

Having experienced both Sydney and Melbourne in recent years, despite the usual levels of internet outrage that would say otherwise, Sydney is a much more pleasant system to use.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
By franchising operations they get to keep the assets and somewhat mollify the public over 'flogging off' assets, as they keep the physical assets, but it gets all those operations staff off the government's books.

And when the franchisee starts to put the screws on the unionised work force's terms and conditions, the government of the day will just stand back wave their hands and say 'not our problem, that's a commercial issue with the franchisee, were are not going to get involved'. And issue a press release saying they expect the franchisee to meet their contractual obligations over service availability.
Matthew
And this is the key part of doing this and along with middle Management which can often be stuck in an equal govt entity induced rut.

One of the things that stood out to be was that up until only a few years ago and I don't know if this has changed, but in Brisbane there was a ban on part-time or casual train drivers for Cityrail by the union. Surely in this day and age this mindset is long out of date. They may I'm sure have members who have achieved a financial position in life or for numerous other reasons such as a working partner with a big career and that working full time is no longer of interest to them or best interest of their family, but they still enjoy their job to want to work part-time.

Regards
Shane
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Yes the problems with running govt. You want to look at all options and any fair minded voter would expect of their govt, so commission studies but must kept them top secret in case a few people interrupt a study or even an EMAIL as a plan to do.

Issue with Melbourne is who said it hasn't worked? The ALP renewed the Franchise.
The wheels are literally falling off the trains is why it has failed in Melbourne.
And the question is why?
RTT_Rules
Rail companies are only in business is to make money for their owners. Why fix things when it costs money and they don't really gave to.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
What's the source of this? SMH? Tele? The Labor party?

As far as I am aware the NSW government has not made any comment on privatising Sydney Trains.
MelbourneCity
http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/02/19/18/10/nsw-government-could-privatise-sydney-trains-cost-recovery-documents-reveal
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
And the question is why?
Rail companies are only in business is to make money for their owners. Why fix things when it costs money and they don't really gave to.
Jim K
Not really sure what you point is here. But any company is the same including big industry and the many private commercially independent railway operators world wide and the govt trys to run most of its business and departments the same.

Next time you hop on a plane, remember it was assembled by Airbus or Boeing using more often than not the lowest cost supplier and the airline manufacturers use lowest cost development, design and assembly practices to keep costs down.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Being elected should NOT translate to the right to sell off public assets. These plans should be made clear prior to the election so that the electorate can decide. They are OUR assets( and those of future generations), not the assets of the party who is elected at the time.
Yes, I agree with this statement however it also means that being elected doesn't give them rights to PULL DOWN OR RIP UP PUBLIC ASSETS either but that didn't stop them

Gladys "RAILRIPPER" Berejiklian: Had the Sydney monorail (PUBLIC ASSET) pulled down without any trouble taking away public transport and something that was making a lot of money when tourist used it

Both Gladys "RAILRIPPER" Berejiklian and Mike "Dictator RAILSLASHER Baird had sucessfully ripped up the tracks from Wickham to Newcastle just another public assets gone

Now, lets just wait for Andrew Constance (Con Artist) and RAIL CORRIDORE DESTORYER
The "Distator RAILSLASHER" Baird wants to give powers to Andrew to rip up lines in Sydney, taking away YET ANOTHER public asset if successful

These are just some points showing that they have NOW got the RIGHTS to do whatever they please to public assets...
I have a soloution to solve these issues, lets remove it ALL since they are OUR public assets, lets get bulldozers and rip them down and pull them up ourselves

This is of course what HAPPENS when people vote the WRONG people into power
AT LEAST John "pretty fly for a PM" Howard didn't want to sell off much hahaha
Do you have any proof that the LNP will remove rail from Sydney?

The Monorail was a novelty piece of Infrastructure built for the Bi-Centennial. It was removed to enable Light rail in the area. It was hardly an important piece of Infrastructure.

Gladys Berejiklian is 1000 times a Transport Minister than what we have had in Victoria. (Bachelor and Mulder) does us a favour. She hired one of the most respected Transport Managers in the world in Howard Collins. Hardly an act of anti-rail.

If you think that 10+ years of starting a project, spending $500 million on it, then cancelling it, then starting another project spend a ton of money and then cancelling that is better than what NSW has now then it is no wonder Australia is in the state it is in ! The ALP in NSW were how shall I put it, a bit incompetent. And that is why they lost, the voters had enough, get over it.

Michael
mejhammers1
Hired an ex Tube train driver on semi-retirement over here.
  Matthew Chief Train Controller


Hired an ex Tube train driver on semi-retirement over here.
nswtrains


Howard Colins was not a tube-train driver. He worked his way up from station assistant, became an SM, sector manager, etc, etc.

His training as a driver was the normal 'emergency' training given to back office staff. LU have a contingency plan were trains are driven by 'management' when one of the unions go on strike.
HC would have gained his train drivers certification under that scheme.

He's very keen on heritage though, and had a lot with getting tube locomotive Sarah Siddons back into service. He's now applying pressure to get the Sydney single deck set back into heritage service. (Instead of towing it dead around for static display).

I'm not sure why he took on a the basket case of Sydney Trains. Must like a challenge and presumably the money was good. And the weather in Sydney is nicer than London.

But back to the core 'privatisation' agenda, it can be said that HC does have real first hand experience with managing franchised operations, both failed and successful. His time at the top of LU had the franchising  working better than it had for years.

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