Poet Pirie and Port Augusta Sevices

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Read this good picture on Twitter today and again asked myself why can’t these large towns have a passenger service when costa would not be high now the track is managed and maintained by ARTC.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A few points

Pervious rolling stock was past It's service use by date, requiring new rolling stock (high cost)

Adelaide's poorly positioned standard gauge passenger railway station.

Buying premium train paths from ATRC doesn't come cheap, the railway between Adelaide and Port Augusta Is of a very good standard, but It's well used by slower moving freight trains.

The Highway between Adelaide and Port Augusta Is of a very high standard, with quick access In and out of Adelaide City, the Road Coach service can happily travel at 100 km/h between towns and stop right In the centre of the towns It serves.

Without mass passenger numbers Road Coaches are much cheaper to run than passenger trains.
  Train1959 Train Controller

I agree with you Nightfire. The corridor is freight based, track access would be a challenge.

Also to compete with road you would need to run the service at 125kph to entice anyone onto rail (Journey time under three hours from Port Augusta)

Then you are stuck at Keswick!

Goodness knows what one or two new railcar consists would cost but the whole project would have to be heavily subsidised. Not sure the State Govt is ready for that kind of commitment!  

Sadly the "good old days" are long gone......................
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Where are the bluebird rail cars now?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Where are the bluebird rail cars now?
bevans
I thought many of them had been sold and converted to crew cars?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I agree with you Nightfire. The corridor is freight based, track access would be a challenge.

Also to compete with road you would need to run the service at 125kph to entice anyone onto rail (Journey time under three hours from Port Augusta)

Then you are stuck at Keswick!

Goodness knows what one or two new railcar consists would cost but the whole project would have to be heavily subsidised. Not sure the State Govt is ready for that kind of commitment!  

Sadly the "good old days" are long gone......................
Train1959
Looking at ARTC timetable, there is no issues with one cross in AM and probably one in PM.

The current GSR services is around 70km/h over the line taking 4.5h, however the fastest long haul pax trains in Oz, Prospector and RTT are on average around 90 - 100 km/h. Most of the rest are 70 - 80km/h. A DMU should knock some time off the GSR while remaining within the current track speed boards or potentially even more if the ARTC gives them the usual 10% boost above the speed board for locos.

Is this attractive enough to get people out of a bus? certainly.

Is it attractive enough to get people out of cars? Well people will always drive regardless of the train timing for reasons that are not linked to the train. However sub 4h to Adelaide and return, say departing 6am, return at 7pm I think is probably ok for day trippers. Australia wide, even commuter rail rarely competes on time with driving out of peak.

Is Keswick ideal for terminal station? I don't think Roma Street is the end goal for Qld rail users and likewise Central for NSW and very unlikely Adelaide city station is either. The key for SA is there a location where ease of access to the rest of city is assured for such a service? Currently I think not, but Adelaide Show grounds is pretty good and wouldn't cost much.

Would the service need a subsidy? Almost every passenger train in Australia doesn't fund its operating cost. The key part is what would the subsidy cost be? If its less than 30%, then the service by definition in other states would be viable.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Couple of points.

I assume you mean depart Port Augusta about 06:00, return leg? If departs Adelaide around 19:00, gives passengers plenty of time in Adelaide, return home 22:00-23:00, depending on journey times.

Track speeds and curves will dictate overall times. Much of the line seems to be good for 100/110 now, so should be able to get to 130 without much problem, apart from level crossings needing altered approach tracks and signal overlaps and over-run considerations. Does have to be hard.

In Victoria, the V’locity trains regularly achieve overall averages better than 100km/h, depending on stopping conditions and curve speeds. Even with 130 track, given the few stops required a high overall speed should be attainable. Heck, even at 110km/h, somewhere in the high 80’s at worst is possible.

Whether passengers want such an option is debatable. Unlike NSW, Vic, Qld and WA, South Australia doesn’t really have a culture of regional passengers trains. Will they experiment?

And don’t forget the State Government seems perpetually broke. Who would pay? No operator could run it without a subsidy
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Bathurst - population 42,000 - daily trains to Sydney =3
Orange - population 38,000 - daily trains to Sydney = 1
Port Pirie - population 14,000
Port Augusta - population 14,000
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Couple of points.

I assume you mean depart Port Augusta about 06:00, return leg? If departs Adelaide around 19:00, gives passengers plenty of time in Adelaide, return home 22:00-23:00, depending on journey times.

Track speeds and curves will dictate overall times. Much of the line seems to be good for 100/110 now, so should be able to get to 130 without much problem, apart from level crossings needing altered approach tracks and signal overlaps and over-run considerations. Does have to be hard.

In Victoria, the V’locity trains regularly achieve overall averages better than 100km/h, depending on stopping conditions and curve speeds. Even with 130 track, given the few stops required a high overall speed should be attainable. Heck, even at 110km/h, somewhere in the high 80’s at worst is possible.

Whether passengers want such an option is debatable. Unlike NSW, Vic, Qld and WA, South Australia doesn’t really have a culture of regional passengers trains. Will they experiment?

And don’t forget the State Government seems perpetually broke. Who would pay? No operator could run it without a subsidy
hbedriver
Timing is what ever you want.

Agree no culture, but if you never try it will never change.

Others have commented on smaller population, which I think is the main stumbling block.

SA Govt does not "seem" broke, it is broke and why they will not have the money to fund this. Alot cheaper to let people drive.
  NG Sulzers Deputy Commissioner

Location: Quorn
Adelaide to Port Augusta is hardly saturated with trains, plenty of access.
Try driving between Adelaide and Port Augusta, more often than not, you won't see a train at all. Sometimes if you're lucky, you'll see one, if you're really really lucky, you might see two.

Most of the track is 110-115km/h, where curves have restricted speeds, there's one 80km/h, some 90's and two blanket 90's between Two Wells and Bolivar. A 35km/h for the curve at the west end of Coonamia and also between RR and CB. Otherwise plain sailing.

I nearly sprayed a mouthful of tea over the computer when I read the Highway between Adelaide and Port Augusta is of a 'very high standard' - seriously, what drugs is the author of that comment on? The highway is getting smashed by high capacity MC vehicles that seem to exploit any and every loophole under the sun to get bigger and heavier.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
I nearly sprayed a mouthful of tea over the computer when I read the Highway between Adelaide and Port Augusta is of a 'very high standard' - seriously, what drugs is the author of that comment on? The highway is getting smashed by high capacity MC vehicles that seem to exploit any and every loophole under the sun to get bigger and heavier.
NG Sulzers
Further to this, someone in their infinite wisdom has decided to add a set of TRAFFIC LIGHTS to the main highway just outside of Virginia. I wonder how long before an A-Triple doesn't have time to stop at the lights and takes out some poor bugger turning out of Buckland Park.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I nearly sprayed a mouthful of tea over the computer when I read the Highway between Adelaide and Port Augusta is of a 'very high standard' - seriously, what drugs is the author of that comment on? The highway is getting smashed by high capacity MC vehicles that seem to exploit any and every loophole under the sun to get bigger and heavier.
Further to this, someone in their infinite wisdom has decided to add a set of TRAFFIC LIGHTS to the main highway just outside of Virginia. I wonder how long before an A-Triple doesn't have time to stop at the lights and takes out some poor bugger turning out of Buckland Park.
nm39
Or even just waiting at the lights.

Squillions being spent on grade separation north of Pt Wakefield but traffic lights at Angle Vale Road. The Buckland Park developer should have been forced to pay the cost of grade separation form the outset.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

We keep having these discussion about about a rail service to Adelaide from where-ever. Most of the contributors must be city dwellers. I was once a Whyalla resident and latterly live in Clare. (Clare lost its passenger train service back in the early 1950s)
It is all very well get a train into ARS or even Keswick but then where do you go? Once in the Adelaide environs one then needs a car to get around and unlike Sydney driving is no great problem. Outcome, one might as well drive. It certainly would be good to be able to relax in a train instead of driving and safer too, but impractical until cars (electric?) can be hired at the ARS or Keswick station.

As an aside, when a Whyalla resident I actively campaigned for the retention of the first attempt at a rail service to Adelaide  before the Crystal Brook Adelaide line was converted to NSW narrow gauge. I used the service a few times not often for the reasons quoted above. When surveyed Whyalla residents wanted the service but had no intention of using it!
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
We keep having these discussion about about a rail service to Adelaide from where-ever. Most of the contributors must be city dwellers. I was once a Whyalla resident and latterly live in Clare. (Clare lost its passenger train service back in the early 1950s)
It is all very well get a train into ARS or even Keswick but then where do you go? Once in the Adelaide environs one then needs a car to get around and unlike Sydney driving is no great problem. Outcome, one might as well drive. It certainly would be good to be able to relax in a train instead of driving and safer too, but impractical until cars (electric?) can be hired at the ARS or Keswick station.

As an aside, when a Whyalla resident I actively campaigned for the retention of the first attempt at a rail service to Adelaide  before the Crystal Brook Adelaide line was converted to NSW narrow gauge. I used the service a few times not often for the reasons quoted above. When surveyed Whyalla residents wanted the service but had no intention of using it!
steam4ian
Funny you should say that because i was one of the (youngest) people to help lobby local politicians for the reopening of Millswood Station on the Belair line back in late 2013/early 2014, and i distinctly remember the action group announcing the results of their survey in the local area which argued that at least 90 people per day would board trains at Millswood if the station were to reopen. Once the station had reopned though, the official media release for patronage at Millswood station across the year long trial basically read that on a good day no more than about 40 people per day would board trains at Millswood, so there was something wrong with the picture there.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It is all very well get a train into ARS or even Keswick but then where do you go? Once in the Adelaide environs one then needs a car to get around and unlike Sydney driving is no great problem. Outcome, one might as well drive. It certainly would be good to be able to relax in a train instead of driving and safer too, but impractical until cars (electric?) can be hired at the ARS or Keswick station.
steam4ian
Adelaide has Avis directly across the street, in the bottom level of the Roma Mitchell Building so you can get to the office without walking outside. Hertz and Europcar are also close by.

But even then, the hypothetical train would need to be fast enough to ensure that you could pick up the car and drive out of the CBD to wherever you actually want to go faster than if you drive in avoid the CBD using the North-South Motorway or R1 City Ring Route. That means no more than 1 hour 45 minutes from wheels rolling at Port Pirie to doors open at Adelaide, otherwise there's no point trying.

As an aside, when a Whyalla resident I actively campaigned for the retention of the first attempt at a rail service to Adelaide  before the Crystal Brook Adelaide line was converted to NSW narrow gauge. I used the service a few times not often for the reasons quoted above. When surveyed Whyalla residents wanted the service but had no intention of using it!
Funny you should say that because i was one of the (youngest) people to help lobby local politicians for the reopening of Millswood Station on the Belair line back in late 2013/early 2014, and i distinctly remember the action group announcing the results of their survey in the local area which argued that at least 90 people per day would board trains at Millswood if the station were to reopen. Once the station had reopned though, the official media release for patronage at Millswood station across the year long trial basically read that on a good day no more than about 40 people per day would board trains at Millswood, so there was something wrong with the picture there.
Gayspie
Much like the group of locals who gathered at Nhill station to clap the first Overland of 2021 … and every single one of them was still standing there when the train was gone!

On the topic of Millswood, I find the 40 far more realistic. But the number that matters more is 2, being the number of major political parties which couldn't give a shot about Millswood but would really rather a government of the other major party close it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Watched the Ghan slow movie on NITV last night for the portion between Adelaide and PA.  The track seems in excellent condition so 100 km/h speeds are surely available to passenger services?
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Much like the group of locals who gathered at Nhill station to clap the first Overland of 2021 … and every single one of them was still standing there when the train was gone!

On the topic of Millswood, I find the 40 far more realistic. But the number that matters more is 2, being the number of major political parties which couldn't give a shot about Millswood but would really rather a government of the other major party close it.
justapassenger
Funny you should say that because there are parliament hansard records from the 1960's which show discussion about the possibility of closing Millswood even way back then due to very low patronage.
  gunzel42 Locomotive Driver

I nearly sprayed a mouthful of tea over the computer when I read the Highway between Adelaide and Port Augusta is of a 'very high standard' - seriously, what drugs is the author of that comment on? The highway is getting smashed by high capacity MC vehicles that seem to exploit any and every loophole under the sun to get bigger and heavier.
Further to this, someone in their infinite wisdom has decided to add a set of TRAFFIC LIGHTS to the main highway just outside of Virginia. I wonder how long before an A-Triple doesn't have time to stop at the lights and takes out some poor bugger turning out of Buckland Park.
Or even just waiting at the lights.

Squillions being spent on grade separation north of Pt Wakefield but traffic lights at Angle Vale Road. The Buckland Park developer should have been forced to pay the cost of grade separation form the outset.
steam4ian
All the more reason we should all be promoting rail passenger services and rail freight to get these cowboy truck drivers off the road and get the freight on rail where it should be.  Should not be ROAD TRAIN, just TRAIN.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
If a decision was made to return passenger rail between Adelaide and Port Augusta via Port Pirie what rolling stock would be recommended NSW style or lower quality Vlocity ?

Could something else be ordered
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The NSW longer distance trains would be ideal but just my view.  I would hate to recommend the noisy Vlocities. In consideration we have not yet seen the new velocity longer distance service trains so unsure of what they will actually be like.  Further if SG trains did return where are SG DMU maintenance facilities available in Adelaide?

Servicing in Port Augusta would potentially create some jobs.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
I don’t think there were ever SG DMU servicing facilities in Adelaide. However, there are facilities at Keswick to water, fuel and decant the Ghan/Indian Pacific/Overland.

Port Augusta was the base for the Budd cars when they ran (ancient history) but any remnants of servicing facilities in Port Augusta would almost certainly need complete replacement.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Creating jobs in Port Augusta would be a good thing.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Creating passengers would be a mind-blowing outcome!
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Creating jobs in Port Augusta would be a good thing.
bevans

Jobs everywhere in Port Augusta at the moment, you would  have  trouble finding a diesel technician.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Pleased to hear plenty of work in Port Augusta for diesel technicians, Bingley Hall. Maybe they should look to alternative power, such as renewable electricity (similar to the tomato farm), or better still run steam? Be good to compare a 520 with a 38.

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