XPT to Adelaide

 
Topic moved from South Australia by dthead on 25 Nov 2018 23:54
  Brianr Deputy Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Back before the Trans-Tasman Bubble was burst, I planned to combine a visit to my family in Sydney with a visit to Broken Hill. I am still hanging out for a long train journey. As I did not want to return the next day nor stay a whole 8 nights in Broken Hill, I reluctantly booked a flight with Rex Broken Hill- Dubbo- Sydney after 4 nights. The only alternative was bus to Dubbo connecting with the XPT leaving at an unearthly time in the morning.
First class was booked out so I chose Economy. Fortunately I received full refunds from both the train and from Rex,
I have seen inquiries on Tripadvisor about train trips to Broken Hill.
If I ever consider it again, it would be nice to see at last 2 weekly round trips on offer.

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  theanimal Chief Commissioner

I've just spent 15 minutes of my life reading this thread I will never get back. Oh well.

Disregarding the economics/sanity of running through to Adelaide, would one option be to extend the BHQ Explorer to Keswick?

I think, and I'm sure I'll be corrected if wrong, that the BRQ Explorer's only other duty is to run to Griffith on weekends so the train spends a few days each week idle.

From a logistical point of view, could you run the Explorer to Broken Hill on Monday per the timetable, stable it, run it to Keswick the next day, either stable or return on the same day, either way, get it back to BHQ, overnight it, and send it to Sydney the next day.

The train would still be back by Thursday evening latest and good to run the Griffith service on the weekend.

Sure it would lose money hand over fist, but that's business as usual for CountryLink/TrainLink/whatever
Travelling Hooker
There is also a mid week trip to Griffith that uses the cars, and there are many occasions when the set is uses to replace the Dubbo XPT to allow that set to cascade onto another service to allow for maintenance etc.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
What are the bus service patronage levels between BH and Adelaide?  Seems to be a daily service (excluding covid) which leaves BH at 7, arriving into Adelaide at 1330, with a return departing 1200, arriving 1845.  Trains might make some extra stops and have better speed but take longer time given the longer distance - i doubt they'd be recovering costs...  And they'd be using Keswick...

https://transportnsw.info/document/4218/broken-hill-adelaide-mildura-coach-timetable.pdf
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
Maybe this can be packaged with a resurrection of the Hay to Morgan railway project.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

I know this is an older thread, but we could be missing something.

I think the XPL BH service should be allowed to run as it currently is.

How about getting the current IP operator to plonk a sit up car on its twice weekly service in each direction to/from Adelaide?

There should be a "firewall" so that nobody can get out of this sit up car in any way other than to disembark at a platform.

Alternatively, the existing luggage van could be used with the addition of basic seating and amenities.

Worse case scenario: this sit up service could be hooked onto a freighter ex-Sydney.

NSW Trains will be needing their XPTs and XPLs for some time to come.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
How about getting the current IP operator to plonk a sit up car on its twice weekly service in each direction to/from Adelaide?
ANR
You mean the way they used to but then discontinued?

Good luck.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
How about getting the current IP operator to plonk a sit up car on its twice weekly service in each direction to/from Adelaide?
You mean the way they used to but then discontinued?

Good luck.
s3_gunzel
I think that was when it was part of the public transport system, but when sold to the private owners, it was transformed and marketed as a luxury tourist train like the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada.  Same for the Ghan.  Agree that there's no chance of the public transport mode being reintroduced, as it would be prohibitively expense and far to slow anyway with the leisurely pace and stopovers it makes.

As I mentioned previously, it would be better to upgrade the weekly Xplorer service with the new CAF Regional train fleet to Broken Hill, possibly increasing it to twice weekly, and connecting with a separate service from Broken Hill to Adelaide operated by the South Australian government.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

Methinks the sit up service needs to resume both for the IP and Ghan.

$5000 for a one way trip on an unspecified airline for a flight from Darwin to Adelaide?


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-18/sa-couple-take-48-hour-bus-ride-home-from-after-flight-cancelled/101246714?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&utm_content=link&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_news_web
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Methinks the sit up service needs to resume both for the IP and Ghan.

$5000 for a one way trip on an unspecified airline for a flight from Darwin to Adelaide?


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-18/sa-couple-take-48-hour-bus-ride-home-from-after-flight-cancelled/101246714?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&utm_content=link&utm_medium=content_shared&utm_source=abc_news_web
ANR
No chance.  The IP and Ghan are privately owned services with stop overs along the way and they're not going to reintroduce sit up services which would need to be heavily subsidised.  It would probably be quicker by bus.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Agree completely.

The Ghan and IP are successful in their current format purely because Journey Beyond focuses on one market only. Trying to be all things to all people would be a return to archaic AN/Serco practice.

The routes concerned are all Open Access. Nothing to stop someone else giving it a go with a service focused on low cost passenger transport.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The public largely abandoned long distance heavily govt subsidised passenger rail thanks to low cost airlines in the early to mid 2000's. When I moved to Gladstone Qld in 1998, there was at least one long passenger train a day to/from  Brisbane + daily return and sometimes 2x return Spirit of Cap. It was very common to get to Brisbane by rail. Flights were only taken for short weekend trips, they were largesly expensive, only 4 flights each airline in a plane with something like 20-24 seats.

Spirt of Cap was replaced by RTT around early 2000's with much fanfare, full Business Class full bookings etc.

Within 5 - 7 years the whole market was completely different thanks to cheaper airline tickets and lot more seats.

- The long haul loco hauled pax trains were half their size and when you booked them, EC seating was often near empty.
- RTT had dropped the full silver service BC to just BC seating

No one I knew would even dream of taking train to Brisbane.

In addtion significant imporvements to the highway reduced driving and doing a weekend drive to Brisbane was seen less of a drama.

Yes rail thrived breifly when Ansett collapsed, but brief is an understatement. Running daily trains from Sydney to Adelaide would be nice in my train focused world, but would be a money pit of biblical proportions.  

GSR phased out the cheaper seats through lack of demand, I don't see anything changing soon.

Perhaps they could have capitalised on the current global airline issues running the odd train, but I doubt people are ready to pay full non subsidised fares in sufficent numbers.

As for Sth Govt supporting CAF through to Adelaide? The same govt who stopped funding the Overland?
  ANR Chief Commissioner

I have traveled from Perth to Sydney on a sit-up IP carriage. Best trip I have ever taken. Won't rehash that story but it was an adventure even when GSR had just taken over from AN. The staff I suspected were carried over from AN. I sat next to several people from all over,  going on their own unique journeys: Kalgoorlie, Adelaide (for a Melbourne bound overland connection), a Tasmanian from Adelaide going to Sydney, and some characters that boarded at Broken Hill. The entire carriage was ablaze with laughter at their humour. This is what a trip on the IP and the Ghan was all about when they were public transport - even during the GSR era.

If a single carriage addition is too much for any operator of the day (insert name here) to contemplate even with subsidies, I think there is a future for some new operator to buy up the XPT/XPL sets, refurbish them, and run as public transport interstate on runs such as Broken Hill to Adelaide or Adelaide to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, or Adelaide to Coober Pedy, Adelaide to Alice Springs, Alice to Tenant Creek/Katherine/Darwin, or at least Katherine to Darwin etc. A two or three car XPL set would do the job on some shorter runs. It is doable. It will help many communities along the railway line connect to one another and connect to major centres. I know these examples are centred around SA/NT, but I think there is something missing in this area that could make a big difference to people.
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
It isn't public transport is the issue; the use of buses is way cheaper than running a train to those locations and it was decided in the 1990's by the Commonwealth and the various state governments that they didn't want to provide those long-distance rail services as public transport any longer and that's what the situation remains to this day.

I'd like nothing better than if we had supplementary train services that focused on servicing the small communities along those lines but unless there's a huge increase in the price of fuel to the point where trains are really competitive and economical against buses then I think we're going to be forever disappointed.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

If a single carriage addition is too much for any operator of the day (insert name here) to contemplate even with subsidies, I think there is a future for some new operator to buy up the XPT/XPL sets, refurbish them, and run as public transport interstate on runs such as Broken Hill to Adelaide or Adelaide to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, or Adelaide to Coober Pedy, Adelaide to Alice Springs, Alice to Tenant Creek/Katherine/Darwin, or at least Katherine to Darwin etc. A two or three car XPL set would do the job on some shorter runs. It is doable. It will help many communities along the railway line connect to one another and connect to major centres. I know these examples are centred around SA/NT, but I think there is something missing in this area that could make a big difference to people.
ANR
All this can be done so much cheaper using road coaches and likely quicker too along with stopping In the main activity centre of each town (not out In the sticks)
  ANR Chief Commissioner


If a single carriage addition is too much for any operator of the day (insert name here) to contemplate even with subsidies, I think there is a future for some new operator to buy up the XPT/XPL sets, refurbish them, and run as public transport interstate on runs such as Broken Hill to Adelaide or Adelaide to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, or Adelaide to Coober Pedy, Adelaide to Alice Springs, Alice to Tenant Creek/Katherine/Darwin, or at least Katherine to Darwin etc. A two or three car XPL set would do the job on some shorter runs. It is doable. It will help many communities along the railway line connect to one another and connect to major centres. I know these examples are centred around SA/NT, but I think there is something missing in this area that could make a big difference to people.All this can be done so much cheaper using road coaches and likely quicker too along with stopping In the main activity centre of each town (not out In the sticks)
I think there is something special about an active railway line running through a town, more than a highway (although that is important too). Hearing trains roll through at all hours of the day and night makes people feel that they are part of something. Having a pax service makes it even more special. There is nothing appealing about sitting on a bus seat.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I have traveled from Perth to Sydney on a sit-up IP carriage. Best trip I have ever taken. Won't rehash that story but it was an adventure even when GSR had just taken over from AN. The staff I suspected were carried over from AN. I sat next to several people from all over,  going on their own unique journeys: Kalgoorlie, Adelaide (for a Melbourne bound overland connection), a Tasmanian from Adelaide going to Sydney, and some characters that boarded at Broken Hill. The entire carriage was ablaze with laughter at their humour. This is what a trip on the IP and the Ghan was all about when they were public transport - even during the GSR era.

If a single carriage addition is too much for any operator of the day (insert name here) to contemplate even with subsidies, I think there is a future for some new operator to buy up the XPT/XPL sets, refurbish them, and run as public transport interstate on runs such as Broken Hill to Adelaide or Adelaide to Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie, or Adelaide to Coober Pedy, Adelaide to Alice Springs, Alice to Tenant Creek/Katherine/Darwin, or at least Katherine to Darwin etc. A two or three car XPL set would do the job on some shorter runs. It is doable. It will help many communities along the railway line connect to one another and connect to major centres. I know these examples are centred around SA/NT, but I think there is something missing in this area that could make a big difference to people.
ANR
Very interesting and a great trip I'm sure.

Unfortunately single car service isn't worth the subsidised hassel that is required.

Cheap airfares, better roads and even the likes of Amazon and WWW have killed off alot of the need for long haul rail travel in the 90's. We are actually lucky there is actually anything left at all and I expect the respective state govt were planning on a natural death but it hasn't.

Alot of regional bus routes unless subsidised by the govt have dissappeared as well for the same reasons.

XPT's are pretty much near the end of their useful lives and I doubt will see much resale value. The passenger cars maybe but I bet the locos don't get such a favorable outcome.

If you were to run a service Adelaide to BH or even Sydney or similar with what you mention then you are talking two car DMU, ie Prospector, CAF etc and you will be lucky to fill one car.

The communties along the corridors you mention is very low in population. It would simply be cheaper to pay the GSR (or what ever their name is) to do it or more likely a plane service.

Go to most of these rural communities, they all fight for their train, but rarely use it. Look at Qld which ran "mixed" services to out back rural communites or at least added a passenger car to freight services to a number of destinations right up into the 2000's, but rarely carried anyone and in most cases the passenger cars were simply phased out with little push back and in many cases not even known by the rail community until weeks/months later.

I think there is oppurtunity to bring back rail, but not in these areas. TBH, unless there is 25,000 people at the terminus town then its pointless.

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