Echuca line

 
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I've mentioned this before on these pages and elsewhere, given the conversion of the line through Inglewood to SG, a rebuild of the Inglewood to Eaglehawk line in SG and then with some DG into Bendigo, would open up access for the Bendigo region to the whole SG network. It may appear a round about way of achieving access but in reality it's only 40km overall.
Inland_Sailor
Inglewood to Eaglehawk may only be 40km, but that isn't the full picture is it?

The entire route from Southern Cross (0km point on all railway lines in Victoria, and the closest comparison to road distance) to Bendigo via Woodend is 162km.  For the route you are suggesting for an SG link, via Geelong, Ballarat and Inglewood the distance is 296km. So yes, it is indeed a round about way of achieving access.

Then there is the capital works to get the line via Bridgewater to an acceptable standard, this would be a similar level of work as the Avoca line required, and a similar cost. As the line would need a complete rebuild, the gauge conversion would be inconsequential.

So lets just say for a moment, money was no issue, and we could give it the go ahead tomorrow. Who is going to use it? What freight customer is going to prefer that route when it is 130km longer? I mean consider this, most freight would be going to the Port of Melbourne, there is nothing stopping this from happening now on the broad gauge. There is even an eager local rail operator in Bendigo with a fleet of BG locos, and a rake of container wagons, mostly just sitting idle in their Bendigo workshops. If the customer was there for rail, they would be using rail now.

So you would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create an SG link to Bendigo, and as far as I can ascertain, its only possible use would be for SSR to ferry there SG locos to their workshops.

That is just not going to fly.

And this has been covered in multiple threads, multiple times.

Sponsored advertisement

  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

I've mentioned this before on these pages and elsewhere, given the conversion of the line through Inglewood to SG, a rebuild of the Inglewood to Eaglehawk line in SG and then with some DG into Bendigo, would open up access for the Bendigo region to the whole SG network. It may appear a round about way of achieving access but in reality it's only 40km overall.
Inglewood to Eaglehawk may only be 40km, but that isn't the full picture is it?

The entire route from Southern Cross (0km point on all railway lines in Victoria, and the closest comparison to road distance) to Bendigo via Woodend is 162km.  For the route you are suggesting for an SG link, via Geelong, Ballarat and Inglewood the distance is 296km. So yes, it is indeed a round about way of achieving access.

Then there is the capital works to get the line via Bridgewater to an acceptable standard, this would be a similar level of work as the Avoca line required, and a similar cost. As the line would need a complete rebuild, the gauge conversion would be inconsequential.

So lets just say for a moment, money was no issue, and we could give it the go ahead tomorrow. Who is going to use it? What freight customer is going to prefer that route when it is 130km longer? I mean consider this, most freight would be going to the Port of Melbourne, there is nothing stopping this from happening now on the broad gauge. There is even an eager local rail operator in Bendigo with a fleet of BG locos, and a rake of container wagons, mostly just sitting idle in their Bendigo workshops. If the customer was there for rail, they would be using rail now.

So you would spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create an SG link to Bendigo, and as far as I can ascertain, its only possible use would be for SSR to ferry there SG locos to their workshops.

That is just not going to fly.

And this has been covered in multiple threads, multiple times.
Gman_86
I think we've all seen wilder "hair brained" ideas floated on these pages than this proposal!!
I'd like to point out some further thoughts for your consideration. [BTW, I had considered that this line would have to rebuilt like the Avoca line, but at approx half it's cost as it's only half the distance]
I think your argument is based on the wrong premise, ie it's Melbourne centric.
Victorian Railways historically fed to Melbourne on a radial network during the State based dinosaur era of of VR on BG. Now that era is long gone. Since the 1960s, here in Victoria, we've been moving towards a SG network, albeit very slowly. It's now often lamented that the Victorian lines do not cross the State laterally and we've read proposals for this for both passenger and freight movements on these pages as well. For instance, a Geelong to Bendigo SG passenger link would have access to a population of well over 450,000, greater than the populations of either Tasmania or Canberra.
So taking out the "go to Melbourne" factor and replacing it with the arguments for the Murray Basin works, this proposal brings some lateral movement across the State and access to the Victorian ports of Geelong and Portland as well as the whole National SG network. Google maps show it's 50 km further to Geelong by this route rather than via Melbourne, ie 30 mins, but paths do not need to be sourced though the Vline and Metro systems. Of course Bendigo to Portland by BG hasn't been possible for 20 odd years. This proposal is moving in a positive direction. Post the Murray Basin works there will be more SG in Victoria than BG and of course it's the National gauge. "Build it and they will come" is probably the maxim here. Looking forward, imagining the 4th largest inland city in Australia not being on the National SG network, for the sake of 40km, seems absurd!
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I think we've all seen wilder "hair brained" ideas floated on these pages than this proposal!!
Inland_Sailor
That's never a good argument, considering some of the insane ideas that have been floated on these pages, it would take something truly ludicrous to beat many of those (Maybe a new railway line... To the Moon! for instance).

I think your argument is based on the wrong premise, ie it's Melbourne centric. Victorian Railways historically fed to Melbourne on a radial network during the State based dinosaur era of of VR on BG. Now that era is long gone. Since the 1960s, here in Victoria, we've been moving towards a SG network, albeit very slowly. It's now often lamented that the Victorian lines do not cross the State laterally and we've read proposals for this for both passenger and freight movements on these pages as well.
Inland_Sailor
My view is Melbourne Centric for a reason, that is where the volume is. Modern Railways are a volume game. Where are you going to find the volume of freight that needs to get from Bendigo to Portland or Geelong or anywhere else for that matter?

Long gone are the days where you could build a cheap branchline to any two horse town for a few very lightly loaded goods trains per week, and a twice daily visit from the AEC railmotor or the DERM.

a Geelong to Bendigo SG passenger link would have access to a population of well over 450,000, greater than the populations of either Tasmania or Canberra.
Inland_Sailor

A Geelong to Bendigo passenger link? We already have one, its called a coach and it runs via road. The perfectly suited transport mode for the passenger numbers making this journey who don't prefer the comfort and convenience of their own private vehicle.

Tasmania has no passenger rail, so probably not a good comparison to make your point, and Canberra does, but only to the equivalent level of a regional town, with a few return trips to Sydney per day. Again, not a good comparison.


Incidentally, The coach departs Bendigo at 6:35AM, and arrives in Geelong at 11:15AM (with a 48 minute stop in Ballarat), While you can catch the 6:32AM train to Southern Cross, then catch the 8:50AM train from Southern Cross to Geelong (with a 26 minute stop at Southern Cross to leave plenty of time for a comfortable connection) and still arrive in Geelong before 10AM (9:47), well over an hour before the coach that left Bendigo at almost the exact same time, but I digress.



"Build it and they will come" is probably the maxim here. Looking forward, imagining the 4th largest inland city in Australia not being on the National SG network, for the sake of 40km, seems absurd!
Inland_Sailor

If you build it and they don't come, that will be just another big white elephant.

You say it's just absurd. I disagree.

If it were to be built, using taxpayers money, when there is clearly no viable business case to support it, then that would be absurd.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
I don't know how many times it has to be repeated, yet here we go again.

There IS NO rail freight out of Bendigo. None, nada, zilch! Grain from Piangil, Mitiamo, Elmore and Deniliquin is spasmodic and very seasonal, and the rice train can run via Seymour if Deni had to get SG. Anyone who wants to send something from Bendigo to some interstate place on the SG network can just truck it down to Melbourne and put it on the train there. Much quicker, and a lot cheaper!
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Stop making sense!
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

Ok , I concede that if there is no freight generated out or into Bendigo there may well be no need for rail into/out of the area, apart for passenger movement. But I must say it does surprise me that Bendigo is self sufficient in it's needs and that rail freight cannot be generated through the provision of a freight service. As your on the ground so to speak I'll have to acknowledge your view.
However, as a case in point, some years back an intermodal facility was set up at Ettamogah, just Nth of Albury on a disused section of yards. There were no customers for it at that time. Now that facility runs at capacity! So much so that, as you quite possibily know, there is now another intermodal site [run by SCT, https://www.sctlogistics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/web-flyer.pdf at the Barnawartha [Wodonga] Logic Centre.
If Albury - Wodonga, with it's lesser population can generate two way rail freight business, it seems amazing, and still somewhat difficult to accept, that Bendigo can't ! So we move on....
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga have very different industries.  Not a lot of bulk freight comes out of Bendigo - apart from containerised hay at Bridgewater and Goornong (which I think are the main sources of potential rail freight).  If I was a betting man, I would say Goornong could eventually see some sort of rail freight operation.

As for food manufacturing - there's Hazeldene's Chicken at Lockwood (miles from rail), and a few low volume niche processors (mainly at old Mayfair site in East Bendigo).

Even Swan Hill which is more than twice the distance from port and a major source of fresh produce can't even get a container of freight on rail... Just an endless conga line of trucks at present.
  n459L1150 Train Controller

Location: at sunbury on a V/line service into melbourne, waiting for thousands of impatient people to get on
hey I know, why don't they just make ALL of the Echuca trains 3-Carsets from Melbourne ALL the time given they don't give a fluff about echuca
  Carnot Minister for Railways

hey I know, why don't they just make ALL of the Echuca trains 3-Carsets from Melbourne ALL the time given they don't give a fluff about echuca
n459L1150
Because most of the Bendigo-Melbourne legs of Echuca services require 6 cars due to high patronage.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I mean, the logical solution is to set aside a couple of reserved cars on Echuca trains for long distance pax. I don’t understand why this isn’t done presently.
  n459L1150 Train Controller

Location: at sunbury on a V/line service into melbourne, waiting for thousands of impatient people to get on
I mean, the logical solution is to set aside a couple of reserved cars on Echuca trains for long distance pax. I don’t understand why this isn’t done presently.
potatoinmymouth
because it's vline, who still can't stop suburban pax getting on at sunbury.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Would changing the stopping pattern help or are these services already a limited stop to Bendigo meaning the train is already full when leaving SCS?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Would changing the stopping pattern help or are these services already a limited stop to Bendigo meaning the train is already full when leaving SCS?
x31
Or they could do a "1530 Seymour" train, this used to be  a 4 car Spinter, only the first car had a destination of Seymour, the others disconneccting at Wallan and then returning to Southern Cross.

woodford
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Would changing the stopping pattern help or are these services already a limited stop to Bendigo meaning the train is already full when leaving SCS?
Or they could do a "1530 Seymour" train, this used to be  a 4 car Spinter, only the first car had a destination of Seymour, the others disconneccting at Wallan and then returning to Southern Cross.

woodford
woodford
What the poster is complaining about is weekend services. During the week the afternoon Down Echuca is 6 cars ex Southern Cross which splits at Bendigo, first 3 continue to Echuca and back 3 get left behind to form another service. Pax for Echuca board the front 3 and the connies usually announce multiple times at SC and en route.

They stop all stations (which I think is dumb but that is another story)

Likewise the morning Up service is 3 cars from Echuca to Bendigo. At Bendigo it couples up to another 3VL set already in the platform to form a 6 car set.

On the weekends however it is a 3VL set only on the morning Down which the poster is saying is not enough. (I haven't looked into the other services, sorry)

And yes, they could reserve a carriage in a 3VL set if they really wanted to, the seats are numbered like in an airliner and i have seen them reserved for a DEJWELP party to Bendigo (who then proceeded to sit somewhere else and annoy the whole carriage who had positioned themselves away from the big group).

BG
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Would it be too confusing for a 6 car VLo to run SCS - Footscray - Sunbury, then seperate with the front 3 running express to Bendigo, then SAS to echuca, whilst the rear 3 SAS to Bendigo?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Would changing the stopping pattern help or are these services already a limited stop to Bendigo meaning the train is already full when leaving SCS?
Or they could do a "1530 Seymour" train, this used to be  a 4 car Spinter, only the first car had a destination of Seymour, the others disconneccting at Wallan and then returning to Southern Cross.

woodford
What the poster is complaining about is weekend services. During the week the afternoon Down Echuca is 6 cars ex Southern Cross which splits at Bendigo, first 3 continue to Echuca and back 3 get left behind to form another service. Pax for Echuca board the front 3 and the connies usually announce multiple times at SC and en route.

They stop all stations (which I think is dumb but that is another story)

Likewise the morning Up service is 3 cars from Echuca to Bendigo. At Bendigo it couples up to another 3VL set already in the platform to form a 6 car set.

On the weekends however it is a 3VL set only on the morning Down which the poster is saying is not enough. (I haven't looked into the other services, sorry)

And yes, they could reserve a carriage in a 3VL set if they really wanted to, the seats are numbered like in an airliner and i have seen them reserved for a DEJWELP party to Bendigo (who then proceeded to sit somewhere else and annoy the whole carriage who had positioned themselves away from the big group).

BG
BrentonGolding
BG
You have excelled yourself!

DEJWELP =
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Decorous Elderly Jewellery-Wearing Elvis-Loving Pensioners
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I’ll take a stab and say this acronym was not meant to be interpreted but was a nudge at the state departments with their own unwieldy shortenings vis a vis DEDJTR and DELWP.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Decorous Elderly Jewellery-Wearing Elvis-Loving Pensioners
Valvegear
Sorry, I got the acronym wrong, it is only DELWP but I thought at least the Victorians would have know that one in context

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning but I was sure that Jobs was in there as well, my mistake.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I’ll take a stab and say this acronym was not meant to be interpreted but was a nudge at the state departments with their own unwieldy shortenings vis a vis DEDJTR and DELWP.
potatoinmymouth
Aha! I confused 2 confusing department names! Thanks PIMM (edit, I should have just gone along with your post above and pretended to be witty and amusing!)

BG
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Would it be too confusing for a 6 car VLo to run SCS - Footscray - Sunbury, then seperate with the front 3 running express to Bendigo, then SAS to echuca, whilst the rear 3 SAS to Bendigo?
John.Z
The problem with this is that it takes up 2 time slots, this would likely be OK if it was dual track all the way. Given the amount of single track on the Bendigo line, the extra time slot taken could easily destroy the current timetable. Look at what happens when any service is late on the Ballarat line.

One solution is what NSW does on the XPT in Victoria, all open doors are manned and all tickets checked for passengers boarding.

woodford
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

this would likely be OK if it was dual track all the way
woodford

Yeah, don’t you wish our forefathers had been perspicacious enough to build a double track railway...
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Yeah, don’t you wish our forefathers had been perspicacious enough to build a double track railway...
"potatoinmymouth"
The fools did - fortunately we have had the enlightened brains who decided to single the track "to provide better service". Boy; didn't they show those oldies a thing or two.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
"BrentonGolding"
Never heard of it. What was it called last month?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Never heard of it. What was it called last month?
Valvegear
Me neither - nor do I want to.
Was it the old DSE - Department of Scorched Earth, perhaps?
If you have a problem or wish to project an image of ACTION or ACTIVITY (habloodyha) you rename the former what ever it was. If that doesn't work you paint its infrastructure/equipment a different colour.
Alternatively, you get Jacinta Allan or Daniel Andrews on TV in a new flak jacket and crash hat to dumbfound us all with their honesty and wisdom and point out what fools we have all been to date.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.