News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Threads relating to transport, water, etc. within the CBD and Metropolitan area.
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dbl96
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

#631 Post by dbl96 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:27 pm

PeFe wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:05 am
OMG !.......flogging a dead horse......when will the economic reality of the Overland service sink in with some people....

It will eventually die........and the few remaining will passengers will use buses in South Australia, and in Victoria buses to the nearest V-Line train station.
The reason the Overland is not economically viable is not because an Adelaide-Mebourne passenger service is inherently unviable, it is because of GSR's business model. The train is run essentially as a tourist service rather than a transport service. The train is too infrequent to be considered by many as a viable transport option. Also, as others have pointed out, tickets are priced at a point which is too expensive to compete with the bus (most bus passengers are travelling on concession tickets priced at around $30), while journey times are too slow to compete with flights (flights are priced at around the same, or even less than the train tickets). As a result, very few people choose to take the train.

The cynic in me thinks GSR does this deliberately so that they can continue to collect subsidies from the government.

An Adelaide-Melbourne train service should be viable. Adelaide-Melbourne is an extremely busy air and road corridor, with large numbers of people travelling between the two cities every day. Although there are slow sections in the Adelaide Hills, and standard gauge trains have to detour through Geelong, the majority of the line would permit significantly higher speeds if different trains were used. The economies associated with full trains should allow for an economy service with ticket prices lower than the bus concession rate.

The service should just be run directly by VLine, which has a demonstrated capacity to deliver popular and viable rail passenger transport services at an affordable price. The ARTC line would already permit VLocity trains to run at 130kmph for most of the the route, potentially resulting in a journey time of just 6 hours. A no-frills cheap economy class could be offered, as well as a premium service for those who wish to pay. The smaller capacity of VLocity trains would make them easier to fill than the Overland, and this could allow for a greater frequency of service - something which is likely to attract a lot more people to use the train. With the correct pricing, along with increased frequency and speed, the train could attract significant numbers of people away from driving, catching the bus, or taking budget flights on the Adelaide-Melbourne corridor.

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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

#632 Post by SRW » Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:18 pm

I, and probably many others, would prefer to take the train if it took much less time than driving and cost less than flying. That neither of these things are true is a fatal but avoidable flaw.

In addition to letting V/Line run the service with better locomotives, if the line between Ballarat and Melbourne were standardised, would a return to this route allow travel time to lower to as little as 5-6 hours? That compares favourably to driving. And if a southern option alignment for the Adelaide Hills is ever pursued, which it ought to be in the medium term, surely 5 hours looks even more realistic?
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

#633 Post by Eurostar » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:50 am

dbl96 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:27 pm
PeFe wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:05 am
OMG !.......flogging a dead horse......when will the economic reality of the Overland service sink in with some people....

It will eventually die........and the few remaining will passengers will use buses in South Australia, and in Victoria buses to the nearest V-Line train station.
The reason the Overland is not economically viable is not because an Adelaide-Mebourne passenger service is inherently unviable, it is because of GSR's business model. The train is run essentially as a tourist service rather than a transport service. The train is too infrequent to be considered by many as a viable transport option. Also, as others have pointed out, tickets are priced at a point which is too expensive to compete with the bus (most bus passengers are travelling on concession tickets priced at around $30), while journey times are too slow to compete with flights (flights are priced at around the same, or even less than the train tickets). As a result, very few people choose to take the train.

The cynic in me thinks GSR does this deliberately so that they can continue to collect subsidies from the government.

An Adelaide-Melbourne train service should be viable. Adelaide-Melbourne is an extremely busy air and road corridor, with large numbers of people travelling between the two cities every day. Although there are slow sections in the Adelaide Hills, and standard gauge trains have to detour through Geelong, the majority of the line would permit significantly higher speeds if different trains were used. The economies associated with full trains should allow for an economy service with ticket prices lower than the bus concession rate.

The service should just be run directly by VLine, which has a demonstrated capacity to deliver popular and viable rail passenger transport services at an affordable price. The ARTC line would already permit VLocity trains to run at 130kmph for most of the the route, potentially resulting in a journey time of just 6 hours. A no-frills cheap economy class could be offered, as well as a premium service for those who wish to pay. The smaller capacity of VLocity trains would make them easier to fill than the Overland, and this could allow for a greater frequency of service - something which is likely to attract a lot more people to use the train. With the correct pricing, along with increased frequency and speed, the train could attract significant numbers of people away from driving, catching the bus, or taking budget flights on the Adelaide-Melbourne corridor.
If I recall correctly the locomotive used on The Overland is leased from Pacific National rather than both states just owning one. A standard gauge Velocity should be bought and the service needs to go back to being run daily overnight, I'd say buy secondhand Xplorer but I don't think there is any spares.

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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

#634 Post by claybro » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:53 pm

Agree with all of this. Smaller, lighter, faster.. the Vlocity trains use less fuel, could run daily.. and be faster than and beat a bus if run properly. Lugging vintage carriages, hundreds of metres long, by equally vintage diesel locos is such a 1950's concept, it is no wonder why it is not viable. The more frequent trains could also be marketed to football fans with special ticket deals and sensible scheduling. For that matter.. regional trains from the Spencer Gulf cities into Adelaide station could also be viable for footy fans. Passenger rail should be as equally subsidised as regional buses, which do not adequately pay for their "slot" on public roads, so while on face value it appears cheaper to run buses, in the long run, the taxpayer ends up paying through road maintenance anyway.

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