Started by ozbob, October 30, 2014, 10:22:32 AM
QuoteSleeping, dining cars scrapped on Inlander Rail serviceBy BRAD THOMPSONNov. 16, 2014, 8 p.m.In a move by Queensland Rail and the state government, passengers on the historic Mount Isa to Townsville rail service will be forced to sit up for the 20-hour trip, with sleeping and dining cars scrapped.Queensland Rail has blamed the retirement of 60-year-old carriages for the change."The removal of older carriages from the fleet means the Inlander and Westlander will now offer seated-only services from 1 January 2015," Queensland Rail executive general manager customer service Martin Ryan said.Despite the loss of the sleeping and dining cars, Mr Ryan was adamant that "customers can continue to expect the same great service"."But carriages may look a little different as the on-board offering has changed," he said.Mount Isa Mayor Tony McGrady slammed the move as a masked way to force the closure of the service, with the Inlander becoming less attractive for passengers, forcing a likely drop in patronage."This is an insult to the west and it is essentially closure by stealth," he said."The passengers, many of them elderly, will be treated like second-class citizens."To expect seniors to sit up for that duration is impossible and an absolute insult.''It is setting transport back 100 years."Cr McGrady said the move was likely to be part of the state government's plan to privatise state-owned assets, including the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.The Inlander service runs at a loss and would be a sticking point for likely suitors to take up the long-term lease of the rail line."I agree some state-owned assets should be privatised but not transport, which is a community service obligation," Cr McGrady said.
QuoteQueensland Parliament Hansard 29th October 2014Inlander and the Westlander, they are continuingQuestions without notice:Mr KATTER: My question without notice is to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads. Senior citizens and lower income members in remote western and north-western communities critically rely upon the Inlander rail passenger service, with limited other modes of transport available. Will the minister commit to improving this service, as has been done in Brisbane, and in doing so ensure that the Inlander is not taken away from us?Mr EMERSON: I thank the member for Mount Isa for the question. In terms of the Inlander and the Westlander, they are continuing. I understand the importance of rail travel across Queensland, and they are continuing as services. We have made no decision in terms of changing that at all. What I would say to the member for Mount Isa is that across public transport we are delivering for Queensland and we will continue to deliver for Queensland. Since we have come into office, we now have the most reliable metropolitan public transport rail system in Australia and the most reliable in Queensland Rail's proud 150-year history.Next week we will see a historic day for public transport in Queensland, because we will see for the first time in Queensland history a state-wide cut in public transport fares—the first time this has ever occurred. As you know, Madam Speaker, we went out to the community and asked them how they would like to see us spend the savings from the axed carbon tax. Overwhelmingly, the feedback from the more than 22,000 people who got involved in that survey was that they wanted to see us cut fares. That is understandable, given their experience under Labor and under the now Leader of the Opposition when she was transport minister. There were 15 per cent fare increases every year—year after year after year—and they planned to keep on going that way year after year.In fact, under Labor, in their last three years in office we saw fares go up by 52 per cent—in just three years. Since we came to office we have kept our very clear election promise to halve Labor's planned fare increases. We have brought in the incredibly successful free trips after nine journeys. Every week about 80,000 people benefit from that policy. As I said, on 3 November we will see, for the first time in Queensland history, a state-wide cut to public transport fares. Let's be very clear about that: this is not just in Brisbane or in the south-east corner; this is across the state. Wherever we run public transport we will see this five per cent cut. We are delivering, unlike Labor, unlike the then transport minister and now Leader of the Opposition, unlike members opposite such as the member for Mulgrave who voted to support increasing fares by 15 per cent year after year after year after year after year. That was Labor's sole policy on public transport: to keep putting fares up. We know that if they get back into power what will they do? They will put it up again by 15 per cent every year—year after year after year because that was the Leader of the Opposition's policy.
Quote from: ozbob on November 17, 2014, 17:12:34 PMNext to be flogged off will be Queensland Rail itself no doubt.
QuoteWestlander and Inlander to lose dining and sleeping carsTwo of Queensland's great train journeys – the Westlander and the Inlander - are going to change forever after Christmas, when the dining and sleeping cars are removed from January 1, Queensland Rail has confirmed.Passengers on both trains – introduced in the 1950s - will no longer be able to enjoy the romance of the sleeping or restaurant cars, which have long been part of the romance and attraction of the two services.The 777 kilometre Westlander service runs twice-weekly between Brisbane and Charleville.It became known as "The Westlander" in August 1954, when the service evolved from the train service known as "Western Mail" which had run between Brisbane and Roma since 1888.In North Queensland, The Inlander was introduced in 1953 and still runs twice weekly between Mt Isa and Townsville.It is a slow trip, taking 21 hours to complete a journey of 977 kilometres.Queensland's regional rail map. The Inlander is shown in dark green and the Westlander in yellow.Queensland Rail's general manager of customer service Martin Ryan confirmed that sleeping and dining cars would be removed from the Westlander and the Inlander at the beginning of 2015."The removal of older carriages from the fleet means the Inlander and Westlander will now offer seated-only services from 1 January 2015," Mr Ryan said in a statement.The Inlander will lose its first-class "roomettes" and "twinette" sleeping cars and its club car.The Westlander will lose its "twin" and "triple sleeper" cars and it's licensed club car, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinners and a range of drinks.Despite the loss of the sleeping and dining cars, Mr Ryan was adamant that "customers can continue to expect the same great service", the statement reads."But carriages may look a little different as the on-board offering has changed," he said.In State Parliament last month, Mr Isa MP Rob Katter asked Transport Minister Scott Emerson if there were changes being made to the Mt Isa to Townsville, Inlander and Westlander rail services.Mr Emerson said the services would continue, but did not tell Parliament that dining or sleeping cars on both services would be withdrawn."I thank the member for Mount Isa for the question," Mr Emerson said."In terms of the Inlander and the Westlander, they are continuing," Mr Emerson said on October 29."I understand the importance of rail travel across Queensland, and they are continuing as services."He went to criticise the Labor Party for its fare increases before 2012 – two years ago - when the LNP won office.A spokesperson for Mr Emerson said the decision to withdraw the dining and sleeping cars was only made last week."On advice from engineering experts, the carriages must be retired by the end of this year as they are 60 years old," the spokeswoman said."This decision was only made early last week."Rail: Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the changes meant the inevitable decline of the two historic rail services."This in reality means the end of these services," Mr Dow said."It is doubtful that passengers will even bother once the basic facilities are removed,"he said."It is clearing the way for the privatisation of the Mount Isa - Townsville railway, or The Inlander, and the closure of the Western line, Westlander."The Sunlander will also be retired at the end of 2014 and will be replaced by three new "Spirit of Queensland" trains which have been built by Maryborough's Downer Rail.Former Labor MP, now Mt Isa Mayor Tony McGrady, has told his local paper, the North West Star, the move was an insult to the West.He said it was a masked way to force the closure of the service, because the Inlander would become becoming less attractive for passengers, forcing a likely drop in patronage."This is an insult to the west and it is essentially closure by stealth," he said."The passengers, many of them elderly, will be treated like second-class citizens."To expect seniors to sit up for that duration is impossible and an absolute insult."
Quote from: ozbob on November 19, 2014, 03:49:34 AMSent to all outlets:19th November 2014Westlander and Inlander - two great icons smashed by incompetenceGreetings,The loss of the Westlander and Inlander as we know it is a sad day. It is not as though we have not tried. We did put plans forward that would have turned around the services, but the will to succeed is not there in Queensland. A Media Release from April 2012 below, a sad reflection on transport mediocrity in Queensland.Today, Brisbanetimes --> Westlander and Inlander to lose dining and sleeping carsBest wishesRobertRobert DowAdministrationadmin@backontrack.orgRAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org============================Media Release 12 April 2012Queensland: Long distance passenger rail travel is a winner!RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org) a web based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport is highlighting the value of the long distance passenger rail services in Queensland. Today RAIL Back On Track representatives will be departing Brisbane on the Westlander and will be arriving in Charleville at noon on Friday (13th April).Robert Dow, Spokesman for RAIL Back On Track said:"The Westlander is one of the great long distance passenger trains in Queensland. In 2004 there were Golden Anniversary celebrations marking 50 years of the Westlander serving the community and visitors of western Queensland (1). The long distance passenger trains in Queensland are unique. Providing a quality tourist travel experience they are also important transport communication links for many remote towns throughout Queensland. The Sunlander, the Spirit of the Outback, the Westlander, the Inlander and the Tilt Train services all value add to the economy of Queensland, directly and indirectly. This was further reinforced with Queensland Rail's Traveltrain Holidays taking out the Major Tourist Attraction award at the 2008 Outback Queensland Tourism Awards (2).""Subsidies to Queensland Rail's long distance passenger trains are sensible and are of benefit to the whole community. Support for the rural community by the Queensland Government in maintaining and improving these services is to be applauded. It should also be noted that public transport in south-east Queensland is also heavily subsidised. So is health, electricity, water, education and other transport modes. Rarely is the true cost of road and air infrastructure, and their environmental penalties costed into those transport modes. If they were, they too would show distortions of cost and subsidies. The cost of road trauma is breaking our nation (3). As freight is moved from rail to road, ever increasing numbers of road trucks are causing costly road damage. Queensland is more than just the south-east! Rail subsidies are returned as broader economic benefits which is why the world getting on with the rail revolution.""Governments are there to support their communities. Governments lost the transport plot in the 1950s and until recently have lacked the long term vision of our pioneers who laid down our basic rail network. For example, the myopia demonstrated when the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads railways were closed during the 1960s and right of way lost is now hitting home in exorbitant infrastructure costs to re-establish those lines.""In twenty or thirty years it is highly likely that the only sustainable bulk transport mode will be rail. Air and road will be subject to extreme fuel and environmental costs. Governments need to be thinking long term and therefore expanding and continuing support for rail networks. Rail is the safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly transport solution for Queensland and the nation.""RAIL Back On Track has reason to believe the Westlander passenger rail service may be ceased in the not too distant future. The aging Queensland Rail long distance passenger carriage fleet needs replacement. Consideration should then be given to other new diesel/hybrid multiple unit train sets besides the tilt trains for more local and long distance inland passenger services in Queensland (4). Regular commuter services could also be introduced from places such as Gatton, Helidon, and eventually Toowoomba and further west, and similarly from Gympie North and Maryborough. Apart from the coastal services more local rail services for major provincial cities in Queensland could also be achieved. Local commuter rail services could be established in places like Cairns and Townsville with a bit of vision (5)."Queensland Rail could also provide a light freight service attached as part of the inland passenger services. The loss of regular rail freight services to towns such as Cunnamulla and Quilpie, and Charleville is hurting these communities.""Country rail passenger services have boomed in Victoria under the V/Line banner. There is no reason why similar results can not be achieved for rural Queensland."References:1. WESTLANDER CELEBRATES GOLDEN MILESTONE http://statements.cabinet.qld.gov.au/MMS/StatementDisplaySingle.aspx?id=369902. http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=1510.03. Road trauma is breaking the nation http://www.brisinst.org.au/here-and-now/october-2010-issue/74. http://www.hitachi-rail.com/products/rolling_stock/hybrid/index.html5. http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=4683.0Contact:Robert DowAdministrationadmin@backontrack.orgRAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org
Quote from: ozbob on November 19, 2014, 12:31:12 PMBeen invited for a chat on 4BC Newstalk 1116 afternoons with Clare Blake, about the Inlander and Westlander ~ 12.45pm today.
Quote from: ozbob on November 19, 2014, 13:04:50 PMQuote from: ozbob on November 19, 2014, 12:31:12 PMBeen invited for a chat on 4BC Newstalk 1116 afternoons with Clare Blake, about the Inlander and Westlander ~ 12.45pm today.Interview on 4BC with Clare --> here! mp3
Quote... YEs, I see this as the beginning of the end, but also why did the govt even retain the train at all? ...
Quote from: SteelPan on November 21, 2014, 00:28:46 AMPratical infrastructure servicing peoples everyday transport needs!
Quote from: pandmaster on November 22, 2014, 15:08:19 PMI have travelled extensively on Amtrak and loved every minute of it. There are absolutely fantastic and smashing patronage records year after year. I think it is time we followed suit here, though it is unlikely as others have pointed out. At least we should centralise the booking to one website.
Quote from: rtt_rules on November 22, 2014, 15:27:05 PMBut the comparisons with Amtrak are purely based on the consumer level and there are alot of parrellels with Westie, but also significant differences.
Quote from: rtt_rules on November 24, 2014, 02:48:12 AMHow do you fight for a service the public has voted with its feet? Remember the NSW branch linepax service closures, the only time the locals showed any interest in their local service for many was when the service/line was due to be closed due to lack of use. It happened in past and it still happens today.Despite maybe less supportive efforts by QR up to this date in the way the services are run, are they chasing away at least 100 people per trip?
Quote from: riccardo on December 02, 2014, 20:44:49 PMFirst, double track to Beerwah and build Camcos. Build rail people are actually likely to use.Second, get what remaining life the ICE cars have, if any, to work on a shuttle from beerwah to gympie north.
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