Thursday, February 14, 2008

Catch the train

As mentioned, my step mother is visiting us. She is travelling by train from Echuca to Southern Cross Station where R will collect her.

This has caused me to examine Echuca train timetables. It is quite interesting. Keep in mind that by car, it takes about 2 and half hours, that is 150 minutes without a stop.

The minimum train time seems to be 193 mins, well over half an hour more. How can this be? Worse the maximum time seems to be about 210 mins using the combined bus and train service. Most of the services are by bus to Bendigo and then train to Melbourne.

Add to these times, the time to get to and from the stations, you really have to judge your trip by other thoughts. Train travel is much more relaxing and easy. I should think, although I haven't checked, that it would be cheaper than the petrol you use, although my step mother's car is LPG.

Try this one by train only. 16.10 depart Echuca, stop only Rochester and Elmore, at 17. 25 a 10 min break at Bendigo, no more stops until Southern Cross Station, arrive 19.33. How can it take so long? It is rails with nothing to impede it.

The clue could be here. This one is bus only via Heathcote and Murchison East and follows more closely the route you would take if you drove. Echuca 15.05, stop Rochester and Elmore, arrive Southern Cross 17.45. This is comparable with car travel time and the service is using roads, as you would in your motor car.

That a train only service takes so much longer than a bus service on public roads amazes me. I can see that the train takes a slightly longer than as the crow flies route. Anyone have some easy answers?


  1. Must be the scenic route, is all I can think.

  2. the train-driver must be travelling slowly enough to avoid hitting all the damn trucks which seem to be very casual about Level Crossings?
    I often feel sorry for train-drivers.

  3. The last time I caught a train to London (I didn't want to go, but sometimes needs must as the devil drives and all that) it took me about 10 hours. The train broke down twice before we hit Cheshire and on the third occasion (somewhere near Worcestershire) just ground to a halt completely, forcing us to transfer about half a mile down the track to another train, which then promptly went bang after ten minutes and had to be shunted back to the station. It would have been quicker walking.

    By comparison, Ozzie public transport doesn't seem so bad.

  4. Without checking, I'm guessing that the trip between Bendigo and Melbourne on the upgraded track is fairly speedy, but between Echuca and Bendigo is much slower.

  5. Solution- Hire a limo! :P

  6. V/Line warned at the beginning of Summer that the Echuca and Swan Hill lines would be experiencing longer travelling times as there's a different grade of steel used in the rails and the heat effects the expansion/possible buckling of them.
    Other than that I have NFI !

  7. mebbe in Mel the train drivers r trying to avoid the trams? ;-)


  8. It probably won't be rectified.

  9. Flat and usually brown plains Daisy Jo. It ain't too scenic.

    Wonder why this is suddenly happening BWCA?

    Thanks Brian. So when we catch the train from London to Newcastle and it all goes wrong, it will be my fault because I was the one who wanted an English train trip.

    Probably right Daniel. I just reckon train travel should be a good bit faster.

    Love your work Steph.

    Really does seem to be dodgy tracks then Jayne.

    I think trains detest trams Keshi.

    Given the ratio of trains to buses Reuben, I expect you are right.

  10. Yes the slow bit is between Echuca and Bendigo. According to Vicsig there is a maximum speed of 80km/h on this section for passenger trains. Then on top of that, depending on how hot it is, further speed restrictions.

    It possibly could have been better for your step mother to be driven to Bendigo instead of Echuca (if the driver was willing) for a more frequent rail service to Melbourne. Shepparton would be an option too.

  11. Yes Ben, so my step mother told me. She had reasons for leaving from Echuca and is only going back as far as Rochester which knocks 25 mins off.