Monday, February 03, 2014

Geelong Flyer

In 1938 a train similar to, if not this one, ran the Geelong Flyer, an express train between Spencer Street Station in Melbourne, now Southern Cross, and Geelong Station. The time to Geelong was 55 minutes and the return journey took 57 minutes. Uphill?


Photo by Ash Williams.

76 years later train technology including tracks and signalling has improved immensely with European, Japanese and Chinese trains travelling at speeds over 300km/h. Sadly we are not blessed with such train foresight in Australia but with the VLocity trains pictured below being able to travel at 160 km/h surely would show some time savings for the Geelong trip and yes, it is quicker and even the fastest train makes a stop that I don't believe the Geelong Flyer had to make.


In 2014 the trip to Geelong is 52 minutes, a saving of a whole 3 minutes. Are you impressed? You may be more impressed by the return journey to Southern Cross, the fastest being 56 minutes, a saving of 1 minute.

76 years of huge technological advances in railway operation and that is the best we can do, shave a minute or so from the trip time.

It will be interesting to see what the time the trip will take once the Regional Rail Link is completed. It will mean the country trains from the west and north will no longer run on suburban tracks, but on their own dedicated lines. The distance will be a bit longer but if there is not a significant improvement in the time the trip takes, it will seem the cost of the RRL at $4 billion has been a waste.

10 comments:

  1. Only 3 minutes difference???
    Should have saved all that money and stuck with the old trains.
    3 f***ing minutes!!!

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    1. I just don't understand why, River.

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  2. I agree with River, I mean to say that 4 billion could have been put to much better use..
    P.s. The monkey in the yellow tutu, who by the way is also lead in another fringe show called Boylesque (google it) is very cute.. And he did enter stage to the music from Swan Lake :)

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    1. Ahh. At our Gay Pride March, I saw a promotion for Boylesque. Swan Lake was predictable, because it works.

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  3. The Belgian trains are not better ! There speciality is to be always late. It takes about 4 h to go from the North to the South of the country then to go from Brussels to London with the Eurostar which takes not even 2 h !

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    1. Gattina, is this a Belgian thing? Trains in France and Germany are fast aren't they?

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  4. They give people jobs?
    It is rather insane all that money and no improvement, but I'm sure they knew this when they began. ah well...

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    1. Yes Rubye, there are jobs of course. I did leave out that the train on its own track will be more reliable.

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  5. All the technology in the world isn't going to help if the infrastructure can't take the punishment. From what I understand most Australian railways were built to pretty low specifications, by European standards at least. It simply wasn't necessary or warranted then and to rebuild now (start from scratch, effectively) would be massively disruptive - look at the comparatively small RRL project and its impact on train services between Footscray and Sunshine over the last couple of years. About the only way would be to emulate the French, Germans, Japanese and Chinese and build a completely new high speed system. It ain't gonna happen; Australia is a rich country but not that rich.

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    1. Chris, it is disappointing that when upgrades happen they are not done to a very high standard and progressively things will improve. I think there a high speed east coast train is feasible but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime. There are too many vested interests in planes, airports and transport.

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