Your views: on safe drinking water, park lands, Arturo Taverna and saving The Overland

Today, readers comment on remote SA communities continuing to be served up undrinkable water, park lands development, a hairdressing blast from the past and how to rescue the Adelaide-Melbourne train service.

Mar 06, 2020, updated Mar 06, 2020
Photo: Stephanie Richards/InDaily

Photo: Stephanie Richards/InDaily

Commenting on the story: Safe drinking water for remote SA back on table

Oh well, everything will be okay now, a cross-government working group had been convened “in recognition of the challenges facing many remote communities in providing a secure and good quality water supply to their residents”. 

Sir Humphrey Appleby would approve! – Graeme Crook

Commenting on the story: Lord Mayor returns fire from predecessor over Crows park lands bid

Of course the Crows should not be building on our park lands.

I’m told they are a rich club. Let them find their own plot of land.

Parklands is not “free” land – it’s “priceless” land!

First we had the Wine Centre white elephant sold to University SA for $1.

Then we have the hotel at the cricket ground. Let it stop now! – Shirley McNamara

Commenting on the story: Arturo Taverna and Adelaide’s hand sanitiser export boom

Wow, I haven’t heard that name for years.

It was a household name when I was a kid and up into my late twenties, and when I left Adelaide for Alice Springs in the late 70’s I didn’t hear it at all.

I’m stunned to hear it now and that the company is still as strong as ever. Good on them! Debra King

Commenting on the opinion piece: How to save The Overland – for the long-term

What a great article, full of facts and common sense.

We need Governments to invest and understand this. Send it on to both Labour and Liberal/National parties and let’s get some traction.

It can’t be all air travel and we need to get buses off the road. – Tom Thwaites

Edwin Michell’s elegant proposal for the future development of The Overland builds on a valuable brand, provides a sustainable and low-impact solution to an outmoded service model, and offers an attractive alternative mode of intercity transport that should be part of Australia’s response to a changing climate.

Train travel is competitive in many other parts of the world for citizens and visitors alike.

For example, on our television screens at present are two series in which internationally- known travellers document the wonders of our country through train travel.

Sadly, we lack visionary leadership in governments around this country and so I suspect this good idea will remain just that. – Sue Averay

Brilliant idea. I would use it frequently as I need to travel from a Melbourne to Adelaide and back several times a year.

At the moment driving is the best way, but takes two days each way. Have been doing it for years and doing it solo means I need to pay for a motel half way each way.  Flying is costly and loathesome to do these days.

If the Spanish model was used, a shorter route proved viable and time taken could  be reduced even more,  I would use it more than several times a year.

Think of all the festivals, tennis  and other events happening in Adelaide and all the Adelaidians wanting to attend events and footy matches in Melbourne who would  use a faster more comfortable train between Adelaide and Melbourne.

It is the slow dreary trip that simply puts people off. Have  a look at the efficient service and speed with which people travel between London and Paris – the Eurostar.  

Ticketing and bookings are done online efficiently and rapidly weeks ahead. Brilliant service.

Come on, it’s time we caught up with the times. – Necia Burford

The article, whilst covering the rolling stock aspect very well, fails to consider railway engineering realities of the track between SA and Victoria.

The estimate of $50 million to implement any high-speed train on this route is short by about two billion dollars. 

1) The article fails to take into account any other rail traffic. Slow speed 5000 gross-tonne freight trains also use this line. The average speed of these freight trains is about 40km/hour through the Adelaide Hills, which includes sitting in passing loops. (see next point)

2) There are many kilometres of single-line track through the Adelaide Hills. This is exacerbated by having a few single bore tunnels. Any passenger train will be spending lots of time stationery in passing loops waiting for freight trains to pass. Hence I doubt, in practice, whether even the fastest diesel train would save much time through the Adelaide Hills. Solution: Double the track where possible through the Adelaide Hills. Cost: $400 million dollars.

3) The line between Adelaide and Melbourne is not fenced or protected in any way. All high-speed rail lines around the world are fenced. Imagine the high-speed train hitting a kangaroo, cow or a person at 160km/hour? Solution: Fence the entire line with railway protective fencing. Cost: $400 million.

4) Many roads, both minor and major cross the line from Adelaide to Melbourne. You would need to take out every level crossing along the line with a bridge or underpass. There are plenty between Adelaide and Melbourne. Imagine the high-speed train hitting a truck on a level crossing at 160km/hour? All on-board would be probably be killed. Cost: one billion dollars.

So, to implement a high-speed rail service (or even a faster freight service) between Adelaide and Melbourne you will need to completely rebuild the line.

This would include routing the line north of Adelaide and east across the Murray River to join past Tailem Bend just to start with. Cost: Two billion dollars.

High-speed rail won’t happen for $50 million. – Ian Tindall

Your correspondent is poorly informed, I’m afraid. 

The Spanish tilt trains he mentions might well be able to run on both broad and narrow gauge tracks, but that doesn’t mean they can easily switch from one to the other at Ballarat.

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The whole train would have to be lifted off it’s standard gauge bogies and onto broad gauge wheel sets, and that ain’t gonna happen.

What’s more the current travel time to Melbourne isn’t 8 hours, as the current timetable available on the internet makes clear.

The train takes eleven hours to get from Adelaide to Melbourne. Tony Evans

A very nice article. I must comment though that the Talgo does not, as far as I know, instantly change gauge.

In 1985 when I travelled on it it took a very slow trip through a shed while the wheels were changed to the new gauge.

On the Adelaide end it would be easier to run a standard gauge line into Adelaide station. I think the proposed half hour saving from Ararat would be lost doing the gauge changing time. 

I might add that Queensland Railway already runs a tilt train service to the North from Brisbane. First part is electric, second part is diesel.

I will also add that the Victorian Railways already operate their Australian made interurban Vlocity trains at up to160 km/h.

With a few modifications I think they would be good. They would need to be operated in standard gauge, they would need refreshment facilities, I think steps to allow low platform access in some rural areas and I would like them to be quieter in the cabin. I find the constant engine noise to be a bit loud. – Warren Burt

I have recently returned from Japan where I travelled on local and bullet trains.

Frequent scheduling and a fast and efficient service made this the easiest way for our group to move around Japan.

I understand that their greater population makes this train system possible, but I feel that Australia is behind the times in not embracing rail travel.

I feel it would be a backward step not to retain The Overland when it could be re-worked into an efficient service with an expanded timetable as outlined in Edwin Michell’s article.

Governments, please do not let this opportunity go. Anne Morris

Japanese experience with their Shinkansen high speed and elevated train is regional passengers with trips of less than 400 km almost exclusively use the train. 

The train between Melbourne and Adelaide should be considered as two parts that total 800km.

Passengers from Mt Barker Junction, Monarto, Murray Bridge, Keith and Bordertown that want to travel to Adelaide would be using seats vacated by regional passengers in the Victorian half of the journey.

Using Taglo gauge changing and tilting trains for the mixture of gauges we have in South Australia and Victoria allow this to be implemented to Adelaide Railway Station on North Terrace using the existing tracks. – Neil Hamilton

Please, we need to save this historical service that has been an important link between  South Australia and Victoria.

I am extremely disappointed the SA Liberal Marshall Government is showing very little interest with the Overland. – Dane Filander

Love all the ideas put forward in the article on saving the Overland.

We would definitely take the train for Adelaide-Melbourne at a travel time of less than 8 hours and a price that was competitive with flying and a service that went at least daily.

It’s in line with European best current practice which is to encourage train travel at the expense of unnecessary flying.

It’s pro-environment. It’s a big social and economic plus for small towns en route. Could we please do this? Cathy Chua

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