From plane to train

Visitors from the UK start to understand Australia’s geography when they compare its aviation network to the British railway network. I used to challenge this comparison, pointing out that one allows direct competition on the same routes at the same time, with little interest in smaller markets, and the other is a series of subsidized monopolies obliged to service most areas. My view has changed due to an increase in smaller Australian airlines operating monopolies on routes not considered commercial viable by the larger carriers and an increased willingness of UK railway operators to work with communities. Two pieces of news received this week reinforce that view.

Fly Corporate announced that they will begin flights between Brisbane and Orange, bringing their total of regional destinations to 6, all added in the last year. In the last eighteen months Fly Pelican have added 6 regional routes and Jet Go have added 6 in the last two years. The establishment of these new routes is due to effective collaboration between the airlines, the airports and local authorities.

I am webmaster for the Ashchurch and District Rail Promotion Group, which campaigns for more trains to serve the town of Tewkesbury. Last Sunday saw the addition of a new service, following effective collaboration between the group, the train operator and the local authorities.

There are many logistical, and costly, issues involved in the creation of any new transport service and several organizations have to be involved. The principle of working together to achieve the desired aim can only benefit the passenger and sets a precedent for other industries to copy.

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