One-eyed on signs
I refer to the letter from Damien Batty of Wodonga, published in The Border Mail on April 15, under the heading "Too many election signs".
Mr Batty complains that there are too many election candidate corflute signs around and asks what more does it prove than how much Independent candidate, Helen Haines, has to spend on her campaign.
If nothing more, the number of corflutes for Helen proves that she is supported by the people of Indi.
Helen's campaign is funded by donations from members of the Indi community and staffed, in the most, by local volunteers who believe in the real voice that Helen, as an independent representative, will give to the Indi electorate.
Helen obtains the permission of all landowners before her corflutes are displayed. I think this would be the same approach of other candidates.
If Mr Batty is seriously concerned about the number of corflutes on fences in the Indi electorate, then surely as a senior member of the Liberal Party's Wodonga branch he would be in a strong position to do something about it.
Daniel McCaffrey, Myrtleford
Stuck in dark ages
It's almost two months since the NSW government announced its Momentum Trains order for new country trains to replace ageing, yet comfortable XPTs.
The existing Melbourne to Sydney and return night trains have one 18-berth sleeping car. Often when travelling from Melbourne or Sydney, passengers who want to lie flat for $88 on top of the first class sitting fare board or alight in Albury. Victoria owns part of the XPT fleet and presumably the new trains. Are sleepy Public Transport Victoria or Labor ministers like Jacinta Allan and ex spin doctor Melissa Horne aware that at present travellers can sleep their way to Sydney from Albury or Southern Cross, let alone from 2023 that this may end?
Let's hope new Albury Liberal MP Justin Clancy advocates for sleeping cars to be added to the train order.
The new Civity trains look unimpressive. No space for passengers to sit at tables in a dining car, noisier than the almost silent XPTs because of underfloor engines and a top speed of 160km/h, the same as at present.
While the new trains apparently can be tweaked to travel a little faster if there's ever improvements such as track deviations by the Australian Rail Track Corporation, trains capable of at least 200km/h should have been ordered. The new trains could have incorporated a modern day innovative lie flat couchette backache-avoiding type design as seen for many years in Europe.
Railways like Austria's OBB make a success of overnight rail travel as a great alternative to frequently delayed (in our case) QantasLink, Rex or Virgin Australia regional flights. Yet here, despite unreliable airlines subject to numerous weather and other delays, few if any politicians use rail.
New country and interstate train designs are stuck in the dark ages. Sadly, hardworking Gladys Berejiklian and bumbling, Sydney light rail blower of the budget Andrew Constance seem determined to bring an end to civilised rail travel between Albury, Culcairn or Henty and Sydney unless Justin Clancy can change their minds.