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FOLLOWING my letter (Daily, September 2) I would like to thank all those who contacted me regarding the railway between Beerwah and Maroochydore.
It is quite obvious that there is a lot of confusion regarding rail.
Heavy rail refers to the Queensland Rail system and light rail refers to the tram.
Light rail (the tram), I understand, would initially go from Kawana to Maroochydore on tracks set into the existing road and does not have a connection to Brisbane, so is very restrictive.
Light rail does nothing to ease the Bruce Highway traffic situation and I feel would cause chaos on existing roads, especially through Mooloolaba.
Heavy rail or QR would leave the current northern line at Beerwah and go via Aura, Caloundra South, the new Sunshine Coast Hospital, Kawana Central shopping area and onwards to the new Maroochydore CBD and hopefully the airport.
This QR system would offer residents on the coastal strip a direct rail access to Brisbane.
In addition, shuttle trains could provide coastal residents with a local rail service.
So a local bus service serving each local community would take passengers to and from their local rail station where frequent local trains would take passengers to local destinations.
For example, a resident of Caloundra South could take the local train to the SC Hospital or on to Maroochydore City Centre for shopping.
Or there could also be regular fast trains to Brisbane which, if frequent and fast enough, would encourage drivers to take the train rather than drive.
If you look at the local street directories you can see the route of the QR line and, in several places, the bridges have already been built.
In the early 1900s the Queensland Government managed to build a railway network that connected almost every town in Queensland with Brisbane.
Yet in 2017 there is absolute total silence from politicians when it comes to building a railway to service the coastal strip of the Sun- shine Coast where the population explosion is happening.
It is the duty of politicians to ensure infrastructure keeps pace, or really should be ahead of population needs.
If this railway is beyond the current capabilities of government then private enterprise should be allowed to build the railway on the land corridor as shown on maps and, one assumes, is owned by the State Government.
For example in the UK the infrastructure is owned by the government but the trains operated by private enterprise like Virgin Trains or the First Group, and train usage is at record levels.
Thailand is providing the capital for the Chinese to build a high-speed railway line to the north and the first trains will run in four years time.
I hope this explains more about the differences in heavy rail and light rail and demonstrates the answer is heavy rail and that it is needed now.
Ask your local Member of Parliament what they are doing to bring the heavy rail to the coastal strip.
This article first appeared on www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au
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