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CROSS River Rail cannot deliver the promised improvements to Brisbane’s public transport system unless the State Government immediately orders another 50 new trains.
Transport advocate Robert Dow has warned the Palaszczuk Government is all about spruiking about its new rail system but not backing it up with more trains and infrastructure upgrades including the Cleveland line and re-opening the Tennyson loop.
Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Down says even with 75 New Generation Rollingstock trains coming online and the retention of several classes of passenger cars it is still not enough to reach the level of service the Labor Government has spruiked.He said even with 75 New Generation Rollingstock (NGR) trains coming online and the retention of several classes of passenger cars it was still not enough to reach the level of service the Labor Government had spruiked.
“They want to service the lines with 15-minute frequencies but we have worked out you need another 42 trains, more like 50 in round figures, because no train runs 100 per cent of the time,” Mr Dow said.
“It would take six years for that number of trains to be built and unless they order them today they can’t deliver that service.
“The Government is all focussed on Cross River Rail but you need to put the rest of the network into position to maximise its benefit.”
It’s estimated the network is at least a dozen six-car trains short of providing adequate extra services on the existing network and a further 29 are required to meet the CRR projections.
Mr Dow said the duplication of the Manly to Cleveland line and the amplification of the Kuraby to Beenleigh line were identified in the Inner City Capacity Study announced under the-then Bligh Labour Government in 2008.
Those upgrades are even more of a priority because of the promises Labour had made about the benefits of the $5.4 billion project for southeast Queensland’s growing population, he said.
“There is not enough capacity between Beenleigh and Kuraby, they need to start thinking about the Salisbury to Beaudesert line,” he said.
“The Cleveland line has some real issues and amongst them is that it’s a single-line section that lacks proper turn-back facilities.”
He said the re-opening of the Tennyson spur, between Corinda and Yeerongpilly stations would also improve capacity besides providing a more direct route for passengers on the Ipswich and Springfield lines to the Gabba CRR station.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey did not answer questions about the need to immediately order more NGR or if all of the promised benefits of CRR could be delivered without needing to address concerns raised by Rail Back on Track.
He said they were training more drivers and crew and implementing all 36 recommendations of the Strachan Inquiry (2017) which examined QR’s training procedures and identified the need to protect corridors for future rail expansion.
An artist’s impression of one of the planned Cross River Rail stations.“We are developing a southeast Queensland Rail network strategy to support the $5.4 billion investment in Cross River Rail,” Mr Bailey said.
“The strategy will consider future service plans and infrastructure investments over a 10- to 30-year horizon.
“The future service plans will inform future resourcing and rolling stock requirements and planning work has started to identify corridor protection requirements for upgrades of the Manly to Cleveland and Kuraby to Beenleigh rail lines.
“The Palaszczuk Government has already committed $160.8 million in this year’s budget for the Beerburrum to Nambour duplication project with design work underway to be followed by construction.”
Tennyson Ward councillor Nicole Johnston said the Tennyson spur should reopen to daily passenger trains and include the restoration of the local station, which closed in 2011, to complement CRR.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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