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PLANS to add an extra 40 trains a day to the Inland Rail network, which runs through southern parts of Logan, has raised the ire of Logan City Council.
Tuesday’s full council meeting heard the Australian Rail Track Corporation aimed to dramatically step up freight along the line after upgrading a 52km section, part of which runs through Logan.
After the upgrade, the line, which runs through residential parts of Hillcrest, Boronia Heights, Forestdale, Greenbank and Jimboomba, would become part of the 1700km Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail network.
Division 7 councillor Laurie Smith called on council to write to state and federal governments to ask for surety that the ARTC would adequately address noise, coal dust, vibration and amenity.
“What is concerning residents is that all of a sudden, down the railway line that has been there from a long time, ARTC is proposing to add an extra forty-plus rail movements a day of trains as long as 1.8km and up to 3.6km,” Cr Smith said. “That’s a bit different to the nine or ten trains a day at the moment and people are concerned about their property values.
“You have to wonder how many engines it is going to pull trains of that length and how long it will take for such a train to pass a house.
“Residents are concerned about noise, vibration and coal dust along the line and want to know what the state is going to do about it.”
Cr Smith said a proposed passing lane at Forestdale, which would have overlay facilities for up to 45 trains, would also add to the noise levels in the area.
He said residents were also concerned coal trains would be moved off the Ipswich Line to the Inland Rail network at Hillcrest, adding up to 110 extra train movements a week and creating toxic coal dust.
Cr Smith said he had been assured by ARTC that the corporation sprayed the coal to keep dust from spreading.
But Deputy mayor Division 8 councillor Cherie Dalley, whose father died from a coal dust-related disease, said that was not good enough and asked for all coal trains to be sealed and covered with tarpaulins.
She said she was disgusted ARTC was not going to upgrade bridges across its track and would only build one four-lane bridge across the track.
“We need to do something about this at this point otherwise could will end up carrying the cost of upgrading the existing two-lane bridges,” she said.
Cr Smith said community meetings would be held over the weekend and it was likely a community action group would be established.
ARTC Inland Rail Queensland project delivery manager Rob McNamara said the 52km section was already operated by ARTC as part of its interstate freight rail network.
“What we need to do is enhance this part of the track to bring it up to Inland Rail standard,” he said. “It is anticipated that work will be contained to the current corridor and will involve lowering of the rail under five bridges at Beaudesert Road, Learoyd Road, Johnson Road, Middle Road and Pub Lane, as well as the construction of two new crossing loops and the extension of the current Greenbank and Bromelton crossing loops.
“This type of work is typical as part of ARTC’s role in maintaining and operating the interstate freight network.”
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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