KAP drafting legislation to try to alter Inland Rail route
Rose City voice to join rail project
CP Rail investigating after train derails between Golden and Revelstoke
Inland rail builders promise community consultation
Price tag for $10b Melbourne to Brisbane rail project could be higher
Moree Plains Shire Council receives $300,000 in funding for freight and infrastructure funding
New business park part of Moree's plan for big rail role
Inland rail delayed by Canberra's indecision
Albury-Wodonga stop confirmed for inland rail project
Need to solve inland rail's 'missing link' says Port of Brisbane
Inland Rail has been talked about in the Lockyer Valley for years, but its nearing crunch time for the major freight track to commence construction.
Whether you live next to the railway line or not, a series of problems have been identified with the plan that will disrupt the Lockyer Valley for years to come.
Added to the coal trains that already pass through the region on a daily basis will be the double-stacked, 18.km long freight trains reaching upwards of 115km/h.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council senior advisor advocacy Stephen Hart said research into the Environmental Impact study revealed there could be a derailment in the region every three to four years.
“These derailments could be as small as a wheel popping off or a catastrophic mess,” he said.
What you need to know about Inland Rail’s impact on the Lockyer Valley:
A concept design by ARTC showing the proposed Inland Rail passing through the Valley Vista estate behind pre-existing homes. PHOTO: EIS report
GATTON WILL BE CUT IN HALFGatton was initially chosen because it would require less earthworks, less impact to agricultural land and less structures to accommodate the upgraded freight line.
The route will follow the existing line but includes closing the current Gull Street crossing and creating an alternate underpass along Old College Road so that North and South Gatton can be connected.
The plan also includes a raised crossing bridge on Eastern Drive.
“...we don’t know where the noise barriers will go, but they could be all the way though Gatton like a great wall cutting off north and south,” Mr Hart said.
FOREST HILL TO BE SEVEREDAccessing Forest Hill via the S-bend intersection along Forest Hill-Fernvale Road will not continue if Inland Rail’s proposal is approved.
Inland Rail will close the crossing on Hunt Street and will be aligned to Glenore Grove Road as an active level crossing.
Mr Hart said people don’t understand that there will be up to 50 trains a day passing through the heart of town.
“There are flood concerns with the existing railway, and another of our principles was surrounding flooding,” he said.
“If you start raising railway heights, then you’ll start impacting the flood heights in town. The fear is that this could become a dam wall if not done properly.”
Concept drawings of the proposed Inland Rail freight line passing through Forest Hill and the different noise barrier walls. PHOTO: EIS report.
TRAFFIC DURING CONSTRUCTIONIf the roadworks on Eastern Drive in Gatton this month have caused frustration, how does three years of roadworks on the same road stack up?
According to the EIS plan, Mr Hart said construction impacts would be “horrendous” with the plan including the construction of a new railway bridge.
“Where the current road goes over the railway line in Gatton, the plan includes building a new one, knocking down the old one, then building a higher bridge,” Mr Hart said.
“That’s three years of traffic disruption in and out of town.”
DERAILMENT AND CATASTROPHIC MESSES“We don’t want to alarm people, but they talk about a probability of derailment, and when you do the math given, we have so many trains going through,” Mr Hart said.
According to council’s EIS research, there will be a derailment somewhere along the entire line every year and Mr Hart said it could be as small as a wheel popping off a wagon or a “catastrophic mess”.
“I did the math on the number of train movements through the Lockyer Valley, from their report there will be some sort of derailment every three or four years in the Lockyer Valley,” Mr Hart said.
ZERO BENEFITS FOR THE LOCKYERIt’s the economics of the Inland Rail plan that frustrate Mr Hart.
“They talk about benefits in terms of jobs and economic boosts, but when ARTC look at economics, they look at the national benefits and the Brisbane area,” he said.
“Their employment is based on a 125km radius – there’s no going to be jobs for people in the Lockyer Valley.
“We are struggling to identify the benefits, and the one thing ARTC keeps saying is that all our growers will use Inland Rail. I haven’t met a grower that will be using Inland Rail.”
Mr Hart said towns like Narrabri, where the train corridor does pass through the CBD, provided benefits because the farms were able to shift grain using the new freight line.
FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLES IGNOREDIn a bid to protect the region, the Lockyer Valley Council in 2018 adopted a paper that identified five key non-negotiables for the Inland Rail project.
But Mr Hart said all five non-negotiables have been compromised, based on the EIS.
NO PASSENGER RAILThere will be no passenger rail.
Mr Hart said the passenger element to the Inland Rail design is non-existent, despite members of the community thinking there will be a passenger service through the valley.
“This is not the case. It’s a fundamental concern,” he said.
LVRC has been advocating for improved public transport for many years but a “fundamental flaw” highlighted in the EIS shows passenger rail has been “specifically excluded”.
“It is understood that ARTC have been required by the state government to make provision for future passenger rail, but passenger rail is not ARTC’s core business and is excluded from the EIS,” Mr Hart said.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.