Today the Queensland Government announced the long awaited "Connecting SEQ 2031: An Integrated Regional Transport Plan".
A high resolution version of the plan is here:
The full government statement is here:
The plans for new rail infrastructure include:
- A 15km rail line between Alderley and Strathpine along the Trouts Rd corridor
- Extensions to Maroochydore, Coolangatta, Moreton Bay Rail Link, Springfield, Ripley, and Flagstone.
- Extending the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project to Coolangatta.
- A 8km Inner City Metro from Toowong to West End to Newstead/Bowen Hills.
Provision for future rail extensions:
- Doomben Line to Hamilton North Shore.
- Flagstone to Beaudesert.
- Ripley to Springfield.
New train services will include:
- UrbanLink 15 min frequency off-peak services between 6am and 9pm to Ferny Grove, Loganlea, Strathpine, Manly, Redbank, Shorncliffe, and Springfield.
- ExpressLink services to Ipswich, Rosewood, Ripley, Caboolture, Kippa-Ring, Cleveland, Flagstone, and Ormeau.
- CoastLink services with 160kph tilt trains to Nambour, Maroochydore, and Coolangatta.
These are BrizCommuter's opinions of the rail developments based upon the plans provided from todays government statement:
- There needs to be a good timeframe for these projects. Rail capacity needs to be provided slightly ahead of demand, not after the point at which trains have become so crowded that commuters have got fed up and gone back to driving. With a recent history of half-baked rail infrastructure projects in Queensland, BrizCommuter is pessimistic about these plans being fully achieved in a decent timeframe.
- 15 minutes off-peak services and no peak waits of more than 15 minutes are required immediately, otherwise rail patronage will continue to decline as it has in the last year.
- Considerable infrastructure will be required to cope with these extra services. The most notable being Cross River Rail, and extra tracks on the Gold Coast/Beenleigh corridor. The current 3 tracks to Kuraby and 2 tracks beyond Kuraby can barely cope with current peak service patterns.
- Even with the addition of Cross River Rail, with all of these additional lines and services there may be insufficient track capacity through the CBD. Thus the Inner City Metro would be more useful as a through route for UrbanLink services rather than as a self-contained metro.
- Routing the Inner City Metro via UQ should be considered.
- Rail along the Trouts Road corridor is a very good move. This area is a public transport black-hole, and a huge catchment area exists for this new rail line. Shame that a highway will also be along the route.
- The diagram in the Brisbane Times shows CoastLink to Sunshine Coast, UrbanLink to Strathpine, and UrbanLink to Ferny Grove services all using the Ferny Grove Line between Bowen Hills and Alderley. If this diagram is correct, then extra tracks would be required from Bowen Hills to Alderley. More than 2 tracks would be required along the Trouts Road LIne to allow CoastLink services to overtake UrbanLink services. BrizCommuter can also see routing issues in the Bowen Hills area, in particular getting the CoastLink services from the Cross River Rail Line onto the Ferny Grove Line, ExpressLink services from the Cross River Rail Line onto the Caboolture Line, as well as Ferny Grove UrbanLink services from the existing suburban tracks. This bit of the plan seems rather messy!
Update - The plans is now publicly available in 2 parts (links should work again now):