Sunday, September 11, 2016

BCC to demolish RBWH for Brisbane Metro depot

RBWH to be demolished for Metro depot
BrizCommuter has heard from uninformed sources, that Brisbane City Council (BCC) plans to demolish Royal Brisbane & Womens Hospital (RBWH) to make way for the new depot site for the planned Brisbane Metro Subway System.

The depot for the Brisbane Metro was originally planned to be at the former Go Print site in Wooloongabba. However, the state government recently scuppered that plan as that site was already proposed to be used for a Cross River Rail station. BCC have thus changed the site to be near the other end of the Brisbane Metro at Herston. Here is what the BCC spokesperson maybe had to say:

After we had to look for another site for the depot for "World Class" Brisbane Metro Subway System, the RBWH site in Herston was at the top of the list. There are three fantastic reasons why demolishing RBWH and building a metro depot on the site is a great opportunity, and shows that Brisbane is truly a "New World City":

  • The Brisbane Metro was originally designed to stop one stop short of the RBWH at Herston. Rather than extending the Metro an extra stop at huge expense to the ratepayer, then why not just remove the huge trip generator that is RBWH instead.
  • As the Brisbane Metro has less capacity than the existing busway, then we need to try and make less people use it so that everyone can get a seat. By demolishing RBWH, we will have less staff, patients, and visitors taking up all of those seats. Plus Liberal voters don't use public hospitals anyway. 
  • We get a great backhander from developers for demolishing buildings, especially if they are heritage listed, like a few of the buildings at RBWH. We can also sell the land rights above the depot, and have a great retirement. 
When the BCC spokesperson was asked about the effect on patients not having a hospital anymore, the reply was "well that's the state government's problem" 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Redcliffe Sardine Line?

Queensland Rail 3-car unit train
As predicted by BrizCommuter over a year ago, it looks like Queensland Rail's (QR) ongoing lack of trains, delays to the Next Generation Rollingstock (NGR), and the opening of Moreton Bay Rail Link will create the perfect storm for more train overcrowding misery for unlucky commuters.

Since the January 2014 timetable, there have not been enough trains to run an optimal peak service on many lines. This has resulted in overcrowded Ferny Grove, Cleveland, and Shorncliffe Line services where only a 3-car unit is used, and also unacceptable 15 minute gaps between pm peak services on the Ferny Grove and Cleveland Line.

The lack of trains at the inception of the 2014 timetable was due to the Bligh government failing to purchase an add-on order of trains at the end of the run of class 160/260. The NGR train order was then delayed doing the Newman government era. Some poor procurement decisions by the Newman government are rumoured to be behind the delays in the NGR trains entering service.

As there are not enough trains, it is highly likely that when the new Redcliffe Peninsula Line (previously known as Moreton Bay Rail Link or Kippa-Ring Line) opens, that some existing 6-car services will be reduced to 3-car units. This may result in overcrowding, and possibly even passengers being unable to board trains. If this eventuates, it is likely that this will generate very bad publicity for QR and the Palaszczuk government, even though neither are at fault for the lack of trains.

BrizCommuter knows of many commuters who have been indefinitely put off from using public transport due to overcrowded 3-car services, and the Inner Northern Busway overcrowding a few years ago. In the latter case, 0% have gone back to using public transport.

It is also concerning that QR have not yet informed commuters which train services will be "cut in half" to 3-car units.  Thus it is likely that on the 4th of October 2016, whilst some commuters may be using trains for the first time, some unlucky commuters are going to have a very nasty surprise!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Anna nails the Quirky Metro coffin.

Whilst many could question the Anna Palaszczuk government for not doing much, BrizCommuter is happy to see common sense prevail, and Anna nailing the coffin of Graham Quirk's ridiculous Brisbane Metro Subway System thought bubble. 

For new readers to this blog, what are the problems with the Brisbane City Council's Quirky Brisbane Metro Subway System?
  • Busway congestion could be resolved by an almost $0 bus network reform, instead of spending $1.5b+ (more realistically $3b) on a totally unnecessary Metro system. 
  • It would increase journey times, as passengers would have to change from bus to metro at Wooloongabba and Herston to access Brisbane's CBD.
  • It goes against Graham Quirk's excuse for lack of bus network reform of providing one seat journeys. 
  • It has lower capacity than the existing busway.
  • It does not serve RBWH, PA Hospital, and UQ, three major trip generators on the busway network. In fact it annoyingly stops just one stop short of both RBWH and PA Hospitals.
  • Important parts of the design, such as the interchange design  have not been properly considered.
  • It does not provide any new journey opportunities, unlike the urgently required Cross River Rail. 
  • It is providing political distraction from the urgently required Cross River Rail.
  • It does not solve Brisbane's rail capacity issues, unlike Cross River Rail.
Anna Palaszczuk has refused to allow the state government owned Go Print site in Wooloongabba to be used as a depot for Graham Quirk's Metro. This site is earmarked for a Cross River Rail station, and transport orientated development. Of course, it should also be noted that state government own the busway infrastructure that Brisbane City Council's Lord Mayor Graham Quirk wants to covert into a metro. 

So is the Brisbane Metro completely dead and buried? Given the high level of delusion of Graham Quirk and his councillors, BrizCommuter is sure that will continue with this political stunt for a while. It is important that Anna Palaszczuk's state government get on with Cross River Rail before the next state election. If the LNP win, you can be sure that they will continue with their destructive public transport policies.  

Friday, September 2, 2016

Redcliffe Peninsula Line - very POSH!

Coming soon to Kippa-Ring
In a reasonably surprise mood the Moreton Bay Rail Link / Kippa-Ring Line which will finally open in October, will be called the Redcliffe Peninsula Line. This is not surprising as not many people have ever heard of Kippa-Ring, and who wants to name a train line after a smelly fish anyway? The Redcliffe Peninsula sounds rather POSH, and BrizCommuter is sure that first class passengers will travel Port Out Starboard Home.

As Queensland Rail (QR) have obviously gone upmarket with their line naming, here is a few suggestions for renaming the rest of QR's train lines:

  • Ferny Grove Line to be renamed to Hinterland Mountain Railway  (useless fact: Keperra is the highest point on QR's CityTrain network). 
  • Caboolture Line to be renamed to Pine Rivers Odyssey.
  • Sunshine Coast Line to be renamed to Sunshine Narrow Gauge Railway.
  • Shorncliffe Line to be renamed to Trans-Swamp Express.
  • Airport Line to be renamed to Airport Limousine Line.
  • Doomben Line to be renamed to Thoroughbred Line.
  • Cleveland Line to be renamed to LotaLand Line.
  • Gold Coast Line to be renamed to Golden Bullet Express.
  • Springfield Line to be renamed to Magical Forest Railway.
  • Rosewood Line to be renamed to On The Way To Grandchester Line. 
  • Ipswich Line to be renamed to Brisbane Valley Scenic Railway.
  • Beenleigh Line to be renamed to The Line for Everyone Else.