Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cross River Rail reference design

Today Cross River Rail released the reference design, which can be seen here. The design is very commendable. The previously suggested reversing points in the CBD have been removed, and excess trains from the northside will now be reversed in Clapham Yards. This is fantastic for UQ students, as all trains running through the tunnels should now serve Boggo Road station. A direct pedestrian bridge from Boggo Road station across to the Princess Alexandra Hospital would be nice though!

The removal of extra platforms at the CBD stations is probably sensible to minimise costs. However, good system reliability, efficient platform dispatching, high capacity signalling, and more doors on trains will be required to minimise dwell times in the busier CBD stations. 

The track layout between the northern tunnel portal and Bowen Hills is impressive. BrizCommuter was previously quite pessimistic about this section, but the planners have managed to thread the line (and associated realigned tracks) through this section without causing conflicting moves, and without requiring a tunnel. Well done to the planners! Interesting that the current plans now show the line connecting with the existing Caboolture Line (main) tracks as opposed to the Airport/Doomben/Shorncliffe (suburban) tracks as in the Inner City Rail Capacity Study. There doesn't seem to be much provision for Cross River Rail trains to access the planned Alderley to Strathpine Line. The implications of this line need to be considered in the final design. BrizCommuter is concerned about the required bridge reconstruction on O'Connell Terrace. Hundreds of RBWH workers walk along this road to get to/from Bowen Hills Station. The other walking alternative was removed a few years ago for Mr Newman's toll road empire. Has anyone considered alternatives for the often forgotten about pedestrians during construction?

The track layout around Yeerongpilly and Clapham Yard seems well designed, reducing conflicting moves. However the track layout around Salisbury is not clear. This area could eventually have merging of Gold Coast, Beenleigh, Greater Flagstone, and freight services. An optimal track layout in this area is essential to prevent conflicting moves. Four tracks will be required between Salisbury and at least Banoon on the Beenleigh Line to allow sufficient Gold Coast and Beenleigh Line frequency. Maybe showing these tracks is outside the scope of the study?

As usual, the car obsessed Courier Mail rather than praising the plans is running a negative story moaning about the demolition of an apparently "iconic" ugly building (Royal on the Park) . Get over it! 

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