Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shorncliffe Draft 2011 Timetable

Shorncliffe Pier
The Shorncliffe Line currently shares the main tracks with Ipswich/Caboolture/Sunshine Coast Lines, and at peak times and weekends shares sections of the suburban tracks with Ferny Grove/Airport/Doomben/Cleveland/Beenleigh/Gold Coast Lines. When the phase 1 draft timetables were released a few weeks ago, the Shorncliffe Line had a mention of minor timing changes, with no published draft timetable, and "improvements" only in the phase 2 draft timetable. However, a draft phase 1 timetable has now been published here.

The timing changes include reduction of the late afternoon 38 minute "gap of doom" to 32 minutes, but has extended the following 22 minute gap to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, a new 38 minute "gap of doom" has been created after the 6:45pm from Central. Both of these services are in TransLink's peak fare period. There is still a 29 minute gap between arrivals at Central of two am peak services. These all exceed TransLink's lame peak service guideline of a train every 20 minutes. Lets hope that in the phase 2 draft timetables, the Shorncliffe Line has improvements to adhere to the  "BrizCommuter minimum peak service guideline" of train at least every 15 minutes.

The most noticeable change to the draft Shorncliffe Line timetable is the movement of all services onto the suburban tracks through Central. This must be part of the sectorization process required for both phases of the 2011 timetables. Weekday daytime  off-peak Shorncliffe trains will now start/terminate at Roma Street, and run through the city almost simultaneously with a Bowen Hills to Richlands (or v.v.) service on different tracks. This allows for 15 minute off-peak service to both Darra and Northgate, without trains having to run from Shorncliffe to Richlands. Ex-Shorncliffe weekday evening services now continue outbound to Cleveland, possibly to make more efficient use of rolling stock.

All peak Shorncliffe services are now running on the suburbans, with some of these services slotted in only 2 minutes from existing services. Shorncliffe Line users will better have to get used to the view whilst waiting outside of Bowen Hills for a green signal in the am peak! There are quite a few re-timings (of up to 8 minutes) to the evening peak services. These may suit some commuters, but not others.

So overall, the Shorncliffe Line is not going to be any better off until the phase 2 timetables come into operation, currently expected in late 2011.

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