Friday, January 28, 2011

Cross River Rail delayed until 2020!

In a move that has surprised no one, the Queensland Government have given BrizCommuter the opinion that that they have no serious commitment to improving public transport, by delaying Cross River Rail by at least 2 years. According to reports, this means that Cross River Rail may not be fully open until at least 2020!

Coming just a week after a 15% fare increase, many long suffering SE Queensland commuters (who happen to be able to vote) will be rather unamused by this move to save both State and Federal Government spending post flood disaster. Of course, in road obsessed Brisbane, BrizCommuter will be very surprised if BCC's TransApex road tunnels (including Northern Link/Legacy Way), and the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade get cut.

Below are some of the possible effects of delaying Cross River Rail (CRR):
1) Track capacity through Brisbane likely to reach maximum capacity by 2016. No new peak services will be able to be added to the network for 4 years (assuming CRR isn't delayed further).
2) Sunshine Coast Commuters expecting their express services back after CRR will now have to wait until 2020!
3) As planned for the Sunshine Coast Line in the draft 2011 timetable, Gold Coast services may have to made less express as well in the future (a train with no standing passengers crossing the Merivale Bridge will be a waste of track capacity). This will slow down journeys to and from the Gold Coast.
4) Very limited peak service improvements on Airport, Shorncliffe, Doomben, Ferny Grove, Cleveland, and Beenleigh Lines - maybe 1 extra train per hour per line between late 2011* and 2016, then no more until 2020.
5) Limited peak service improvements to Gold Coast, Ipswich/Springfield, and Caboolture/Sunshine Coast/Kippa-Ring Lines - maybe 2 extra trains per hour between early 2011* and  2016, then no more until 2020.
6) Limited capacity for extra passengers from Springfield and Kippa-Ring Line extensions, as the lines they connect to will be at capacity already. Overcrowding on brand new lines will not help promote the use of public transport!
7) Insufficient track capacity for extending the Doomben Line to Hamilton Northshore, helping the case for continuing Campbell Newman's road empire along Kingsford Smith Drive.
8) Insufficient track capacity for extending Gold Coast Line towards Coolangatta.
9) Insufficient track capacity for rail line to Flagstone new town, and CAMCOS line to Caloundra. Two large population growth areas that will now be without decent public transport for the foreseeable future.
10) Wave good bye to the Alderley to Strathpine (Trouts Road) Line for the foreseeable future. Bet the parallel road gets built first.
11) Transit Orientated Development's (TOD) on already overcrowded rail lines. Hope they have plenty of car parking, which rather defeats the purpose of the TOD in the first place!
12) Rail patronage growth will be severely limited, and is likely to increase the number of road users. This could continue the vicious cycle of building more roads in a misinformed attempt to reduce road congestion.

* figures after the 2011 timetable introduction.

CRR delayed, rail capacity at it's limits by 2016, and the SE Busway also bursting at the seams. It looks like the basket case that is public transport in Brisbane is only going to get a lot worse over the next 9 years! Time to move to Melbourne or Perth?


  1. Not to mention NO CHANCE of a line to Browns Plains or Greenbank without CRR.

  2. Thanks colinw! I've edited the blog post to include Flagstone and CAMCOS, or lack of them!

  3. Irritating, but some of your comments are a bit over the top. Theres still capacity in the counter-peak, and depending on how the TOD is built passengers wouldn't need to travel through the City meaning that patronage could still increase. I also think that if you're building the large development up at Caloundra and designing it so that to get to work the majority all have to commute to Brisbane than you should really go back and check your planning.

  4. Golliwog - In respect to the counter peak capacity, much of the network infrastructure severely limits to amount of counter peak trains that can be run. For example, Beenleigh and Gold Coast Lines cannot have 15 minutes off-peak and counter peak services without slowing down the Gold Coast services due to lack of 4th track for overtaking. As the majority of peak travel is into the CBD, then improving counter peak services is really not going to solve the big issue of overcrowded peak direction travel to/from the CBD.


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