|Richlands - Choo Choo!|
However, electric trains (Electric Multiple Units) do not have an engine, and only the driver needs to change ends. To use an electric train terminus at full capacity, double track crossovers are required on the approach to the station, instead of one. Use of double track crossovers allows for trains to be reversed in both platforms. Allowing 8 minutes for the driver to change ends, the use of two platforms allows for the reversing of 11 trains per hour, instead of only 5.5 if one platform is in use. Unfortunately, Richlands isn't designed for this purpose as it does not have a double crossover on approach! Now, it is possible to reverse a train beyond the platforms at Richlands whilst another train is reversing in the platform, but that is a rather sub-optimal way of operating a railway.
So it seems that despite Steam Trains being retired from regular service 42 years ago, the track layout at Richlands is actually more suitable for reversing the occasional steam train, than it is for running electric trains at high frequency. Only in Queensland!
PS: Still waiting for TransLink Tracker Q2 2010/11.