Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tennyson Line Extinction

Dead as a...
On Friday 03/06/2011, with no fanfare, the Tennyson Line (also known as the Corinda via South Brisbane Line) became extinct to passenger services for the foreseeable future. Although the Tennyson Line closure was briefly mentioned as part of the draft timetable consultation process and their have been information leaflets given out, the is no mention of the line closure on TransLink's webpage that outlines the timetable changes. This continues TransLink's record of being less than honest with the travelling public. The webpage, that forgets to mention the line closure is below:
Whilst very few passengers use Tennyson station itself, quite a lot of school children travel along the Tennyson Line.

BrizCommuter rode the final two outbound trains on the last day of operation, and was very surprised to see how busy the trains were. The penultimate train filled up with lots of school children from South Bank at 3:15pm, and Yeronga at 3:25pm. This 6-car train had a loading far in excess of 400 passengers by the time it passed along the Tennyson Line. One naive school girl was running a petition on this train to stop the line closure. The final train was less loaded, but certainly had in excess of 200 school children on board. So what journey options do more than 600 school children now have to get to Corinda and beyond from South Brisbane (and vice versa)? BrizCommuter has taken a look at alternative options to the first of the two afternoon outbound Tennyson Line trains.

A school child travelling from various schools around South Bank to Darra will now have to travel via Roma Street, and will have a 15 to 27 minute longer journey depending on whether they can make a 3:11pm departure from South Bank. A school child travelling from Yeronga State High to Darra will now have to catch a 105 bus to Graceville, then walk 500m to the train station, and eventually get to their destination with a 27 minute longer journey time. Unfortunately, BrizCommuter doubts that neither the infrequent and poorly timed 104 or 105 buses would be able to cope with the extra school traffic. The fastest alternative journey by train, would be via Roma Street, would take an extra 48 minutes thanks to the Beenleigh Line's infrequency, and cost more as the journey would be via Zone 1! It is likely to be a similar story in the morning peak as well, but in the opposite direction.

On top of inconveniencing hundreds of school children, BrizCommuter doubts as to whether most of the Tennyson Line services needed to be eliminated at this time. For example 4 out of the 6 outbound Tennyson Line services do not actually have to run on the Ipswich Line tracks when they reverse at Corinda, due to Corinda having 5 platforms. Thus these services could have been kept until the stage two timetables require more Beenleigh and Gold Coast Line train paths across the Merivale Bridge. As BrizCommuter readers will know, the stage two timetables have now been delayed until at least 2012, so it seems that the extinction of the Tennyson Line was rather premature.

Another question BrizCommuter would like to know, is where are the Tennyson Line trains going to reverse, now that they terminate at Yeerongpilly instead of Corinda? Will they reverse at Yeerongpilly, blocking Beenleigh Line tracks? Will they reverse at Rocklea siding, meaning that trains will run empty through Rocklea and Moorooka stations? Or will they do the daftest thing of all, and reverse at Corinda and just run empty along the Tennyson Line?

Monday will be a very interesting day for those rail users who have new timetables. There may be a very big shock in store for many school children on Monday 6th June!

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