Sunday, January 29, 2012

Moreton Bay Rail Link - also half-baked?

Site of Kippe-Ring station   Source: Nearmap
SE Queensland has had a recent run of half-baked rail infrastructure projects. Recent examples include:
  • (Re-) Building the Gold Coast Line with a single track (still single track between Coomera and Helensvale).
  • Duplicating Mitchelton to Keperra, but then not Keperra to Ferny Grove until 4 years later.
  • Not electrifying the 4th track between Corinda and Darra.
  • Missing out Ellen Grove station on the Springfield Line.
  • Only triplicating instead of quadruplicating Salisbury to Kuraby.
After all of these projects, BrizCommuter would hope that the Moreton Bay Rail Link would be built properly. In fact, current plans show that this is almost the case. The line will be built dual track upon QR's recommendations. Stabling will be provided at Kippa-Ring (Redcliffe) to reduce empty train running. Where the line appears to fall flat on it's face is where it plugs into the existing Caboolture Line south of Petrie station. Even with the proposed, Lawnton to Petrie triplication, there does not appear to be a grade-seperated junction in the currently published plans. Thus trains running from the City to Kippa-Ring would have to cross the path of City bound trains from Caboolture. These conflicting moves could cause timetabling constraints, as you cannot timetable the above services to both pass through this junction at the same time. Also, if one of these services is running late, that it may delay the other service as well. 

A grade-seperated junction (fly-over) would solve this problem, but of course would cost more to build and possibly require the relocation of Petrie station further south by approx. 200m. Most other suburban rail operators have avoided constructing non-grade-separated junctions for the last 100 years. When will transport planners in SE Queensland learn to do the same?

Moreton Bay Rail Link Queensland Government Presentation:
Moreton Bay Rail Link Plans - Petrie:

As well as concerns about the infrastructure, BrizCommuter also has concerns about how frequently the train service will be run. Unlike other Australian state capitals (even Adelaide) where recent rail infrastructure projects receive, or are planned to receive an off-peak train every 15-20 minutes, Brisbane keeps on running an unattractive 30 minute off-peak frequency on new infrastructure (e.g. Springfield Line, Gold Coast extensions, Ferny Grove duplication). If the MBRL receives a 30 minute off-peak service, it will not help convert people who currently drive from Redcliffe to Brisbane's CBD.

BrizCommuter also has concerns on the effect of adding an estimated 5,000 extra commuters onto the Caboolture Line corridor which is already running at an almost maximum of 18 trains per hour in the am peak. Without Cross River Rail & Shorncliffe Line duplication allowing for Caboolture Line services to skip stations Northgate to Albion, existing Caboolture Line passengers will have to expect a considerable increase in train crowding. 


  1. There are a number of trains in peak hours that start/finish at Petrie. Maybe they will continue on towards Kippa Ring as the line is built, to reduce impact on Caboolture and Sunshine Coast services.

  2. BrizCommuter expects that most Petrie start/terminating services will become Kippa-Ring start/terminating services after MBRL opens.

  3. Hi BrizCommuter! I am a QUT journalism student currently writing an article about how people really feel about the Moreton Bay rail link. I would love to hear some of your thoughts (or anyone else reading this blog) on the project. My email is

  4. Don't hold your breath until the final design for MBRL is released - 12.4km heavy gauge dual track, 6 stations, grade separation at Petrie


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