|Don't expect too much improvement!|
So what came out of the sector 1 draft timetables consultation? The sector 1 timetables affected the Ipswich, Rosewood, Richlands, Caboolture, and Sunshine Coast Lines. There was much complaining about the unavoidable slow down of Caboolture and Sunshine Coast express services, which was required to allow more train services to be run. There were some minor modifications of timings around school closing times. Also, a pm peak Sunshine Coast service was moved to a "more popular" time slot, only for it to be massively overcrowded (well I never), and was then moved later again. So, the consultation process really had limited use.
What could come out of sector 2 draft timetables consultation? The sector 2 timetables affect the Ferny Grove, Shorncliffe, Airport, Doomben, Cleveland, Beenleigh, and Gold Coast Lines. With all these lines sharing a pair of tracks through the CBD (the "suburban" tracks), there is not an awful lot of options available to schedulers. Due to track capacity being already near maximum capacity in the am peak for services from the Beenleigh, Gold Coast, and Cleveland Lines, then there is likely to be limited improvements to these peak services on these lines. As per the sector 1 timetables, any frequency improvements may need to be counter-balanced by slower journey times. Queue whinging commuters! Due to infrastructure improvements, there may be significant peak period improvements for the Ferny Grove Line (? 2 trains every 15 mins) and Shorncliffe Line (?1 train every 15 mins), but with the loss of the current rather pointless express services. Queue more whinging due to commuters suffering from "I want an express from my stationitis". Off-peak improvements, such as the move towards 15 minute off-peak services, will be limited in scope due to lacking infrastructure. Queue whinging from outer suburban commuters who may not see any off-peak improvements to their stations. So really, aside from minor changes, the consultation process is likely to result in lots of whinging and whining, with little chance for changes. Something QR and politicians want to avoid!
With this in mind, we need to remember what happened with TransLink's revolutionary bus review. The consultation, of which the benefits were not clearly stated, ended up being abandoned after a (somewhat misguided) backlash from politicians, councillors, press, and the public. BrizCommuter has faith that QR's schedulers will come out with as good a timetable as is realistically possible (as per the sector 1 timetables). BrizCommuter expects that we will see a much lower profile consultation process for the stage 2 timetables, possibly to avoid excessive commuter whinging. It would be strongly recommended that some better reasoning is made available to explain the changes this time around.