Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New Sector 1 Draft Timetables - the verdict

TransLink and Queensland Rail (QR) have just released draft timetables due to changes required for the opening of the Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) to Kippa-Ring (Redcliffe) in mid-2016.

This is BrizCommuter's review of the good and bad of these new timetables:

Sunshine Coast Line
Good: 5 minutes faster peak journey times.
Bad: Off-peak weekday services only every 90 minutes. Bus connections displayed poorly in the draft timetable.

Caboolture Line 
Good: 5 minutes faster peak journey times, and 13 minutes faster off-peak journey times for stations beyond Petrie. All Caboolture Line trains runs express between Bowen Hills and Petrie, calling only at Eagle Junction.
Bad: 30 minute frequency off-peak service.

MBRL / Kippa-Ring Line
Good: All services that previously started or terminated at Petrie appear to now start or terminate at Kippa-Ring. These trains run express between Bowen Hills and Northgate, calling only at Eagle Junction,
Bad: 30 minute frequency off-peak service for MBRL stations and stations between Petrie and Northgate (exclusive). Worse late/shoulder am peak timetable for stations between Petrie and Northgate compared to the current timetable.

Shorncliffe Line
Good: Additional peak services will run from Northgate to the CBD (mainly Roma Street). This 8tph peak service (every 7.5 minutes) will resolve BrizCommuter's previous concerns that Albion, Wooloowin, Toombul, and Nundah would have up to a 82% reduction in peak service. Also, additional weekend services will run from Northgate maintaining a 4tph off-peak service.
Bad: Why can't the additional off-peak services run to/from Shorncliffe? Also, see the conclusion.

The new timetables are a mixed bag. For longer distance commuters on the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture, and Kippa-Ring Lines, journey times have been reduced. However the 30 minute off-peak services at most stations beyond Northgate are disappointing. More than $1b has been spent on building the MBRL for only a train every half an hour in the off-peak - only in Queensland!

The previous fears that Albion, Wooloowin, Toombul, and Nundah would be left with an abysmal peak service has thankfully been alleviated by extra trains starting and finishing at Northgate. Credit needs to be given to QR for achieving this. However, given that there are currently not enough trains to run a peak timetable (resulting on overcrowded peak services on the Ferny Grove and Cleveland Lines) then where are these extra trains coming from? So far not a single Next Generation Rolling (NGR) stock train has arrived in Australia. BrizCommuter thus continues to assume that this new timetable and the opening of MBRL is dependant on the delivery of the NGRs. The peak services on the suburban tracks which the Shorncliffe/Northgate services share with Ferny Grove, Airport, and Doomben Lines will now be running 22tph in the am peak. This is 2tph short of the maximum track capacity, and possibly the highest frequency train service in Australia. Whilst impressive, QR may struggle to run a reliable service.

With the improvements to the Shorncliffe Line, commuters on other lines may also be expecting improvements. When will Ferny Grove and Cleveland Line commuters see the overcrowded 3-car services replaced by 6-car trains? When will the Ferny Grove Line's irregular 6tph evening peak service be turned into a regular/even 8tph peak service? When will the Cleveland Line see it's evening peak express service extended later? What has happened to the review of Ipswich and Springfield Line services (where there are still hourly services on Sunday mornings)?

Caboolture Line draft timetable:
Sunshine Coast draft timetable:
Inner City draft timetable (excludes Ferny Grove and Bowen Hills originating/finishing services):

Update 03/11/15
Kappa-Ring (MBRL) Line draft timetable:


  1. No more golf for me at Pine Rivers Golf Club... What used to be an 10 minute journey from Bray Park to Dakabin at 5:44am on a Saturday morning looks to be a 46 minute journey with a 36 minute wait at Petrie.

    The first Kippa Ring train north from Northgate (which will be the first train at Bray Park) leaves Northgate at 5:35am... would arrive at Petrie at 6am... there is no 6:06am train to Caboolture to match it.

    Translink's assertion of "The connection time between trains at Petrie is six minutes all day." is false, as there is a 1 hour gap in trains on a Saturday morning northbound from Petrie 5:36 and 6:36am.

    Looks like I'll finally need to buy that second car?

    Being penalised for living closer than Petrie but further away than Northgate. Our service has been reduced to Shorncliffe-levels of frequency and availability.

  2. Won't those Shorncliffe trains be pretty overcrowded too, with more of the passengers from the four other stations between Northgate and Bowen Hills?

    I totally agree that the 30 minute frequency Virginia to Kippa-Ring (excluding Petrie) is completely unacceptable. But not a surprise. We're still waiting for 15 minute frequency to Springfield. I reckon it's more acceptable to Cabooture - faster journeys are more important on the longer distance journeys.

  3. Further to my last comment, I reckon the SHC trains need to miss Albion and Woolowin in peak, which would still leave all the stations to Northgate with an 8tph service.

  4. If Shorncliffe trains are 6-car units then I doubt that overcrowding is an issue. Running expresses through Albion and Wooloowin is a bit pointless - inner suburban stations should have a "metro like" service where possible.

  5. I seriously doubt that a 6/6/3 minute frequency service vs 6/9 minute frequency would get enough extra passengers at the 2 stations to compensate for the slower and more crowded services to the other dozen or so stations.

  6. Positives are:
    Peak-hours-to-Central frequency remains 6 minutes for 7am-7:46am
    Peak-hours-from-Central frequency 12-15 minutes to 6:32pm = much better.
    Slightly faster journeys of 4 or 6 minutes

    Negatives are:
    Virgina-Lawnton passengers are penalised for living closer than Petrie but further out than Northgate.
    3 missing all-station services after 8am from Lawnton (8:06, 8:12, 8:24am) inbound peak.
    Caboolture line passengers have their 6 stops then express, while Lawnton-Virginia have an extra 6 stations of passengers then all stops.... less seats available.
    Dakabin-Central is the same time as Bray Park to Central - but is 10km further away!
    School students will need to change at Petrie/Northgate - both ways. Connection times, especially at Northgate, are variable and in some instances, non existent (0 minutes).
    Extra padding in train timetable again... only realising 4 minutes from missing 4 stations. Only in Australia. Why can't we have genuine expresses which travel 100km/h+ through stations - like continental Europe?
    As per comment 1 above, 36+ minute wait for the first north-bound, all stops on a Saturday morning with no promised 6 minute wait.

    So Virginia-Lawnton passengers get less services, less seats, same price, later start and earlier finish 1st/last services and extra padding in the timetable to save 10 minutes (return) each day.

    Trying not to change the topic, but a common QLD daylight saving criticism is that it's too hot later in the day to have an extra hour- so you should do more in the dawn..... but I can't catch a train north,or mow the lawn, at 5-5:30am on a Saturday. I can get into town though!

  7. Howdy,
    Well there are pluses and minuses in this proposed Moreton Bay transport network for myself.
    My situation is this, I live in Camp Hill and travel to Kippa-Ring to visit dad in a nursing home. It’s a thirteen minute walk to the Norman Park station to catch the Sandgate train. Change at Sandgate for the 695 bus connection to Kippa-Ring. All up, my journey time from door to door is 1 hour 48 minutes.
    The downside, the 695 bus will no longer service Sandgate station. I will have to use the Kippa-Ring station which means an additional fifteen minutes to my travel time. Plus there will now two changes, the first at Central station for the Kippa-Ring train. The second is at Kippa-Ring for bus connection that runs along Anzac Ave.
    On the upside, I now have a better frequency across the week, i.e. every thirty minutes instead of the 695 bus’s 60 minutes week days, 90 minutes Saturday and no service on Sunday. So I now have more options.
    There will be no change for me, if I go to Woody Point or Redcliffe. I will still use the 690 bus from Sandgate.
    Well that’s my story.

  8. What happened to the draft timetable which had the express from Petrie to Wooloowin,which was initially promised? surely in peak times we could get to work and home again quicker, at present i get on the bus at 0530 at Kipparing and get to Central at 0640, with all this money spent you would expect a 40 min max trip from Kipparing, or are we not as important as our Nambour counterparts?

  9. The new inner north services (Northgate start) are low priority services. Frequently stopping between stations and travelling deliberately slowly to allow the express trains to pass. Very poor for inner north commuters.


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