Wednesday, October 28, 2015
New Sector 1 Draft Timetables - the verdict
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.
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.
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):
Kappa-Ring (MBRL) Line draft timetable: