Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Preventing Cross River Rail Fail - Scorecard

Albert Street Station
Recent BrizCommuter posts have found serious concerns about a looming Cross River Rail Fail where the proposed am peak service frequencies after Cross River Rail (CRR) opens will not be achievable. BrizCommuter has decided to produce this score card, which will be updated on a regular basis showing the progress, or lack of progress towards achieving these goals. The proposed service frequencies are based on the information provided in the "Check Mate" section of CRR's website, which appears to be modified from the Changed Project Indicative Service Plan. Possible scores are No Improvement, Achievable, Concerning, and Critical.

Gold Coast Line 12tph - CONCERNING - requires the Kuraby to Beenleigh track upgrade (or slowing down of Gold Coast services). 8tph more likely.

Beenleigh Line 4-6tph - NO IMPROVEMENT

Salisbury (future Beaudesert) Line 7tph - CONCERNING - requires suitable turn back facilities at Salisbury and scheduling concerns i.e. interactions with other lines. Limited possibility of service improvements after Beaudesert Line opens due to the lack of a 4th track from Dutton Park to Salisbury.

Ipswich and Springfield Lines 12tph (each) - CONCERNING - requires European Train Control Signalling (ETCS) from Darra to CBD, and ideally 4th electrified track and platform through Oxley. Not dependant on CRR.

Ferny Grove Line 8tph - NO IMPROVEMENT - ETCS would improve reliability on core section.

Caboolture and Redcliffe Lines 12tph (each) - CONCERNING - requires ETCS from Petrie to CBD, and ideally improved track layout at Kippa-Ring. Not dependant on CRR. 4tph on Sunshine Coast Line.

Shorncliffe Line 6-8tph - CONCERNING - 6tph requires duplication between Sandgate and Shorncliffe (or complex timetabling with poor reliability). 8tph from Northgate to CBD is no improvement, and ETCS would improve core system reliability.

Airport Line 4tph - NO IMPROVEMENT - ETCS would improve reliability on core system.

Doomben Line 2tph - NO IMPROVEMENT - to not extend to Hamilton Northshore is a disgrace.

Cleveland Line 11tph - CONCERNING - 11tph from Manly to CBD would require a 3rd platform at Manly. No improvements proposed from Manly to Cleveland. Express services will probably be eliminated.

15 minute off-peak services - CONCERNING - off-peak service proposals are not even published by CRR, and running 4tph throughout the suburban network would be constrained by multiple infrastructure limitations including lack of 4th track on the Beenleigh Line corridor.

Sufficient Trains - CONCERNING - approximately 40 new trains are required to optimise peak services on the existing train network and for additional peak services for CRR. These have yet to be ordered.

Sufficient Train Crew - CONCERNING - sustained driver recruitment and forward planning is required.

Tunnel stubs for linking to future NWTC / Trouts Road Line - CRITICAL - not in current plans. To attach these tunnels would require a closure of CRR for many months.

To conclude, other than lines where there will no improvements from Cross River Rail, all other lines are currently in the CONCERNING category as they require either new track infrastructure that has not started construction, new signalling that has not been implemented, more trains that have yet to be ordered, and crew that have yet to be employed. CRR's opening may be 5 years away, but the clock is ticking. Many of these scores may change to CRITICAL if there is no action by this time next year.


  1. I think the most concerning matter is overall rated to the issues raised in this blog, but has more of an issue with our past few State Governments.

    Each of them, when it comes to infrastructure building, seem to always want to do the least, for the 'cheapest' price. So the projects are never future proofed and quite often the new project needs to be upgraded at a later date, for much more expense that had it been done fully in the first place.

    I think this version of CRR is a perfect example. Instead of getting all the required additions done whilst the first drilling and tunnelling is being done, this Government seems to think it is ok to have to come back later and do the additions then.

  2. I think you should have updated this blog with a new progress meter on April Fools day. Would be appropriate for such a joke of infrastructure planning.

  3. Great analysis but I think running to the Courier Fail is bad news...

    Really you should leave the 3'6" legacy system alone like the Japanese do, and concentrate all spending on new High Speed Rail from GC to SC under Bris, and any high capacity local services run as proper underground metro system as Sydney is doing.

    Nothing you do with toy trains is really going to be worth it in the long run.


All comments are reviewed before being published, and it may take a few days for comments to appear. If comments do not add to the conversation, or are just plain stupid, they will not be published.