Ingham pushes for regional passenger services to Townsville

 
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Thanks for that.

Re trains, a 3 car VLo has 222 seats, and I think a 2 car has 144 (VLine aficionados pls correct me).  You recon there could be enough for a 2 or 3 car VLo at those times?  Though given slower travel times (train vs plane) there might need to be some adjustments to departure times to make this work for passengers (eg the 8am flight is to get people to TSV for 9am(ish) starts

Sponsored advertisement

  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Toowoomba today calling (again) for a fast train to Brisbane. Must be something in the water!
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Considering the additional patronage intermediate stops could produce two or three car narrow gauge Velocities would seem workable. Freight services between Mackay and Partington/Stuart on the southern side of Townsville regularly do the trip in four and a half hours (Bruce Highway drive time is usually five hours), so you can imagine what the Velocity could do.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
There were such "suburban" services, 2000RM hauled, but ceased in mid 90's./
Patronage?
RTT_Rules
I got to Townsville in 1986.  There was also a service to and from Bowen, not sure about Charters Towers.  When the Queenslander began as a separate service to the Sunlander ( they eventually amalgamated ),  I think that took patronage from the daily RM's and so I think that is what helped their demise.  

When the Cowboys got going there in 1995, there was a push to keep the services running on weekends in conjunction with home games, but this never happened.
  Travelling Hooker Locomotive Driver

Location: Follows the weather up and down the coast
Didn’t local rail services in Townsville get a run in this forum a couple of months ago ?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Didn’t local rail services in Townsville get a run in this forum a couple of months ago ?
Travelling Hooker

Yep, funding for local passenger services is the current flavour of the month...apart from those who actually have the power to make it happen.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
I agree with Sulla. I tend to fly now from MAckay to Rocky or to Townsville or Cairns.

Up until 10 years ago I use to drive, but he affordability and frequency of flying makes more sense that the 4 to 8 hour drives depending where you are going.

In terms of topic, I like the idea, but I can't see it happening. We are too car centric in our towns. We can't even get them to use the bus services at a decent level.

Nice idea.

But some of the arguments here, like DDA non-compliance here, make laugh. It is isn't a barrier like any other public transport project, as they can be rectified.

So any proposal in the Capital cities shouldn't proceed? All stations were non-compliant initially. Simply taxes were used to fix them. The same approach can be used for any PT project. Why should the regions be disqualified?

The real issue is cost/benefit, particularly what is the likely patronage. I suspect it will be low. There was a reason for cancelling the previous rail motor services. Unless it is done properly like 160KMH speed etc, with good station infrastructure with bus feeder networks, it shouldn't go ahead.

My view is Victoria should be commended with their work on improving regional rail. I wish other states get their act together.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I agree with Sulla. I tend to fly now from MAckay to Rocky or to Townsville or Cairns.

Up until 10 years ago I use to drive, but he affordability and frequency of flying makes more sense that the 4 to 8 hour drives depending where you are going.

In terms of topic, I like the idea, but I can't see it happening. We are too car centric in our towns. We can't even get them to use the bus services at a decent level.

Nice idea.

But some of the arguments here, like DDA non-compliance here, make laugh. It is isn't a barrier like any other public transport project, as they can be rectified.

So any proposal in the Capital cities shouldn't proceed? All stations were non-compliant initially. Simply taxes were used to fix them. The same approach can be used for any PT project. Why should the regions be disqualified?

The real issue is cost/benefit, particularly what is the likely patronage. I suspect it will be low. There was a reason for cancelling the previous rail motor services. Unless it is done properly like 160KMH speed etc, with good station infrastructure with bus feeder networks, it shouldn't go ahead.

My view is Victoria should be commended with their work on improving regional rail. I wish other states get their act together.
Big J

Talk about contradictions...

In the first breath, you have car centric population in your towns.

Next breath, why should the regions be disqualified.

Next...there was a reason the for cancelling the previous rail motor service.

Next...spend mega$, cos it 'should be done properly' or it shouldn't go ahead.

Mike.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I agree with Sulla. I tend to fly now from MAckay to Rocky or to Townsville or Cairns.

Up until 10 years ago I use to drive, but he affordability and frequency of flying makes more sense that the 4 to 8 hour drives depending where you are going.

In terms of topic, I like the idea, but I can't see it happening. We are too car centric in our towns. We can't even get them to use the bus services at a decent level.

Nice idea.

But some of the arguments here, like DDA non-compliance here, make laugh. It is isn't a barrier like any other public transport project, as they can be rectified.

So any proposal in the Capital cities shouldn't proceed? All stations were non-compliant initially. Simply taxes were used to fix them. The same approach can be used for any PT project. Why should the regions be disqualified?

The real issue is cost/benefit, particularly what is the likely patronage. I suspect it will be low. There was a reason for cancelling the previous rail motor services. Unless it is done properly like 160KMH speed etc, with good station infrastructure with bus feeder networks, it shouldn't go ahead.

My view is Victoria should be commended with their work on improving regional rail. I wish other states get their act together.

Talk about contradictions...

In the first breath, you have car centric population in your towns.

Next breath, why should the regions be disqualified.

Next...there was a reason the for cancelling the previous rail motor service.

Next...spend mega$, cos it 'should be done properly' or it shouldn't go ahead.

Mike.
The Vinelander

The contradictions are the realities of regional Queensland...okay, yes, regional Queenslanders are car centric, but this is because there's no alternative, and there hasn't been an alternative for decades. While Victoria has kept spending on improving regional rail services throughout the last three decades, regional Queensland has, particularly north of Rockhampton or west of Rosewood, seen little to no improvement in services. Regional Queenslanders became car centric because in the 1980s and 1990s when Victoria was offering new airconditioned N sets, Queenslanders had thirty year old 2000 class railmotors that were never upgraded, and never replaced. One state encouraged regional patronage growth, the other, outside of very specific corridors, did not.

And before we get the, "oh, it's population" response, regional Victoria's population is 1,407,985 and Queensland's is 2,470,134. One state has built 241 Velocity carriages for regional rail travel since 2004, the other has built three 7-car tilt trains.

Of course Victoria's regional services are simpler to grasp, almost everything runs to Melbourne, and that's because regional travellers are generally moving from home to the capital for the work or services they can't get at home. And that is also why people in regional Queensland travel, except they don't just go to Brisbane. They go to Townsville, they go to Cairns, and to do that means driving, or if you've sold a kidney, flying. Those who drive then face the Bruce Highway, an increasingly congested and increasingly slower travel option, where one in five of all Australian road deaths occur, and a highway that ranks in the Top 10 most dangerous roads in the world. Several two-lane sections carry over 15,000 vehicles per day with duplication nowhere on the horizon.

So in summary, regional Queenslanders drive because they have to. This doesn't mean they wouldn't use rail if it was properly funded and offered "better than road" travel times, work friendly arrival or departures, and pricing. A Queensland version of the Victorian Regional Fast Rail model could be implemented and it would be used - it took nine years and $750-million for Victoria's project, in today's money that might mean $1.5-billion to $2-billion for a project of the same scale in Queensland. So, it will take a lot of money and a lot of wherewithal from the government that pledges and implements it - and that's where the whole inception of the concept will probably fall down - money and wherewithal are in short supply these days.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Sulla what are your weekly travel costs on a week where you're up and down the coast?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Based on the fuel efficient SUVs we drive it's around $60 for every 400km in fuel. Flying the same distance is usually around $200, but can get up to $400 on the NCL corridor. Flying west can be over $1000 one way.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Has this progressed?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Has this progressed?
bevans

Why would this be...ahh, the upcoming election... Smile

It's unfortunately not likely unless there's a huge upswell locally.

Mike.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Has this progressed?
bevans

Not even a whsiper. This year's state election campaign has been drowned out by Covid-19 and no one is talking about regional rail north of Nambour.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Has this progressed?
bevans
Are you suprised that it hasn't?

The idea was from Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism body.

It is not from the public. A Chamber of Commerce do great work, but from a political point of view are not votes.

Where is the public demand for this?

The car culture dominates in regional Qld for many reasons. Until acceptance, improvement and patronage increase of existing PT services occur, new ones will not be introduced. Money for PT will continue to be poured into SEQ as votes there are persuaded on PT issues.

Away from SEQ, the decimation of rail services has been multi generation. Restoration will not occur until car affordability disappears. That is not going to happen with any political party that campaigns in regional Qld. A bit like Greens travelling into CQ telling them that coal mines should shut.

While the idea is laudable if done correctly, there is no public push for this. Until there is, the idea is dead.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
GrahamH
While this is a great idea in theory, how would it benefit me, I ask myself. Our trips from Dalby to Toowoomba fall into 2 categories:
  1. Medical appointments:
    Will the service be frequent enough to enable us to travel to an appointment at any time of the day and return home afterwards? I have an upcoming appointment of 3 hours duration for example.
    How do we get from Toowoomba Station to our appointment location(s) varied? I know there is a bus service in Toowoomba, but what is the service like? Can we get to appointments at various locations? Specialists are located at many locations across the city, not just at major hospitals/medical centres. Often combined with (2) below.
  2. Shopping trips:
    Typically we might visit op shops all over Toowoomba, Grand Central, Clifford Gardens, the centre where Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Spotlight etc are located. On such trips we often purchase a lot of stuff, making the use of PT unpractical. Again, my above comments about the bus service apply.
As much as I'm in favour of PT and will advocate such, it often isn't practical to use it. Unfortunately cars are so much more versatile and practical for the average punter.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
While this is a great idea in theory, how would it benefit me, I ask myself. Our trips from Dalby to Toowoomba fall into 2 categories:
  1. Medical appointments:
    Will the service be frequent enough to enable us to travel to an appointment at any time of the day and return home afterwards? I have an upcoming appointment of 3 hours duration for example.
    How do we get from Toowoomba Station to our appointment location(s) varied? I know there is a bus service in Toowoomba, but what is the service like? Can we get to appointments at various locations? Specialists are located at many locations across the city, not just at major hospitals/medical centres. Often combined with (2) below.
  2. Shopping trips:
    Typically we might visit op shops all over Toowoomba, Grand Central, Clifford Gardens, the centre where Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Spotlight etc are located. On such trips we often purchase a lot of stuff, making the use of PT unpractical. Again, my above comments about the bus service apply.
As much as I'm in favour of PT and will advocate such, it often isn't practical to use it. Unfortunately cars are so much more versatile and practical for the average punter.
Graham4405
Regional commuter rail is basically a non-starter due to lack of frequency, volumes and limited destination. There are very few regional commuter bus services for similar reasons.

Capital cities have commuter rail for only one reason, traffic congestion. Otherwise we'd all drive and those who cannot would use the bus.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
GrahamH
Not sure if this is a real suggestion (your emoji at the end suggests maybe it isnt)?

These are not rail numbers.  A daily or maybe twice daily bus might make sense, and commuter rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane might also make sense.  But not pax rail all the way to Dalby.

SG conversion on the other hand....
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
Not sure if this is a real suggestion (your emoji at the end suggests maybe it isnt)?

These are not rail numbers.  A daily or maybe twice daily bus might make sense, and commuter rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane might also make sense.  But not pax rail all the way to Dalby.

SG conversion on the other hand....
james.au

Why does the gauge matter for the passenger service?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
Not sure if this is a real suggestion (your emoji at the end suggests maybe it isnt)?

These are not rail numbers.  A daily or maybe twice daily bus might make sense, and commuter rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane might also make sense.  But not pax rail all the way to Dalby.

SG conversion on the other hand....

Why does the gauge matter for the passenger service?
bevans
It doesnt but SG west of Toowoomba would link the whole SW Queensland area into the existing SG network and allow for better economies of scale to exist in the east coast SG network.  I bet that if the western victoria/SA grain trains that went to Moree could have, they would have went further north to the feedlots etc that were using the grain.

And yes, i know there is a cost here and a CBA to be done....
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
How about a Dalby ( ~12,000) - Oakey (~5,000) - Toowoomba ( ~130,000) commuter rail service??   Rolling Eyes
Not sure if this is a real suggestion (your emoji at the end suggests maybe it isnt)?

These are not rail numbers.  A daily or maybe twice daily bus might make sense, and commuter rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane might also make sense.  But not pax rail all the way to Dalby.

SG conversion on the other hand....

Why does the gauge matter for the passenger service?
It doesnt but SG west of Toowoomba would link the whole SW Queensland area into the existing SG network and allow for better economies of scale to exist in the east coast SG network.  I bet that if the western victoria/SA grain trains that went to Moree could have, they would have went further north to the feedlots etc that were using the grain.

And yes, i know there is a cost here and a CBA to be done....
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Townsville Bulletin is reporting the Labor candidate for the state seat of Hinchinbrook, Paul Jacob, announced on Monday a Labor Govenment would launch a feasability study into a 108km long light rail project between Ingham and the Townsville CBD, with a terminus at the new Townsville Stadium (between the existing and old Townsville railway stations). Single storey station buildings, and park and ride facilities would be built at the numerous towns and suburbs along the corridor. The plan would be to run light rail vehicles on the existing heavy rail line (which does occur in a few places in North America and Europe). The outer Townsville suburbs extend for around 40km along the proposed alignment.

Paul Jacob said the implementation of the light rail project would be second only to his committment to bring the Hinchinbrook region a post Covid-19 economic recovery.

The two-lane Bruce Highway is the primary commuter corridor in the region with vehicle counts exceeding 14,000 each day - and a 5.2km $108-million four-laning project between the Townsville suburbs of Jensen and Yabulu is about to begin. There have been several multi-vehicle fatal accidents on this stretch of highway since January - sixteen people have died on the Bruce Highway around Townsville in that period.

Unfortunately the Queensland Transport Minister, Mark Bailey, poured cold water on the announcement on Wednesday when he told the paper, "we have seen passenger numbers on public transport services fall across Queensland, inlcuding Townsville, due to Covid-19."

The minister, who represents the inner-Brisbane seat of Miller, added, "So right now we're focused on supporting regional operators to maintain their current services and monitor how they are used."

As a result Queensland Transport would be focussed on the Covid-19 recovery and, "isn't undertaking studies for passenger rail between Ingham and Townsville at the moment."

Paul Jacob has previously run for Labor in the Hinchinbrook seat during the 2017 election, fininshing fourth on the ballot behind the incumbent Katter Australia member, Nick Dametto.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Falls of his chair laughing.

Would they be better using existing infrastructure and asking for some DNU's for some services from the north as previously mentioned?  A bit like a Bendigo Metro setup?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Lets be real a 108km light rail project separate to the current NCL isnt going to work.  

Just get a Sprinter, put it on NG and shuttle it back and forth and see what happens*.



*if it doesnt topple over on a curve

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: