Ingham pushes for regional passenger services to Townsville

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Today's Townsville Bulletin is reporting the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism body is backing calls for regular passenger services between Ingham and Townsville to reverse a declining population within the shire.

The body's president, Jonathon Pavetto, says, "A regular rail service between Ingham and Townsville would enable people to have a decent job in Townsville, while living in the Hinchinbrook shire." Mr Pavetto said that this month's Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce meeting, members backed "an inquiry into the viability of a regular commuter service between Ingham and Townsville".

Ingham's population of 6,606 has declined by more than two percent over the last five years, however the 108km corridor south to Townsville has another 35,157 people living in several regional growth areas comprising Townsville's Northern Beaches. The two lane Bruce Highway has become a signifcant commuter corridor north of Townsville, with over 16,000 vehicles per day. Townsville's population is currently 193,992.

With the Queensland Government's newfound regional focus in the lead up to next year's election, this proposal acutally has some potential to reach at least the level of a feasibility study.

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  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Very similar comparison to Mudgee - Dubbo. 8000 + 40,000 people, separated by about 130km, and lacking a rail connection.

Time for us Mudgee folks to resurrect their wishlist?

It would need to be a fast DMU service so the driver can change ends at Merrygoen, rather than running a loco around.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Today's Townsville Bulletin is reporting the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Tourism body is backing calls for regular passenger services between Ingham and Townsville to reverse a declining population within the shire.

With the Queensland Government's newfound regional focus in the lead up to next year's election, this proposal acutally has some potential to reach at least the level of a feasibility study.
Sulla1
Track speeds would need to be improved for a passenger service between Ingham and Townsville to have any chance of success but that shouldn't be too hard to achieve given the relatively straight alignment.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

Does the Chamber of Commerce understand that Townsville Station is in the middle of nowhere?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ingham-Townsville might be part of a broader Cairns-Townsville-(Mackay possibly?) proposal which would have far greater passenger reach.

And hey, they will carry far more passengers than the almost criminally wasteful Inlander and Westlander services do....
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Does the Chamber of Commerce understand that Townsville Station is in the middle of nowhere?
fzr560
The Townsville CBD is moving closer to it by the hour...
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The existing station is at the edge of the CBD, and the new walkway between Reid Park and the stadium should cut down the distance from the station to the CBD to about 500m. Added to that, a lot of potential passengers would need to get off at other hypothetical suburban stations to go to the airport, university and health campuses.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Very similar comparison to Mudgee - Dubbo. 8000 + 40,000 people, separated by about 130km, and lacking a rail connection.

Time for us Mudgee folks to resurrect their wishlist?

It would need to be a fast DMU service so the driver can change ends at Merrygoen, rather than running a loco around.
SinickleBird
haha, I was thinking that this week we seem to be absent of another regional town wanting a commuter rail service.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The existing station is at the edge of the CBD, and the new walkway between Reid Park and the stadium should cut down the distance from the station to the CBD to about 500m. Added to that, a lot of potential passengers would need to get off at other hypothetical suburban stations to go to the airport, university and health campuses.
Sulla1
They want a train to take them 100km, but won't walk 500-1000m, assuming thats where their job is!
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A close look at google maps shows it would still be possible to get a train back into the platform at the old CBD station without a huge amount of fuss with a reverse to come out.  Could that still be an option if they want it bad enough.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A close look at google maps shows it would still be possible to get a train back into the platform at the old CBD station without a huge amount of fuss with a reverse to come out.  Could that still be an option if they want it bad enough.
bevans

That's not going to happen.

Unattended station.

No DDA compliancy.

No DDA compliant toilets.

Better off with the existing station and a courtesy bus for the lard a$$es that can't walk 600 meters in the un-shaded tropical heat.

Where is this hypothetical train going to come from...perhaps axe the Inlander Question

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Very similar comparison to Mudgee - Dubbo. 8000 + 40,000 people, separated by about 130km, and lacking a rail connection.

Time for us Mudgee folks to resurrect their wishlist?

It would need to be a fast DMU service so the driver can change ends at Merrygoen, rather than running a loco around.
haha, I was thinking that this week we seem to be absent of another regional town wanting a commuter rail service.
RTT_Rules

I've got plenty of potential services I could suggest.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A close look at google maps shows it would still be possible to get a train back into the platform at the old CBD station without a huge amount of fuss with a reverse to come out.  Could that still be an option if they want it bad enough.

That's not going to happen.

Unattended station.

No DDA compliancy.

No DDA compliant toilets.
The Vinelander

The above list is dealt with everyday in modern networks, there is little point in a service which does not get you to where you need to be and that is in Townsville.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

A close look at google maps shows it would still be possible to get a train back into the platform at the old CBD station without a huge amount of fuss with a reverse to come out.  Could that still be an option if they want it bad enough.

That's not going to happen.

Unattended station.

No DDA compliancy.

No DDA compliant toilets.

Better off with the existing station and a courtesy bus for the lard a$$es that can't walk 600 meters in the un-shaded tropical heat.

Where is this hypothetical train going to come from...perhaps axe the Inlander Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
The whole thing is not going to happen. Perhaps the courtesy bus could be extended to .......Ingham.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A close look at google maps shows it would still be possible to get a train back into the platform at the old CBD station without a huge amount of fuss with a reverse to come out.  Could that still be an option if they want it bad enough.

That's not going to happen.

Unattended station.

No DDA compliancy.

No DDA compliant toilets.

The above list is dealt with everyday in modern networks, there is little point in a service which does not get you to where you need to be and that is in Townsville.
bevans

The issue will get down to the same problem that affects all Regional centres.

How many people will catch the train if available when they want to travel?

How many people will catch the train when a likely 1 service per AM and PM option is put on the table.

It takes 1.5h for Australia's newest regional train to do the 112km trip now non-stop, so all up the average commuter will be travelling 3.5 to 4h a day for work. They can drive it in 2.5h.

After all this, will you get enough bums on seats to fill a Coaster? If not then why is this a discussion point, if so, then why not run a Coaster bus, if more than a Coaster bus, then run a coach. Remember the Wagga - Albury commuter bus was axed because it drew 6 people per trip.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

With regards to the old Townsville Station - this is still the fully utilized and staffed QR headquarters for the Northern Region, with all administration and train control for QR north of Rockhampton occurring out of this complex.

As for rail access - there will never be heavy rail access to this station ever again. The northern end of the station is built in by the North Yard redevelopment that includes university campuses, apartments and entertainment precincts. The bridge at the north end is about to be converted to a pedestrian bridge for the new stadium.

To the south of the old station the new now $300-million Townsville Stadium has been built on the former rail corridor ending any chance of a future rail connection to the old station. The southern bridge is likely to be converted to pedestrian access to the stadium as well, although long term plans have the bridge being used by light rail, at least that's what the artist impressions have shown.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Once upon a time there was a TAA air link both ways between Townsville-Ingham-Innisfail and Cairns. That was replaced by the local travel agents running a hire car service that met Townsville and Cairns air services. I often used the one from Ingham, the fare was around $5 and it took anybody who needed to travel. Most days there was only one or two passengers.
When I lived in Ayr there was no similar car service from there. The rail motor ran on this stretch up until about 1990, but it also carried almost no passengers. The day I travelled on it I was the only passenger.
I don't know if these car services still operate but the very few numbers back then would mean that a rail service today would be out of the question.
Then again the Labor Government is in a bit of trouble, anything is possible.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
With regards to the old Townsville Station - this is still the fully utilized and staffed QR headquarters for the Northern Region, with all administration and train control for QR north of Rockhampton occurring out of this complex.

As for rail access - there will never be heavy rail access to this station ever again. The northern end of the station is built in by the North Yard redevelopment that includes university campuses, apartments and entertainment precincts. The bridge at the north end is about to be converted to a pedestrian bridge for the new stadium.

To the south of the old station the new now $300-million Townsville Stadium has been built on the former rail corridor ending any chance of a future rail connection to the old station. The southern bridge is likely to be converted to pedestrian access to the stadium as well, although long term plans have the bridge being used by light rail, at least that's what the artist impressions have shown.
Sulla1

Sulla1 are you saying there were two rail bridges to access the old station platform?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Remember the Wagga - Albury commuter bus was axed because it drew 6 people per trip.
RTT_Rules
Wagga (60k) and Albury (90k) are perhaps different to Townsville (200k).  Now Ingham at 6k isn't going to make sense, but connecting to Cairns (190k) (and some intermediate stops) with a well designed service might be an entirely different proposition.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

That's right Bevans, in the final track layout of the old station, a northbound train first crossed the bridge at the northern end of the station, then when leaving the station it crossed the bridge at the southern end of the station, and then finally crossed a third bridge on the 1991 Jetty Bypass deviation (now removed to make room for the new station). All bridges were across Ross Creek and trains completed a full 360-degree loop to arrive or depart the station.
  phil_48 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Wynnum North
There were such "suburban" services, 2000RM hauled, but ceased in mid 90's./
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There were such "suburban" services, 2000RM hauled, but ceased in mid 90's./
phil_48
Patronage?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Current regional populations for the North Coast Line corridor in North Queensland

Between Cairns and Townsville - 482,285

Between Cairns and Mackay - 664,588

Between Cairns and Rockhampton - 900,372

This entire population is dependent on the two-lane Bruce Highway, airlines or the North Coast Line to move or commute between these cities and intermediate communities. Add to this at least the 4.7-million tourists who fly, drive or rail into Cairns each year.

In my own personal work example, I live in Townsville, but started the week in Cairns, I'm currently in Mackay and will be in Rockhampton tomorrow - all via the Bruce Highway.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
In my own personal work example, I live in Townsville, but started the week in Cairns, I'm currently in Mackay and will be in Rockhampton tomorrow - all via the Bruce Highway.
Sulla1
Interesting.

Would you say you are part of a larger group?

And what sort of (realistic) train service would you need to warrant use?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

In my experience there are lot of people commuting by flying or driving between Mackay, Townsville and Cairns for various business or specialty careers. Plus there's the normal 9 to 5 commuters between Sarina, the Whitsundays to Mackay; Home Hill, Ayr, Ingham to Townsville; and Tully, Mission Beach and Innisfail to Cairns. Hour to hour and a half highway commuting is quite common in this region, as workers in surrounding towns drive to the nearest city.

For my work, and many others who commute and might consider rail, you need to look at the Qantas Link departure times out of Mackay to Townsville, which are 8.00am, 12.00pm and 5.20pm. Cairns to Townsville has three Qantas Link flights in the morning and another three flights in the afternoon in each direction, with Qantas Link usually using 70-seat Dash 8s. However Airline pricing is such, that unless your company is paying you'll drive instead.

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