Toowoomba/Helidon Line

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GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

I was just wondering when did regular commuter/passenger train services last operated to Helidon and Toowoomba.

Thanks

Geoffrey.

 
railway Train Controller

To the best of my knowledge, the Heliden service ceased in 1993.  I don't know when the last Toowoomba service was.

 
inlander Train Controller

Location: Brisbane

There is still the Westlander- Westbound on Tues/Thurs and Bne bound Thurs/Sat.

Mccafferties connect with the electric trains at Rosewood now to do all the intermediate stations to Helidon.

 
duttonbay Minister for Railways

Not a real answer to the question, but the 1964 timetable shows that most services to Toowoomba required a bus connection at Helidon.  About 5 rail motor trains connected at Helidon each day.

These trains could get you to Toowoomba without a change:

Roma St dep 08:15 (to Wallan-garra TuThSa, Warwick MF, Tmba W)

Roma St dep 16:40 (Sth Western Mail W, Tmba MTuThF*)

plus the Westlander TuF, Sth Western Mail Sun, and a Toowoomba pass on Sunday morning.

So, back in 1964 there were basically two passenger trains to Toowoomba daily, but as only two of those terminated at Toowoomba you could say that even then the city was only serviced by longer distance trains.

The climb from Helidon to Toowoomba was just too slow by train.

John

 
GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper

I have seen a photo of an SX set supposedly at toowoomba on 28/09/89 from the old Mainliners galery. Does anyone know any details about this?

Also, what was the reasoning for passenger trains ceasing to Helidon in 1993? And, what type of stock were used for the Helidon services in their final years?

It also seems strange that QR don't have an official coordinated connecting bus service to Toowoomba especially if its one of Queenslands biggest inland cities.

Thanks.

Geoffrey.

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

I have seen a photo of an SX set supposedly at toowoomba on 28/09/89 from the old Mainliners galery. Does anyone know any details about this?

Also, what was the reasoning for passenger trains ceasing to Helidon in 1993? And, what type of stock were used for the Helidon services in their final years?

It also seems strange that QR don't have an official coordinated connecting bus service to Toowoomba especially if its one of Queenslands biggest inland cities.

Thanks.

Geoffrey.

- GeoffreyHansen



SX sets were sometimes seen in Toowoomba during the Carnival of Flowers, when they were used to run a shuttle service between Toowoomba and Spring Bluff.  Toowoomba hasn't had a suburban service since the 1920s.

As already posted, the Toowoomba railcar service became a co-ordinated service with McCafferty's providing connection at Helidon.  This was quite a popular service up to the 1970s and Helidon has a nice modern station.  The Helidon railcar service continued until 1993 when the Rosewood electrification opened.

There was a "top secret" remnant of the Toowoomba railcar service in existance until 1993.  On Sunday afternoon there was a single 2000 class railcar departing Toowoomba for Ipswich at about 2:20PM.  I rode this service a number of times in the early '90s and apart from the final run I was always the only passenger.  I don't know if it was possible to reach Toowoomba from Ipswich - the run from Toowoomba was the only one shown in the timetable.  The reason for these remaining Toowoomba runs were as transfer movements for the Toowoomba  Roma railcar service (supplemental to the Westlander) which also ceased in 1993.

I believe the resumptions for the new Grandchester to Gowrie line are now occurring, but the timetable for construction is unclear (probably post 2015, but if Beattie wants to spend any of his $3 billion surplus he's quite welcome to direct it that way, after using some of it on the public hospital system of course).

cheers,

Colin

 
standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!

There was a "top secret" remnant of the Toowoomba railcar service in existance until 1993.

Colin

- colinw

I blieve it ran a trange timetable, Friday, sunday and public holiday only. And it doesn't usually run anyway, 2 occasions I tried to take that train it was cancelled without notice, and myself along 5 to up to 10 passengers waited without any notice from QR.(That was the typical QR attitude in the early 90s) Very political sort of train service I must say.

 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE

I blieve it ran a trange timetable, Friday, sunday and public holiday only. And it doesn't usually run anyway, 2 occasions I tried to take that train it was cancelled without notice, and myself along 5 to up to 10 passengers waited without any notice from QR.(That was the typical QR attitude in the early 90s) Very political sort of train service I must say.

- james_c

Hi Colin/all,

Lets assume we had a modern 3 car DMU, plenty of grunt for the range at line speed +15% due to track friendly design and quick acceleration/braking. ie DM-MT-DM. Fitted out like the RTT.

It deaparts Roma St, first stop Ipswich, Rosweood (both Pickup only), then all to Toowomba. There is no waiting to cross other traffic. How long would it take? Compared to bus?

If the same DMU was a DMU TT, would there be any out of gauge problems? This would increase speed to track speed plus 25% in general.

Shane

 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE

I blieve it ran a trange timetable, Friday, sunday and public holiday only. And it doesn't usually run anyway, 2 occasions I tried to take that train it was cancelled without notice, and myself along 5 to up to 10 passengers waited without any notice from QR.(That was the typical QR attitude in the early 90s) Very political sort of train service I must say.

- james_c

Hi Colin/all,

Lets assume we had a modern 3 car DMU, plenty of grunt for the range at line speed +15% due to track friendly design and quick acceleration/braking. ie DM-MT-DM. Fitted out like the RTT.

It deaparts Roma St, first stop Ipswich, Rosweood (both Pickup only), then all to Toowomba. There is no waiting to cross other traffic. How long would it take? Compared to bus?

If the same DMU was a DMU TT, would there be any out of gauge problems? This would increase speed to track speed plus 25% in general.

Shane

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

I blieve it ran a trange timetable, Friday, sunday and public holiday only. And it doesn't usually run anyway, 2 occasions I tried to take that train it was cancelled without notice, and myself along 5 to up to 10 passengers waited without any notice from QR.(That was the typical QR attitude in the early 90s) Very political sort of train service I must say.

- james_c

Hi Colin/all,

Lets assume we had a modern 3 car DMU, plenty of grunt for the range at line speed +15% due to track friendly design and quick acceleration/braking. ie DM-MT-DM. Fitted out like the RTT.

It deaparts Roma St, first stop Ipswich, Rosweood (both Pickup only), then all to Toowomba. There is no waiting to cross other traffic. How long would it take? Compared to bus?

If the same DMU was a DMU TT, would there be any out of gauge problems? This would increase speed to track speed plus 25% in general.

Shane

- RTT_Rules



Hmmm.  The problem always was the Helidon to Toowoomba section.  I have been on a 2000 class railcar departing Helidon at the same time as a McCafferty's coach was going through.  We saw the coach again at Gatton.  and BEAT it to Ipswich, even with the slow bit from Laidley to Grandchester.  This with a 2000 class railcar with supposedly 80km/h top speed (but I think it went faster because we level pegged with the cars through to Grantham).

Now, assuming our tilt DMU can cruise at 160 km/h across the Grandchester and Lockyer Valley racetracks, we should comfortably beat any stupid road transport to Helidon from Ipswich.

Let's see now, we have

Roma St (0km) to Ipswich (38km) .   Assume we have a 3rd track from Corinda to Ipswich due to an unprecedented bout of sanity at George St I'd say 25 minutes Roma St to Ipswich is barely achievable but with a stop at Ipswich let's say 30 minutes.

Ipswich (38km) to Helidon (115km), tilt, 160km/h with a slow section from Grandchester to the western portal of the Victoria Tunnel then 100km/h down the range to Laidley.   Allowing an extra 8 minutes for the little liverpool range crossing, then 2 minutes for stops at Rosewood, Grandchester, Laidley, Forest Hill, Lawes/UQ Gatton, Gatton, Grantham, Helidon I get about 52 minutes.

We're now up to 1 hour 22 minutes to Helidon which is quite respectable compared to the Nambour service.  This doesn't really require much more than a decent DMU and maybe a 3rd track to Ipswich so we can get a path without too much interference from suburbans.

The big problem is Helidon (115km) to Toowoomba (161km).  This is where we come a bit undone.  This section has a pile of 40km/h curves and speed restrictions through tunnels.  Let's say that with tilt and some clearance works in the tunnels we can get a sustained run of 60km/h average.   We're looking at a sectional time of 46 minutes.  If we can get that average up to 70km/h we're looking at nearly 40 minutes.

Taking my conservative 60km/h estimate, we reach Toowoomba in 128 minutes, 2 hours 8 minutes.  If we can hit 70 on the range, we can do the trip in just over 2 hours.

This actually compares quite favourably with similar length runs elsewhere - I think its doable.  The only question is whether my amateurish attempts at working out the section times will really fly.

Hell, if you could go to Toowoomba in just over 2 hours, and retain the two beautiful range crossings and all those tunnels, this line would be a sure fire winner.

cheers,

Colin

 
standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!

Obviously a bypass is needed, both at Main Range and Little Liverpool range, and QR has done a few studies on those, I blieve they are waiting for the funds.

In the mean time, how about Kuranda style tourist train leaves from Brisbane to Toowoomba, for time insensitive tourist?

 
Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.

Sadly the only credible way of doing it is the expensive way, all at once

The line crosses several 'markets'

-outer suburban on the existing section from Ipswich to Rosewood

-honest to goodness country from Rosewood to Laidley

-some more long distance commuting from Laidley to Gatton

-more country from Gatton to Toowoomba

-genuine intercity at Toowoomba

The only way I can feasibly see of getting:

-commuters from Ipswich to Rosewood

-commuters at Laidley and Gatton

-VFR, Business and some commuting out of Toowoomba

would be a tilting EMU that had some good, comfortable but still high capacity economy seating, plus a business class section (for those execs who would have flown, if there was a plane)

The Little Liverpool and Main range crossings would need to be done

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba, hourly, with a Rosewood service alternating. I would aim for 1hr 15 minutes which is a credible time for a business person who doesn't want to drive (and why should you have to). Made up of 30 minutes to Ipswich and quick (Gold Coast style quick) from there.

In peak hour, I would run a couple of subbies out to Helidon with stops at such shining city lights as Grandchester, Grantham, Forrest Hill and so on. It is not worth slowing down the pax from the big places by stopping at these places (and yes I know all about them, I used to live there). Any better service than this would have to wait for more development, which will come with the wires becoming visible to the real-estate agents etc.

Remember Rosewood was a bit ambitious in the early 90s but plenty more houses out there now.

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

Sadly the only credible way of doing it is the expensive way, all at once

The line crosses several 'markets'

-outer suburban on the existing section from Ipswich to Rosewood

-honest to goodness country from Rosewood to Laidley

-some more long distance commuting from Laidley to Gatton

-more country from Gatton to Toowoomba

-genuine intercity at Toowoomba

The only way I can feasibly see of getting:

-commuters from Ipswich to Rosewood

-commuters at Laidley and Gatton

-VFR, Business and some commuting out of Toowoomba

would be a tilting EMU that had some good, comfortable but still high capacity economy seating, plus a business class section (for those execs who would have flown, if there was a plane)

The Little Liverpool and Main range crossings would need to be done

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba, hourly, with a Rosewood service alternating. I would aim for 1hr 15 minutes which is a credible time for a business person who doesn't want to drive (and why should you have to). Made up of 30 minutes to Ipswich and quick (Gold Coast style quick) from there.

In peak hour, I would run a couple of subbies out to Helidon with stops at such shining city lights as Grandchester, Grantham, Forrest Hill and so on. It is not worth slowing down the pax from the big places by stopping at these places (and yes I know all about them, I used to live there). Any better service than this would have to wait for more development, which will come with the wires becoming visible to the real-estate agents etc.

Remember Rosewood was a bit ambitious in the early 90s but plenty more houses out there now.

- Riccardo



Yeah, the Rosewood electrification was a good way to replace the 2000 class railcar service.  While I lament the loss of the Gatton / Helidon RMs, in reality about 80% of patronage came from Wulkuraka, Karribin, Walloon and Rosewood and the electric service to Rosewood is far superior to what it replaced.  The "sparks effect" is definitely driving development out there - Rosewood is one of those happy examples where the end of the line exactly coincides with the end of the demand.  This is something which planners in QLD don't yet seem to understand - that electrifying a rail line makes a statement about being committed to providing a service. Where a bus or diesel service can be taken away arbitrarily, once you have gone to the trouble of electrifying there is an implied committment to making the service stick.  Similar arguments apply to light rail.

I agree with your proposed high speed Toowoomba service, particularly if it happens to be on standard gauge.  I'd like to think that this line could be the first 200km/h service on the QR. Don't forget that a stop around Helidon or Postman's Ridge would be necessary as the Withcott area is really starting to take off and will grow like mad once the new line goes in.

Does anyone know the status of the land resumptions for the corridor identified by the Grandchester to Gowrie study?  I thought they were proceeding, and seem to recall something like $25 million in the last budget for land purchases to secure the corridor.

cheers,

Colin

 
Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.

I agree with your proposed high speed Toowoomba service, particularly if it happens to be on standard gauge.  I'd like to think that this line could be the first 200km/h service on the QR. Don't forget that a stop around Helidon or Postman's Ridge would be necessary as the Withcott area is really starting to take off and will grow like mad once the new line goes in.

Does anyone know the status of the land resumptions for the corridor identified by the Grandchester to Gowrie study?  I thought they were proceeding, and seem to recall something like $25 million in the last budget for land purchases to secure the corridor.

cheers,

Colin

- colinw

-yes I agree maybe another stop at a location corresponding to Withcott. Maybe not immediately but as a park/ride to match pop growth.

But don't put one at  Helidon just for the sake of it - a crap little town full of religous funnies. The railcar only terminated there because of operational (ie bottom of range and end of duplication) rather than population reasons.

-Yes ISTR land purchases can and are proceeding. Caution though this is not the same thing as the road deviation which is also subject to the same process

-agree that putting wires up is the single biggest statement that a railway is being kept.

The only electrified lines to be absolutlely closed in Aust are the Warwick Farm racecourse, National Park (still a tram) and Yallourn and Ropes Creek lines.

In the first case it was a special event line not worth running and in the third and fourth cases industrial lines for which the industry had largely closed.

POINT BEING, electrification deters closure.

Even deelectrified lines such as Traralgon, possibly Emerald and the segments Macarthur Glenlee Jn, Lithgow Bowenfels, Doomben Eagle Farm, the traffic on the segment is still healthy.

So yes, business and residences can commit to an area with the added assurance that the government has reviewed their rail service in recent years and found in favour of improving, rather than removing, the service. And putting its money where its mouth is.

 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE

-yes I agree maybe another stop at a location corresponding to Withcott. Maybe not immediately but as a park/ride to match pop growth.

But don't put one at  Helidon just for the sake of it - a crap little town full of religous funnies. The railcar only terminated there because of operational (ie bottom of range and end of duplication) rather than population reasons.

-Yes ISTR land purchases can and are proceeding. Caution though this is not the same thing as the road deviation which is also subject to the same process

-agree that putting wires up is the single biggest statement that a railway is being kept.

The only electrified lines to be absolutlely closed in Aust are the Warwick Farm racecourse, National Park (still a tram) and Yallourn and Ropes Creek lines.

In the first case it was a special event line not worth running and in the third and fourth cases industrial lines for which the industry had largely closed.

POINT BEING, electrification deters closure.

Even deelectrified lines such as Traralgon, possibly Emerald and the segments Macarthur Glenlee Jn, Lithgow Bowenfels, Doomben Eagle Farm, the traffic on the segment is still healthy.

So yes, business and residences can commit to an area with the added assurance that the government has reviewed their rail service in recent years and found in favour of improving, rather than removing, the service. And putting its money where its mouth is.

- Riccardo

Hi Guys,

I totally agree with your electrification comments and housing. I lived on the NSW Central Coast during the spark ext from Gosford to Newcastle. Prior to 1984 were the O/H terminated at Gosford for nearly 20 years, life north of Gosford station was fairly sparten as there was only an hourly 620/720 DMU. As the O/H was being strung up to Wyong the developers were busy clearing farms for future suburbia and same again nth to Newcastle. The fact the so many people live on the Blue Mountains and commute to Sydney for so long is probably due to the long standing O/H from the 50's. Meanwhile in Qld (with about 50% of the pop), how many commute from the Liverpool ranges to Brisbane, a bus load or two maybe?

However as far as the improved service goes, lets take a reality check. 3rd line to Ipswich, I'm not sure on the current non-EMU traffic, but how about we just make the line truely bi-directional and use the existing improved infrastructure to enable passing. Maybe a long passing loop and 3rd platform at the scheduled passing zones.

Since the line west to Heildon (CW said this is where the line becomes a series of 40km/hr corners) is mostly duplicated, then we could look at stringing up the O/H on one line only and make both lines bi-directional, except for some stations for crossing purposes. This will save a million or many and help pay for concrete sleepers to enable our IMU to run at +100km/hr speeds and faster than current sub 100km/hr if the alignment is ok. I'm still amazed that QR O/H'ed both lines to Rosewood as there is only one EMU in that section at a time.

Was there plans by QR to realign part line to Heildon?

The trains to Heildon would be a 3 car (for now) IMU's from Roma St stopping Milton, Toowong (both for the ofice workers), Corinda, (Redbank or others?), Ipswich all to Heildon. How long would this trip take?

As for the section west to Toowomba, maybe invest in our tilting DMU to run at slightly better (10-25%) of line speed connecting with IMU's at Heildon except maybe for a morning and afternoon communter run from the city. This would enable the local population to grow some before a new alignment is built west of Heildon. The DMU sets would still get plenty of use until demand increased and the improved alignment would enable more services from some number of sets.

Shane

 
standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba

- Riccardo

Lawes is very small! and so is Laidley! I would replace it with Rosewood and terminate the train at the main Toowoomba shopping center(Warwick end), 200-300meters away from Toowoomba station.

And keep main range section as a tourist railway?? Smile

 
inlander Train Controller

Location: Brisbane

The preferred option for the Towoomba range is to tunnel underneath Spring Bluff and come out in the "Gulley past willowburn and there on to Charlton where a new container terminal is to be built in conjunction with the Compton inland railway.

Originally the QR was invited to share the alignment with the new range highway, but they declined because the min radiaus curve was going to be 800m(QR Wants 2000m) and the gradients were going to be 1/60(QR wants min 1/80).

 
Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba

- Riccardo

Lawes is very small! and so is Laidley! I would replace it with Rosewood and terminate the train at the main Toowoomba shopping center(Warwick end), 200-300meters away from Toowoomba station.

And keep main range section as a tourist railway?? Smile

- james_c

Lawes is the Gatton Campus of University of Queensland. The 'station' is about 700m from the back gate of the campus. The campus already run a shuttle bus on site so connections with the train would not be unreasonable. Since we are talking about a intercity train here, it would not be unreasonable for business travellers to the site to use the train as well as the students.

Gatton and Laidley are the main towns between Ipswich and Toowoomba. Laidley also services a range of villages scattered around the area.

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

Since the line west to Heildon (CW said this is where the line becomes a series of 40km/hr corners) is mostly duplicated, then we could look at stringing up the O/H on one line only and make both lines bi-directional, except for some stations for crossing purposes. This will save a million or many and help pay for concrete sleepers to enable our IMU to run at +100km/hr speeds and faster than current sub 100km/hr if the alignment is ok. I'm still amazed that QR O/H'ed both lines to Rosewood as there is only one EMU in that section at a time.

- RTT_Rules



The line to Helidon, and parts of the range have already had an upgrade. Concrete sleepering and welded rail to Helidon is mostly already done.  The line should be capable of supporting IMU speeds as is with a bit of rail profiling work.  Take a look at the line from the road overpass at Gatton on the old highway - two lovely high standard concrete sleepered tracks on deep ballast.  Apart from the little liverpool range and some tight curves near the factory at Karrabin it should be possible to run at speeds up to 160km/h across most of the double track west of Ipswich with just a bit of track profiling work.



Was there plans by QR to realign part line to Heildon?

- RTT_Rules



Yes. There's a map of the proposed new rail alignment west of Grandchester here:
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/qt/tpSite.nsf/ReferenceLookup/newsletter11.pdf/$file/newsletter11.pdf

(I tried to upload the map image from this document but can't seem to get gallery upload to work at present - dies with "document contains no data").

The map in this document also shows the new road crossing to avoid any confusion.

It includes some re-alignment between Laidley and Helidon.  The new alignment through the Little Liverpool Range will take the line to the north of Laidley with the new station a little way out of town (the existing disused station is already on the northern edge of town).



As for the section west to Toowomba, maybe invest in our tilting DMU to run at slightly better (10-25%) of line speed connecting with IMU's at Heildon except maybe for a morning and afternoon communter run from the city. This would enable the local population to grow some before a new alignment is built west of Heildon. The DMU sets would still get plenty of use until demand increased and the improved alignment would enable more services from some number of sets.

- RTT_Rules



I don't think any kind of service beyond Rosewood is likely until the whole Toowoomba line is done.  If done in two stages I would see it most likely unfolding as

1) New crossing of Little Liverpool Range.  Sparks to Gatton.

2) New crossing of Main Range.  Sparks or DMUs to Toowoomba.

cheers,

Colin

 
standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba

- Riccardo

Lawes is very small! and so is Laidley! I would replace it with Rosewood and terminate the train at the main Toowoomba shopping center(Warwick end), 200-300meters away from Toowoomba station.

And keep main range section as a tourist railway?? Smile

- james_c

Lawes is the Gatton Campus of University of Queensland. The 'station' is about 700m from the back gate of the campus. The campus already run a shuttle bus on site so connections with the train would not be unreasonable.

- Riccardo

Gatton no doubt, but my past experiences no one ever uses Laidley!

As for Lawes I noticed most students live on the campus anyway. Still very little pop live around Lawes when i past there earlier this year

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba

- Riccardo

Lawes is very small! and so is Laidley! I would replace it with Rosewood and terminate the train at the main Toowoomba shopping center(Warwick end), 200-300meters away from Toowoomba station.

And keep main range section as a tourist railway?? Smile

- james_c



Huh Question  That makes no sense.  Laidley is 25km from Rosewood, a decent sized town and one of the fastest growing in the Lockyer valley.  Laidley shire keeps popping up in the "fastest growing shires" statistics.  Its already at least as large as Rosewood and (I think) larger.    If you make people from Laidley get in their car to go to Rosewood, they'll keep on driving.  For the record, the distances (km from Roma St) are:

Ipswich:          38 km

Rosewood:      56.3 km

Lanefield:        59.7 km*

Calvert:          64.4 km*

Grandchester: 69.3 km*  (Rosewood - Grandchester = 13 km)

This is the practical limit for the suburban service apart from one or two sweeper "all stations" services right through to Helidon each day.  I wouldn't propose serving any of these other than Ipswich and Rosewood with the Gatton/Toowoomba service.  Until housing develops around any of the stations Lanefield/Calvert/Grandchester I would't propose extending the Rosewood service at all, ie. extension of service is contingent on development.

The "outer" section of the line has the following distances:

Laidley:      81 km    (24.7 km from Rosewood)

Forest Hill:  87.5km*

Lawes:       around 92 km (not shown in access diagrams)

Gatton:       96.5 km

Grantham   around 105 km (not shown in access diagrams)*

Helidon:      115 km

You really do need to have a station at Laidley, its nearly 25km from Rosewood.  There's no point stopping the Toowoomba service at Forest Hill or Grantham .  You need a stop at Lawes for the uni, yes its small but the station site is right at the back of the University of Queensland Gatton campus.  I'm not sure about Helidon, I think a Postman's Ridge stop for the fast growing Withcott area makes more sense.

cheers,

Colin

 
standard_gauge Dr Beeching

Location: Outside the toilet, waiting for Della Bosca to come out !!

I would only have stops at Roma St, Ipswich, Laidley, Lawes, Gatton and Toowoomba

- Riccardo

Lawes is very small! and so is Laidley! I would replace it with Rosewood and terminate the train at the main Toowoomba shopping center(Warwick end), 200-300meters away from Toowoomba station.

And keep main range section as a tourist railway?? Smile

- james_c



Huh Question  That makes no sense.  Laidley is 25km from Rosewood, a decent sized town and one of the fastest growing in the Lockyer valley.  Laidley shire keeps popping up in the "fastest growing shires" statistics.  Its already at least as large as Rosewood and (I think) larger.    If you make people from Laidley get in their car to go to Rosewood, they'll keep on driving.  

- colinw

Probably just bad publicity, when i was still in QLD, the 2000 class railcar rarely picked up anyone there. I used to love that trip on 2000 class railcar and did it many many times. Especially love the friday direct service to Roma street, almost non stop between Ipswich and Roma St!

Probably the town folks didn't realise there was a train service.

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

Gatton no doubt, but my past experiences no one ever uses Laidley!

- james_c

Disagree strongly!  I'm originally from Toowoomba, and was a regular user of the Helidon service and the Sunday Toowoomba to Ipswich service.  On a Brisbane/Ipswich bound trip one or two would board at Helidon, nobody at Grantham, a small number at Gatton, one or two students at Lawes, nobody at Forest Hill.  There were nearly always MORE boardings at Laidley than Gatton, including a disproportionate number of "little old ladies" as opposed to the scruffy student types from Gatton.   One or two would get on at Grandchester.  Nobody at Lanefield/Calvert.  From Rosewood on in was always quite busy including people getting on and off at the now vanished railmotor stops between the main stations.

I've also used the Rosewood "trainlink" bus.  Its not nearly as well used as the railcars were, but the balance is more in favour of Gatton and UQG patronage (because it loops through the campus).  Laidley people seem to have turned their back on the trainlink bus service.

cheers,

Colin

 
colinw Chief Commissioner

I managed to get the Gallery upload to work at last.  Here's the proposed new corridor (maroon).  The new road is green, and the old rail is light blue.   Note the radically different alignment beyond Gatton, missing the big loop through Grantham and actually crossing to the north of the Gatton bypass.

[gallery=http://www.railpage.com.au/modules.php?full=1&set_albumName=album53&id=grandchester_gowrie&op=modload&name=gallery&file=index&include=view_photo.php]

cheers,

Colin

 
Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.

I always dreamed that the Toowoomba station would be underground, with a deep lift to reach the tunnel which at a reasonable gradient would still have to emerge on Toowoomba's outskirts. That part is in the plan, alas the underground station isn't!

Australia needs base tunnels: Emu-Plains to beyond Lithgow, Withcott to west of Toowoomba, Freshwater to beyond Kuranda, near Tumut to near Canberra for the Melbourne to Sydney rail alignment, Mt Kuringgai to Hawkesbury River, Long Island to and including existing Woy Woy tunnel, and Loftus to Bulli (or Waterfall to Bulli at a pinch). Let's start digging!

 

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