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Sourcing critical railway upgrade funding needs cool heads and smart solutions
Contracts have been signed and work is finally underway on Brisbane's Cross River Rail. There have recently been some changes to the design of CRR, mainly concerning track alignment and precise station locations. Sadly with each iteration of CRR, whilst costs generally decrease, the benefits also decrease. Whilst there is no question that CRR is required, considerable enhancements need to be made to the plans to maximise the benefits of spending more than $5m on rail tunnels and stations. There have also been some interesting articles by David Bannister, Director of Minerva Transport Planning Company which echos what BrizCommuter has been discussing for many years. BrizCommuter agrees with most of the points in these excellent articles, and also raises a few other flaws with Cross River Rail that need rectification. These have been listed in approximate order of severity:
BrizCommuter also has concerns over the disruptive closure of Roma Street busway station whilst it is relocated underground. At least the long term gain may be worth it. On the good side, at least the most recent plans have more optimal track layouts through Mayne sidings (aside from lack of grade separation).
Capacity constraints for CRR
The current plans for Cross River Rail severely limits the maximum track capacity through Brisbane's CBD, journey times, and operational efficiency. With 6 tracks through Brisbane, there should be 72tph per direction in the peaks. The current design of CRR allows for only 54tph to/from the South, and 50tph to/from the North. This makes for a poor business case. To rectify this situation, SE Queensland's rail network will require considerably more infrastructure and associated funding.
This article first appeared on brizcommuter.blogspot.com
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