Media release 9th October 2016 re-released 4th November 2016SEQ: Sunshine Coast Line (SCL) rail duplication plans fall short
RAIL Back On Track (http://backontrack.org
), a web-based community support group for rail and public transport and an advocate for public transport passengers, has thanked the state government for advancing plans to duplicate the Sunshine Coast Line (SCL) to Landsborough, but has called on the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to explain its ‘minimalist’ approach that won’t see duplication extended north to Nambour.
Jeff Addison, Sunshine Coast spokesperson for RAIL Back On Track said:
"The new preferred alignment for the SCL, for which a business case and funding justification will be prepared in 2017, is available for public comment on the TMR website.
"The proposed 17km duplication between Beerburrum and Landsborough will address efficiency issues, allow more passenger trains to run and will overcome some conflicts between passenger and freight trains on this line.
"We warmly welcome this move and trust it gets its well-deserved funding to proceed in 2017.
"The Campbell Newman led LNP Government announced rail duplication from Beerburrum to Landsborough, at the end of their first term in office, in January 2015, at a cost of $532 million.
"We call on the Annastacia Palaszczuk Government to do the same, at the end of their first term in office.
"If the LNP can do it, why can’t Labor?
"What is disappointing is planning for the next stretch of 22km between Landsborough and Nambour.
"The plan is to stick to the current winding alignment and single track, but extend passing loops where trains can pass each other and upgrade station precincts on their current footprints.
"This minimalist approach will stymie the SCL for decades into the future, because the two fundamentals, grade (slope) and alignment will stay as they are.
"The station upgrades will set the track alignment into the future.
"Poor grade and track alignment limits everything, and that isn't changing north of Landsborough.
"Extending the passing loops at Eudlo and Woombye will help freight train efficiencies, as will track reconfiguration at Palmwoods.
However, the plan to build lift and footbridge overpasses at Mooloolah, Eudlo, Palmwoods and Woombye stations and implementing dual platforms at Mooloolah, Eudlo, Palmwoods and Woombye sets the inefficient alignment in stone.
"Rail duplication to Nambour probably won’t occur in our lifetime, if ever.
"Clearly TMR knows that failure to plan for duplication to Nambour will upset hinterland communities.
"Public information sessions are not scheduled north of Landsborough, probably because the department knows the reaction it will get.
"It's utterly appalling and shows a complete disregard for the Sunshine Coast community.
"The LNP should hold the state government to account for scaling back the SCL duplication plans north of Landsborough.
"Hopefully the Speaker, the Hon. Peter Wellington MP, will make appropriate representations to the Premier on behalf of the voters of Nicklin, his electorate," Mr Addison said.
Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade Projecthttp://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Name/B/Beerburrum-to-Nambour-Rail-Upgrade-Project
Sunshine Coast Region Spokesperson for RAIL Back On Track
RAIL Back On Track http://backontrack.org