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24 May 2022: Repeated M1 failures highlight the need for true Fast Rail in SEQ

Started by ozbob, May 24, 2022, 14:31:19 PM

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Repeated M1 failures highlight the need for true Fast Rail in SEQ

24th May 2022

Another week, another major M1 Failure, with a 15 car pileup causing delays as long as 4 hours this morning (24/05/2022)

A few days ago (14/05/2022) all northbound lanes on the M1 were closed for hours at Reedy Creek after a truck explosion.

Courier Mail Peter Gleeson writes that the state of the M1 is a "Disgrace" and "a real and present danger to the successful running of the 2032"

It doesn't matter how many lanes you add, one major accident can shut down a major road.
Alternative roads (e.g. the Coomera Connector) don't help much either. If you're trapped on a road in the aftermath of an accident, filtering off at the next exit with everyone else,  and traversing suburbia to reach the next parallel highway is still a slow process.

Mass motorways travel cannot support a growing region, the coming Olympics, or net zero by 2050.
We have all experienced a crawl on the M1 at some point.

The solution is to provide true alternatives that get travellers out of cars in the first place.
What SEQ needs is a radical upgrade to it's rail system, to support continuous running of trains at 160 km/h all the way from Coolangatta to Maroochydore, connected through the CBD via the Cross River Rail tunnel.
This would enable safe, reliable travel across the region that is faster than driving day or night, freeing up motorways for vehicles that actually need it (deliveries, construction vehicles etc)
Right now, despite the traffic, trains are still slower than driving at most times, and we cannot expect people to make greener choices if this is the case.

RAIL Back on Track believes 6 things need to be done by 2032 to achieve this:

1 -  A better Logan to Gold Coast Faster Rail Project
Logan and Gold Coast Faster Rail was announced last year and is a welcome project. It will provide quad tracks from Beenleigh to Kuraby, giving Gold Coast trains a clear run through this section. However the project will only deliver a 4 minute time saving, and many members of the public  are scratching their heads as to why trains wont be all that fast in the end. The project is still in the planning stages, so now is the time to get it right and design the upgrades for higher speeds and bigger time savings.

2 -  Rail to Maroochydore
The Sunshine Coast has been long promised its own rail line, but have long suffered under significantly lower funding levels per capital for public transport compared to the Gold Coast.
With a change of government, and the upcoming completion of the Beerwah duplication and Cross River Rail, there are no longer any political or engineering roadblocks for building this urgently needed line.
Being brand new, it can be built to faster rail standards.

3 -  Rail to Coolangatta
At the other end of SEQ, motorway upgrade projects march on, but rail extensions have been left at the starting blocks for 13 years, with southward extension works halting at Varsity Lakes in 2009. Extending rail to Coolangatta would mean the full length of the Gold Coast is within reach of a rail station.
Again, this brand new extension can be built to fast rail standards.

4 -  Rail from the City to Strathpine via the North West Transport Corridor.
As train from the Sunshine Coast and Redcliffe approach the city, they must mix in with traffic from several other rail lines, and follow an indirect route via Virginia. Rail along the North West Corridor would give these trains a dedicated fast run into town. In addition, this project has the double benefit of allowing new stations on Brisbanes northside in places like Everton Park and McDowall (If additional local tracks are built at the same time)

5 -  A new fast route from Kuraby to Dutton Park
Perhaps the hardest part, but no less critical is the tortuous route from Kuraby to Dutton Park. In this section trains must crawl to as low as 50km as they negotiate sharp turns on a route first built in the steam era through the southern suburbs. A new dedicate set of express tracks, which may involve tunnelling, would avoid all this and fully separate Gold Coast trains from Beenleigh trains, and would also support a future rail extension to Beaudesert.It's a big project, and it wont be cheap but we could say the same for projects like the Gateway or Clem 7.

6 - The inland rail corridor should be utilised to provide more direct and fast rail services to Toowoomba.

Now is the time for SEQ to come of age and build a true fast rail system for itself.

Robert Dow
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
Ozbob's Gallery Forum   Facebook  X  Threads  Mastodon  BlueSky

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