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1 Jun 2022: Level crossing removal stagnates in Queensland

Started by ozbob, June 01, 2022, 04:30:38 AM

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ozbob

Level crossing removal stagnates in Queensland

1st June 2022

The removal of level crossings has stagnated in SEQ. The last level crossings removed were done in 2014.  Since then there has been none.  Contrast this to Victoria, which in that time has removed 64 level crossings and is working towards removing a total of 85 by 2025 (1).
There are a lot of benefits when level crossings are removed. It is not only motorists that benefit. Daniel Bowen (PTUA Victoria) has done an informative blog on this. ' Benefits to non-motorists from level crossing removals https://www.danielbowen.com/2015/12/15/grade-separation-benefits/ '

There are around 52 level crossings on the Queensland Rail Citytrain Network south of Caboolture.  Unless there is a commitment from both sides of the political fence to step up the rate of level crossing elimination (grade separation) there will be increasing impacts on the road transport network and the reliability and safety of rail itself. Transport in SEQ is facing terminal gridlock, and the Olympics in 2032 will be shambolic.

We suggest that from this point on, there needs to be a firm commitment to eliminate at least four open level crossings per financial year in SEQ.  The Victorian Government has progressed the removal of level crossings at a rate not seen before.  They have removed 64 level crossings (1) since 2015 and plan to remove a total of 85 by 2025!  Contrast this to Queensland which has not removed any.

We suggest the Queensland Government set up an authority similar to the Level Crossing Removal Project in Victoria.  They should also liaise with Victoria on the lessons they have gained from their recent experiences with level crossing elimination. The default approach for level crossing removal in Queensland has been road over rail.  There are other ways of removing level crossings, for example elevated rail (rail over road), so called ' Sky Rail ' which Melbourne has implemented with great results. We need more focus and sophistication to the task in Queensland.

We agree with Brisbane City Council that the failure to not grade separate rail and road at Lindum is not satisfactory (2).

It is also proposed that there will be increased train service frequencies post Cross River Rail.  For example, 5 minute services on the Gold Coast line during peaks.  The impact of this frequency on level crossings will be profound. When one considers that the 4 most dangerous level crossings (3) are: Warrigal Rd in Fruitgrove, Old Beaudesert Rd in Salisbury, Trinder Crossing at Trinder Park, and Stones Rd in Sunnybank, are on the Gold Coast / Beenleigh line, a potential catastrophic situation awaits as frustrated motor vehicle drivers are tempted to race boom gates. When you take into account the Gold Coast services, the Beenleigh all station trains,  and the counter-peak services, it is likely that the boom gates would be down for around 40 minutes at a minimum in the hour during peaks. Clearly unmanageable. The Logan Gold Coast Faster Rail project has identified 5 crossings for removal viz. Kuraby, Woodridge, Bethania, Holmview and Beenleigh, but more needs to be done (4).

Level crossings suggested for immediate priority removal:

Boundary Road, Coopers Plains (business case underway)
Cavendish Road, Coorparoo
Beams Road, Carseldine (business case underway)
South Pine Road, Alderley
Wacol Station Road, Wacol
Kianawah Rd / Lindum Rd, Hemmant (precinct upgrade which does not include removal of LX)
Warrigal Rd in Fruitgrove,
Old Beaudesert Rd in Salisbury
Trinder Crossing at Trinder Park,
Stones Rd in Sunnybank

We are looking for a real committment by Government and the Opposition to accelerating the removal of level crossings.
There is strong community support (5).

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

References:
1. Level Crossing Removal Project https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
2. Brisbane City Council takes aim at government over bayside rail crossing
https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/brisbane-city-council-takes-aim-at-government-over-bayside-rail-crossing-20201201-p56joy.html
3. Near-misses at level crossings increase despite campaign urging motorist care
https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/nearmisses-at-level-crossings-increase-despite-campaign-urging-motorist-care/news-story/56fc9e23abd48d919a6725d618424b65?fbclid=IwAR0bcG6UfQRH8wumrMP0FYIIPtmzyNzYy4rLlii51goTfgLZ9wi2Ue7yywo
4. Logan and Gold Coast Faster Rail
https://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/projects/Logan-and-Gold-Coast-Faster-Rail
5. 28th April 2019: Which level crossings would you like to see removed in SEQ?
https://www.facebook.com/RAILBackOnTrack/posts/2585140008166837
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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ozbob

Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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