Rail to Redcliffe on again?


It is over five years since I wrote a post on this blog about the many promises that have been made over the years to build a rail link from Brisbane to Redcliffe.

In the five years since, plans to build to build the railway have been put on and then off the table once again. Redcliffe has also ceased to be a separate city, being forcibly amalgamated with the neighboring Shires of Caboolture and Pine Rivers to become the Moreton Bay Regional Council, the third largest local government authority in the country.

The Redcliffe rail link is almost certainly Queensland’s oldest and most frequently broken political promise, so today’s announcement by the federal and state governments, in conjunction with the Mayor of the Regional Council (who to their credit have never give up pushing on this issue), will understandably be met with some cynicism.

But despite the justifiable scepticism, it is still a much needed piece of infrastructure in south-east Queensland and maybe this time the growing public pressure for better public transport will finally ensure it is delivered.

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  1. I was almost a little surprised to hear of the proposed rail link being brought up again. But it would be fantastic to see it go ahead.

  2. Not against it, but shouldn’t we be looking at extending public transport to the suburbs less and increasing the usefulness of it in more densely populated areas (including no carbon bikepaths?)

    There is not a bottomless pit of cash, and couldn’t it be better spent in, for example, your electorate?

  3. every election since the 70s this has been dragged up whats so different now give me a break .oh look another pig with wings.

  4. I’m sure Red Crab’s cynicism is shared by most of the people in the Redcliffe area.

    I think Andrew is right about the Mayor of the Moreton Bay Regional Council, Allan Sutherland, being very interested in pursuing a rail link. I think the council does a pretty good job, despite the fact they get less money than before the amalgamation.

    In his regular bulletin, Cr Brian Battersby (Division 10) reiterated his concern that regional councils don’t have any constitutional power. He said that “rather than selling our assets we are improving their financial return to us,” citing commercial property assets and leases.

    He said the state government had instigated a completely independent entity from Councils to collect sewerage and water charges (Unitywater). His opinion is that this change takes away another democratic right at the ballot box, just like Energex.

    It’s great to know that at one level of government we have at least some people who are patriots.

  5. Tristan, I think any extra investment in public transport capacity in the outer suburbs also benefits the inner city areas where I live (or “my electorate”). The areas the Redcliffe rail link will go through (assuming it does get built) include some of the fastest growing outer suburbs who currently have minimal access to public transport – if the rail link means more services coming through into the City (as it almost inevitably will), then it will mean more frequent trains through inner city areas too, and/or fewer cars travelling into the inner city from the far north.

    More bike paths are good too, but those are gradually expanding (in part, I am duty bound to say, due to the negotiating efforts of Greens Senators in getting some of the stimulus money directed to that end).

    I don’t begrudge some extra resources for public transport going to people in outer suburbs that have already developed, as they are far more poorly serviced in that regard than inner city areas – and it all ends up helping the city as a whole, including in my area.

  6. Andrew:

    Yes, that’s right. Most inner city suburbs are very well serviced with public transport already. If you live at Ashgrove, Mitchelton or Bardon, a bus comes every 15 minutes even at off-peak times.

    The state government is increasing the number of train stations in the inner city areas to cope with greater demand for rail transport.

    On the whole, I think the Lord Mayor of Brisbane and Queensland Transport have done fairly well in providing extra public transport infrastructure, in light of the huge population increases in recent years.

    I live 8 km as the crow flies from the Brisbane CBD, but bus transport in my area is still fairly bad. Transport across the suburbs (rather than into the city) is a sad disappointment as well, especially when connections are out of synch.

    Using the bus, it takes me 3.5 hours to travel 5.5 km to and from the aged care centre to visit my mother. A person could walk there more quickly, if it were safe. In some areas of bushland, there is plenty of traffic, but no footpath!

  7. To Tristian’s comments whoa! I can’t believe anyone would make the arguement that increasing public transport in the outer suburbs would be a bad idea. Plus its not like these are brand new suburbs. The people who live in these suburbs already pay regressive fees to use what limited public transport there is aka the zone system.

  8. Justin:

    The more zones you travel through, the cheaper it is. A one zone trip costs the most, especially at peak times, at least with a paper ticket.

    I am still using a paper ticket which will take me anywhere I want to go for the whole day. It sometimes costs me a little more, but I don’t have to worry about anyone else finishing up with my Go Card (if I had one).

    A man I know sometimes catches 10 buses and/or trains within the same day. He says it is cheaper than using the Go Card system, which still has a few drawbacks and a certain nuisance value. More people are rorting the system and less revenue is collected.

    At Central Station they have now blocked all means of escape for those trying to leave ALL OF US to pay for their free trip.

    The trains are also getting longer. Last week I caught one that had 9 carriages (3 x 3 set).

    Yesterday 3 police officers were checking train tickets. I’ve never seen THEM doing the job before instead of Railway Security, and wondered if they might be looking for someone.

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