So when I moved back to Brisbane after having been recently divorced, I decided that a reasonably affordable rental very close to the train line would be a good option. Yes it was a bit noisier and the crime rate was a bit higher, but it was also a bit cheaper and meant that I could get to work and my son to get to uni, easily. Also meant that on the weekend, trips to town and Southbank would be easier.
Now almost two years later I am realising that my choices were not great. Because the government is taking my trains away. I work in Fortitude Valley and my son goes to Uni at Southbank.
On the surface Cross River Rail makes great sense. Duplicate rail crossing across the river that is currently a pinch point. Great plan. Why not just build another bridge right alongside the current one? The political answer – because the government would have to knock down a few buildings on either side of the river to widen the corridor.
So instead they decided to knock down buildings in Albert St and the Gabba, degrade services to everyone on the GoldCoast, Beenleigh and Ferny Grove train lines and sell a bunch of apartment blocks to their developer mates..
The problem is that because of the way they are doing it, for many many train users, we will see less services that go where we want. Instead we will all have to change trains. Every morning and every evening.
Let me do the explain. I live on the Beenleigh Line. Once they build CRR, some of my trains will be diverted onto the new line. Which means that instead of going to Southbank, where my son goes to Uni, or the Valley where I work, they will go to the Gabba, Albert St, Roma St and the Ekka. Which is great for them, but shithouse for me.
Anyone on the Beenleigh Line, Gold Coast Line and Ferny Grove lines will be the same. If you want to go to Southbank, or Central, or Fortitude Valley – we will now have to change trains.
As it was for those of us travelling to work at regular jobs there aren’t a lot of options. If I wanted to get off at Central between 7am and 8am, I have 4 trains to choose from. Say I don’t start work til 9, so I want to be getting off the train between 8 and 8:30 (peak period), only 3 trains. Our new reality will see less services and longer transit times.
They are taking trains off this line to make more services available for other commuters coming from Cleveland line and Ipswich line. Which is great for them, but not so great for me. And a heap of other people that live in the Transport Ministers electorate, who are all getting screwed.
At this stage they haven’t advised how many of the current services will be removed to make way for the CRR trains, but it will have to be a reasonable number so they can increase services in other directions.
When I asked the Minister about this issue, he assured me that it was good for SEQ because it meant that they would have more train trips completed by all of the new people that will move into the Gabba. And that all of the people that had a worse service would just have to live with it.
He was more interested in building apartments at the Gabba, which will make traffic congestion in that area that is already some of the worst in Brisbane a lot worse.
Yes Covid19 is important, but so is the billions being wasted to destroy our public transport network.