Redcliffe Peninsula railway line
|Redcliffe Peninsula line|
|Locale||Murrumba Downs, Queensland, Australia|
Kippa Ring Station
|Opened||4 October 2016|
|Owner||Department of Transport and Main Roads (will be transferred to Queensland Rail in 2019)|
|Line length||13 km (8.1 mi)|
|Number of tracks||Quadruple to Northgate, triple to Petrie, double track to Kippa Ring.|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
The Redcliffe Peninsula line is a 12 km stretch of heavy gauge dual-track railway between Petrie and Kippa-Ring on the Redcliffe peninsula. The new line is part of the QR Citytrain suburban network, branching from the Caboolture line. It starts 200 metres north of Petrie railway station, extending from (27.5 km (17.1 mi) to 40.1 km (24.9 mi) north of Central railway station).
The line has six stations: Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Mango Hill East (previously called Kinsellas Road), Rothwell and Kippa-Ring. Funding for the project consisted of $742 million from the Commonwealth Government, $300 million from the Queensland Government (plus another $120 million for land) and $105 million from the Moreton Bay Regional Council.
The line was officially opened on 3 October 2016, about 130 years after it was first proposed. The first train to depart from Kippa-Ring was SMU 285 and 295, with the Prime Minister, Queensland Premier and the first train ballot winners on board.
A rail line to Redcliffe was first proposed in 1895 when the Queensland Government's Minister for Railways, the Hon. Robert Philp, considered three proposals, preferring a route via North Pine (Petrie). In more recent times, the route for a Redcliffe railway was identified in the 1970s, and the required land was purchased and preserved as a transport corridor by the state government in the 1980s. The issue of the proposed railway line seemed to be a recurrent theme during state elections, leading to scepticism the line would ever be constructed.
Petrie to Kippa-Ring Public Transport Corridor Study
In 1999, the newly elected state government commissioned an investigative study into the transport corridor between Petrie to Kippa-Ring, conducted by GHD Group. Key components under investigation included the mode of transport, the route and location of stations, future public transport usage, and the timing of construction.
The study was conducted in two parts. The first was completed in June 2000. It aimed to meet the state government's obligations to identify or forgo rights to a transport corridor running through the North Lakes residential development. This first stage was to decide on the preferred mode of transport, the viability of public transport along the corridor, and the preferred alignment of the corridor. Four modes of transport were investigated: heavy rail, buses or a busway, light rail, and monorail. It was decided that heavy rail was the preferred mode of transport along the existing preserved corridor as it was the only option to give an acceptable level of economic efficiency. The study found that heavy rail had a benefit-cost ratio of 1.46, and would generate the highest levels of patronage due to its integration into the existing Citytrain network, requiring no change mode.
The second part of the study was completed in October 2003. It looked at the route of the corridor between Petrie railway station and Kallangur railway station at Goodfellows Road. The original, preserved route was recommended.
On 17 December 2001, the Minister for Transport announced public transport improvements between Petrie and Kippa-Ring, planned as part of a staged development of a new rail line in the area, following the release of the recommendations of the draft report of the Petrie to Kippa-Ring Public Transport Corridor Study. The Minister also said that the government was investigating private sector involvement in the construction of the project. On 11 July 2003, the Minister said that the government had not made a commitment on the proposed line, and that it may not go ahead because interest from the private sector in the project was negligible. This was at a time when similar passenger rail public-private partnerships such as the Airtrain to the Brisbane Airport and Airport Link to Sydney Airport were faltering.
In June 2004, Queensland Transport released the Petrie to Kippa-Ring Public Transport Corridor Study's Impact Assessment Study. It claimed that the Impact Assessment Study only looked at costs of the Petrie to Kippa-Ring corridor, and did not take into account commercial-in-confidence costs involved in operating the trains, integrating the services with the rest of the Citytrain network, higher maintenance costs, and the costs of increasing capacity between the Brisbane central business district and Petrie. Based on these higher costs, Queensland Transport deemed the construction of the railway by 2007 could not be justified. The report also said possible savings from a public-private partnership were small and would not provide value for money. Queensland Transport said that it would preserve the corridor until it was required. On 15 June 2004 the government announced $3 million for improving existing bus services along the corridor between Kippa-Ring (Redcliffe) and Petrie "in the short to medium term". However, it again announced the continuing preservation of the reserved corridor for future public transport use.
Frustrated by a lack of action by the Government, the Redcliffe City Council (now Moreton Bay Regional Council) unanimously moved on 4 July 2005 to support a campaign to have the Petrie to Kippa-Ring railway built, and to write to the Minister for Transport to express concern over the decision to not proceed with its construction. In 2007, the Pine Rivers Shire Council (now a part of Moreton Bay Regional Council along with Redcliffe City Council) purchased the old Tulip Town shopping centre land at Kallangur for $6 million, with the potential for it to be used with the proposed Kippa-Ring railway line. The site is nearby, but not immediately adjacent to, the location of a Murrumba Downs railway station. On 11 August 2008, the then state member for Murrumba through whose electorate the proposed line runs, said that there were no plans to construct the railway in the foreseeable future.
The South East Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031, released in December 2008, identified the preserved corridor in its Transport Infrastructure Network Plan as a "quality rapid transit route". During the 2009 Queensland state election, the then opposition party promised to start the construction of the line in its first term if it was elected, with the first stage of the line from Petrie to Mango Hill commissioned in 2014, and completed to Kippa-Ring by 2016. However, the incumbent government was subsequently returned to power.
During the 2010 federal election, then Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the Kippa-Ring railway line would be fast-tracked, with the project to be complete by 2016 at a cost of $1.15 billion. On 3 December 2010, the funding agreement for the project was formalised, after being announced the day before. The agreement was signed by the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads held an industry briefing in Brisbane on 17 August 2012 to provide an update on the Moreton Bay Rail Link Project (MBRL). The Request for Proposal was advertised on 24 August 2012 with responses closing on 21 September 2012. The procurement process to select a single design-and-construct contractor utilised a modified Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) process.
On 1 August 2013, Thiess Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Leighton Holdings (with designers Aurecon, AECOM and geotechnical subcontractor Golder Associates) was awarded the $650 million contract for the design and construction of the new rail line. Thiess was part of the Trackstar team building the 12.6 kilometres (7.8 mi) Moreton Bay rail link.
On 30 May 2016, The Queensland Government announced  that the rail link had been delayed indefinitely from its original mid-late 2016 opening period, due to signalling system faults that had been detected at Petrie, where the new line met the existing rail system. Testing indicated that the signalling system in its current configuration was unable to handle all the simultaneous rail movements at the junction, and would cause train delays right across the entire QR City Network.
A shortage of drivers owing to the increased requirements created by the new line resulted in mass cancellations of services across the Brisbane rail network, with over 100 cancelled on 21 October. After an admission of fault, Queensland Rail CEO Helen Gluer resigned over the debacle, as did the chairman Michael Klug. In February 2017, a commission of inquiry found that passengers were faced with train cancellations until at least the end of 2018, because no new drivers out of 200 promised had yet been fully trained. The commission also reported that QR management had not told rail operator's board, Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe, or Treasurer Curtis Pitt about how bad the problem was. Hinchliffe resigned a minister, despite the inquiry not attributing any blame to him, finding that the difficulties were a result of structural and cultural problems within Queensland Rail.
- 2003 - Petrie to Kippa-Ring Public Transport Corridor Study completed, provided the foundation for the current project design
- July 2010 - Funding agreement signed between local, state and commonwealth government
- January 2012 - Design of six new stations begins
- July 2012 - Construction on Kinsellas Road East bridge begins after construction contract awarded to McIlwain Civil Contractors
- 24 August 2012 - Tender process for rail design and construction begins with the release of a Request for Proposals
- April 2013 - Kinsellas Road East bridge completed and open to traffic
- Mid 2013 - Concept designs for six new stations available
- 1 August 2013 - Contract awarded to Thiess to design and construct the Moreton Bay Rail Link Project
- Late 2013 - Construction begins on the Dohles Rocks Road and Goodfellows Road bridges at Kallangur
- September 2013 - Pre-construction activities begin, including boundary fencing and surveying of ground, ecology, utilities and properties
- Early 2014 - Rail corridor construction works begin (embankment, track, structures and stations)
- June 2014 - Construction of rail bridges over the Bruce Highway starts
- March 2015 - Major earthworks including track foundation complete, and laying of ballast and track begins.
- January 2016 - Construction nearly complete. Electric current switched on, and testing of track, overhead wires, train signalling and train stabling yard begins.
- May 2016 - Queensland Rail advised TMR that the signalling is unsafe for handling required number of trains, and the Minister announces a delay in the completion of project.
- May 2016 - QR staff reported as advising that the platform at Petrie is misaligned and trains are scraping the edge as they pass through the station. There is no official confirmation of this.
- 3 October 2016 - Redcliffe Peninsula Line declared open by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Moreton Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland, with Moreton Bay residents enjoying free shuttle trains between stations and community events at each station.
- 4 October 2016 - Redcliffe Peninsula line opened to passengers
Line guide and services
Most services to and/from Kippa-Ring continue on to the Springfield line. Redcliffe Peninsula services run express between Northgate and Bowen Hills, stopping only at Eagle Junction. The typical travel time between Kippa-Ring and Brisbane City is approximately 56 minutes (to Central).
Passengers for/from the Caboolture and Nambour and Gympie North lines change at Petrie, Shorncliffe line at Northgate, Airport and Doomben lines at Eagle Junction, Ferny Grove line at Bowen Hills, and all other lines at Central.
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- "Redcliffe Peninsula line timetable" (pdf). TransLink. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.[permanent dead link]