Major delays to Brisbane trains today due to power failure near Fortitude Valley. By 7 pm when I travelled trains were running but not to any known timetable.

Departure screens at Fort. Valley, Central and Roma St all blank with only 2 platforms open and departures announced by PA. I guess they are doing their best.

For once, I’m glad I’m travelling by bus!

I have just noticed that there are no ‘next train’ indicators on the platforms at South Brisbane station. I know there used to be dot matrix displays. I wonder when they disappeared.

In a more positive vein, there are timetables for all lines posted outside the station. I don’t think any other city station has this.

1. Why is Queensland Rail still running an emergency hourly timetable on the Ferny Grove line?
2. Is the Great Circle Line bus running today?
3. How many calories do you burn standing at a bus stop?

Can anyone tell me why the 398 bus leaves Ferny Grove station in the evenings a full 24 minutes after the train arrives? It’s not as if it’s a bustling centre to keep you occupied either.

Are they setting up the bus to fail?

Translink has released draft new rail timetables for comment. They have been developed in response to the opening next year if the Richlands branch which will require recasting is the Ipswich and Caboolture line timetables.

Much was made in the media of how there would be trains every 15 minutes all day. While this is true – and a good thing – for stations Darra to the city, there are a lot of things that are not so great.

Firstly, in order to get the 15 minutes headway, what they have done is alternate all-stops Richlands and Ipswich trains, meaning passengers from stations beyond Darra still have to stop all stations on the long trip to the city.

Secondly, such express services there are in the peak have been pruned with no real benefit to the passenger.

Thirdly, Translink has pretty much thumbed its nose at Caboolture line passengers. Not only have their peak hour express services been cut back, there is no compensating off peak service upgrade: still only a 30 minute all stop service off peak.

While I understand and applaud the desire for service pattern rationalization I’m very disappointed that the don’t seem to be able to break out of the old “half hour all stops to everywhere” paradigm. It’s all the worse because the new draft Integrated Regional Transport Plan for SEQ (“Connecting SEQ 2031″) does.

Translink should be using this opportunity to try the new not just repeat the old.

Back from a couple of days in Sydney last week. I reckon this must be the first time I’ve been there and not visited the harbour. As my work and hotel were I’m the same complex I didn’t get out much. I had some time in the evening but I didn’t fancy the Quay at night. I did get to the state library for a bit for some more family history research.

I’m not sure if I like Sydney or not. It seems a lot more down-beat and definitely grottier than Brisbane. Then again, not many cities are pretty at 9 o’clock at night!

Sydney Airtrain was very much appreciated though. City to airport in 15 mins every 10. Why can’t Brisbane’s do that?

Enoggera on the Ferny Grove line is a designated bus-train interchange in Brisbane. It is one of the few purpose built facilities in the city (in fact, in the country). It was built with commonwealth funds back in the 80s.

Unfortunately, it has never worked well. It is so close to the city that passengers have always preferred staying on their bus rather than transferring to the train. I am told that when it opened (before multimodal fares) they even tried making it cheaper to transfer and people still didn’t.

As a result, not a lot of people use the interchange and it’s a bit of a white elephant.

The interchange is also a bit tricky to get to from the main road and requires lots of turns for buses. Most of the routes have since been diverted away from the interchange and just stop on the main road.

If, like I do sometimes, you want to transfer from the train to the southbound bus at the Wardell Street bridge bus stop there is a bit of a problem.

There is no footpath.

That’s right. There is no path connecting the station to the bus stop. You have to walk along a side street for a bit, cross the road near a slip lane and then clamber through a gap between trees.

It’s not very convenient nor very safe. The environment at the bus stop isn’t all that pleasant either. It’s hard to see buses coming and I’m always nervous that one is going to go right through without stopping (it happens).

  • 3 car trains which stop at the far end of the platform, not the middle, so you have to run along the platform to get on
  • Bus drivers at Roma Street busway station which stop halfway down the platform, not the lead stop, because they are inbound and therefore don’t expect to be picking up passengers
  • The stupid PIDs at Roma Street busway station which have to correlation whatsoever to the buses that might (or might not arrive)
  • Buses that only run once an hour at night (usually 5 minutes before whatever you are doing is finished)

That’s it for the moment!

The Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA) has released details of the Master Plan for the Hamilton Northshore site.

Those of you know know the area know that it is served by Kingsford Smith Drive, which gets incredibly busy. Heaven knows how it is going to cope with the 26,000 people who are expected to work there every day!

Luckily, the master plan suggests the extension of the Doomben line into the site – an extension of less than a kilometre.

I sincerely hope the state government takes them up on this option. Otherwise, chaos can be expected.