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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Critical track closure date set for Moreton Bay Rail Link connection

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Wednesday, August 10, 2016

    Critical track closure date set for Moreton Bay Rail Link connection

    Following approval from Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the next critical step to commission the historic Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) project has been given the green light to procced.

    Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said Queensland Rail and the Department of Transport had resolved concerns with the signalling system and determined it is now reliable and safe to commence the final step in linking the signalling system with the existing rail network.

    “The Palaszczuk Government’s priority has been to ensure residents receive safe, high-quality infrastructure and reliable services when the Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) opens,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “I would like to thank the Project Team and Queensland Rail for working tirelessly over the past two months to address the serious concerns with the signaling system to ensure this historic project can be delivered.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said preparations were now underway to support a rail line closure on the Caboolture line between Zillmere and Caboolture from 9pm on Friday 16 September until 2am on Friday 23 September 2016.

    “To connect this line we will need to close the Caboolture line for six days which will be one of the largest rail line closures to ever take place in South East Queensland,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “We know that this will be a major disruption for commuters who travel between Caboolture and Zillmere on the train line, but it is absolutely critical work to allow us to make this historic rail line a reality for the people of the Moreton Bay region.

    “That’s why I’ve asked my department to ensure it is mobilised to respond with the largest contingent of buses possible to help transport commuters to their destination.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the Project Team had deliberately chosen a date during the school holiday period to minimise the impact on commuters.

    “The Project Team will close the line for a six day period to ensure the vital Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) Project can operate and to connect the new signalling system and perform final testing ahead of the opening,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “This work will impact thousands of commuters, but it is essential to ensure safe high quality infrastructure and service reliability when the Moreton Bay rail line opens.

    “I want to reassure commuters that hundreds of hours of preparation had gone into a comprehensive service plan for the closure with buses replacing trains along the rail corridor.

    “The department has deliberately timed this closure for the school holidays as it reduces the number of customers impacted by the closure, in particular school-aged children and those on holidays and modelling shows us that the line has less demand during this period.

    “We are planning to mobilise more than 200 buses to accommodate affected passengers to ensure everyone can get to their destination.

    “I will also be asking my Director-General to write to other departments to allow public servants, who are able to work from home to accommodate this request during this period.”

    Mr Hinchliffe said the operational plan will be supported by extensive customer communications including widespread advertising, signage, online notices, on-board and station announcements and staff on the ground to help direct customers where they need to go.

    “Extra station staff will be available at stations and bus connections to assist passengers and temporary timetables will be available for the closure,” he said.

    “We have taken measures to limit the inconvenience for customers however we ask that regular Caboolture line customers take note of this substantial closure and have alternative options in place where possible.

    “For those customers who can, I encourage them to consider working from home during this period.

    “Commuters can be confident there is a plan in place to accommodate them during this vital closure.”

    Alternate bus replacement services will be available between Zillmere and Caboolture, for passengers during the closure with bus interchanges to be located at Elimbah, Caboolture and Boondall stations. 

    During peak period buses will be ‘turn up and go’ with express buses available from each station to Boondall station and buses stopping at all stations for intermediate travel.

    During off-peak buses will run at 15 minute frequencies with buses running express and stopping at all stations. 

    Additional train services will also operate along the Shorncliffe line with frequency increased from 15 minutes to 7minutes 30 seconds during peak and increased from 30 minutes to 15 minutes off-peak.

    “We know this is a major inconvenience to Caboolture and Sunshine Coast line passengers but I cannot stress enough how important this work is to enable the Moreton Bay rail line to open,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    More information on the closure is available at www.translink.com.au, the MyTransLink app or call 13 12 30.

     

    Media contact:         Jessica Hill 0475 950 772