INTERSTATE rail passengers currently benefit from daily services on a railway line that traverses the Logan region just a few kilometres west of the Mount Lindesay Highway, yet Logan’s residents have no rail transport into Brisbane city.
The railway corridor runs from Sydney to Roma Street Station, Brisbane, carrying freight overnight and XPT passenger trains in both directions.
Logan City Councillor Phil Pidgeon (Division 9) is passionate about getting Logan locals onto a couple of daily passenger services to ease the pressure on the region’s arterial roads.
“It’s a very unused corridor in my view. I think we’ve got a great solution for passenger rail sitting right under our noses, and some people aren’t seeing it,” Cr Pidgeon said.
According to Cr Pidgeon, the line is owned by Queensland Rail, which currently leases it to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). He believes there’s a push to spend $1.8 billion electrifying the corridor as part of the Cross River Rail plan, but he doesn’t think there is an immediate need.
“Long-term, certainly, let’s do that, but I think we need to look at a short-term solution in order to get people off our roads and onto rail transport into Brisbane.”
Cr Pidgeon wants to see a trial of at least three diesel-electric passenger services a day in order to benefit the suburbs of Flagstone, Jimboomba, Greenbank and North Maclean.
“I think there’s a massive population there that has exceeded expectations,” he said.
According to Cr Pidgeon, the railway corridor carries a three-track line which can service both narrow- and wide-gauge trains.
A self-professed railway enthusiast, he has a fascination with rail heritage and is enthusiastic about the railway corridor at the border between Queensland and New South Wales.
“I thoroughly recommend if you want to go out for the day, take your picnic lunch, go down and have a look at this. You can see these massive freight trains that come all the way from New South Wales up into Queensland,” he said.
“At the Border Loop you get to see the whole train going around in a great big circle as it climbs up the range and up through the border,” he said.
Member for Beaudesert Jon Krause agrees there should be a greater commitment to making the rail corridor serve both passengers and freight.
“With the growth at Flagstone, and future growth in the Beaudesert region, it’s simply a no-brainer that we should look at using it for passengers.
“One of the reasons it’s not used is that it’s actually controlled by the federal government and dedicated for freight use.
“In briefings that I have had with ARTC I’ve been informed there is planning in place for a dual corridor to go through there, so that in the future passenger rail can be accommodated,” Mr Krause said.