How Toowoomba to Brisbane passenger train would work
YOUR SAY: Twenty odd years ago there were passenger trains from Toowoomba to Brisbane and Jack McCafferty ran buses to Helidon connecting to a rail motor service to Brisbane.
This stopped when QR extended electric trains to Rosewood. Then buses would connect at Rosewood. These days it is quicker to take a bus straight to Brisbane.
The problem with rail passenger services from Toowoomba to Brisbane is it takes more than 90 minutes by train just to get to Helidon then another 90 minutes to get to Brisbane.
The only way train travel to Brisbane would be a success is for the government to spend money on a new rail line from Toowoomba to Brisbane bypassing the range section. Following the new Toowoomba bypass road is maybe one suggestion.
There is no excuse for not doing this as the government has spent billions on rail links from the Gold coast to Brisbane as well as to Nambour/Gympie to Brisbane.
This new proposed rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane via Goondiwindi and Toowoomba needs to address the problem with the existing slow section of rail line between Toowoomba and Helidon.
The proposal presently on the drawing board is to make the existing tunnels deeper to accommodate higher container wagons. I believe this is like making a man-made riverbed and trains will not be able to run because heavy rain will create floodwater rushing down the excavated section and washing out the rail line.
This section would need to be duplicated between Toowoomba and Helidon making way for more freight trains and passenger trains.
If this were to happen it would put Toowoomba on a level playing field with the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Travellers could board a train at Toowoomba changing at Central then on to the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast and be there in just more than four hours.
The cost of this trip would be about $50 and if city trains still have free returns on Sundays, passengers could leave Toowoomba at 5am Sunday be at either coast by 9.30am, spend the day at the coast leaving there at 5pm and home about 9.30pm.
I worked with QR for 46 years, 36 years in Toowoomba and 10 years with Citytrain at Nambour.
There are large numbers of passengers who commute from stations from Gympie to Brisbane and return daily, also at the Gold Coast.
If this were to happen Toowoomba people would think they were part of Queensland not just country bumpkins like they are treated by everyone east of Ipswich.
Dreams are free and maybe one day this will happen but not in my time.
DARRYL WILLIAMS, Harristown