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Bunnings Fyshwick may be site for new railway station

By Ian Bushnell - 15 November 2017 10

Train station

Canberra Railway Station at Kingston: Days could be numbered.

News that Bunnings Warehouse will take up the former Masters site at Majura Park may be the first move in a series of plays that could see the relocation of Canberra Railway Station to Fyshwick.

Bunnings staff at the Fyshwick store on Newcastle Street have been aware all year that they would be transferring to Majura Park in 2018.

One staff member said the ACT Government and Bunnings had been in negotiations for some time with the aim of the Government acquiring the site to develop a new railway station.

Bunnings said in a statement that a final decision had not been made on the future of the Fyshwick site, but it was likely that it would continue to trade ‘in one form or another’.

“Team members will either relocate to the new Canberra Airport site or remain at the current Fyshwick store,” the Acting State Operations Manager NSW South and ACT, Robyn Hudson, said.

“We will continue to ensure our team members and the community are kept up to date with any progress on our plans.”

But Bunnings did not respond to questions about whether it had been involved in any negotiations with the ACT Government.

Land between the rail line and Bunnings is vacant and being used as a makeshift car park. Combined with the Bunnings site, it could allow for a rail and bus interchange, car park and integrated mixed use development, as recommended in 2009 by the Railway Master Plan for the ACT.

Moving Canberra Railway Station from Kingston was first mooted by then Planning Minister Andrew Barr in 2007 when he unveiled the East Lake Renewal draft plan.

It provided for options to relocate the railway from Kingston to possible sites near the Monaro Highway, or Newcastle Street west near what is now the Canberra Outlet Centre, or Newcastle Street east.

According to the East Lake draft report, moving the railway station would enable the development of a large parcel of land now occupied by railway yards in Kingston to be integrated within the urban fabric of East Lake. A corridor for future transitway options such as light rail would be retained.

The plan envisaged, high-density residential areas for 9,000 people and light industries, including 5,000 residential units and 16,000sqm of commercial space.

The East Lake area includes the Jerrabomberra wetlands on Lake Burley Griffin’s eastern shoreline; Kingston’s railway line; agricultural land; and historic Causeway Hall at Kingston.

But the proposal was abandoned in 2012 after the site was found to be contaminated with asbestos and a dispute with the Commonwealth over the clean-up bill.

However, the Commonwealth had already remediated the Kingston rail yards.

Possible moves to relocate the manifestly inadequate Canberra Railway Station comes as now Chief Minister Andrew Barr embarks on a massive urban renewal program and negotiations with NSW on a faster, if not high-speed, Canberra-Sydney rail link.

Have you heard about this plan? Does Canberra need a new railway station? Would Fyshwick be a good location?

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Bunnings Fyshwick may be site for new railway station
dungfungus 9:23 am 21 Nov 17

John Moulis said :

A_Cog said :

The Spanish company TALGO reckon their tilting trains can do Kingston-Central Station in 2 hours. That’s better than us catching a taxi to the airport, checking in and waiting, boarding, flying, landing, disembarking, getting out of the airport, onto transport and reaching our Sydney destination.

TALGO are so confident they’ve offered to loan us their rolling stock for a year for free, to prove their claims.

So it seems smart to pull the line into Fyshwick and then help all the commercial guys move to Hume and Mitchell, and replace the entire area with super high denisity apartments (like Green Square in Sydney) for 30,000 or 40,000 buyers.

That’s one way to solve the housing crisis… mini manhattan. So sure, why not.

As I recall, the tilt train option could not be used because the trains could not negotiate the tunnels at Molonglo Gorge. The only fast train option is the bullet train which must be approved and built ASAP.

It was also reported the tilt train also renovated a couple of platforms along the way.

If smaller and lighter 2 car commuter trains were introduced now, travelling times could be introduced dramatically because the speed restrictions that are imposed on heavy rail traffic (to avoid damage to cuttings through vibration) could be lifted. These speed restrictions will still apply to the tilt train.

dungfungus 7:33 am 21 Nov 17

The Canberra Times has today published a Clarification on page 2 which states that Bunnings have made no decision to relocate the Fyshwick business to Majura.

Readers should be aware that Bunnings in the UK appears to be having similar problems to the ill-fated Woolworths-Masters venture in Australia: http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/bunnings-hits-a-snag-in-british-expansion-plan-20170817-gxyik4.html

John Moulis 4:30 pm 20 Nov 17

A_Cog said :

The Spanish company TALGO reckon their tilting trains can do Kingston-Central Station in 2 hours. That’s better than us catching a taxi to the airport, checking in and waiting, boarding, flying, landing, disembarking, getting out of the airport, onto transport and reaching our Sydney destination.

TALGO are so confident they’ve offered to loan us their rolling stock for a year for free, to prove their claims.

So it seems smart to pull the line into Fyshwick and then help all the commercial guys move to Hume and Mitchell, and replace the entire area with super high denisity apartments (like Green Square in Sydney) for 30,000 or 40,000 buyers.

That’s one way to solve the housing crisis… mini manhattan. So sure, why not.

As I recall, the tilt train option could not be used because the trains could not negotiate the tunnels at Molonglo Gorge. The only fast train option is the bullet train which must be approved and built ASAP.

mcs 9:40 am 20 Nov 17

A_Cog said :

The Spanish company TALGO reckon their tilting trains can do Kingston-Central Station in 2 hours. That’s better than us catching a taxi to the airport, checking in and waiting, boarding, flying, landing, disembarking, getting out of the airport, onto transport and reaching our Sydney destination.

TALGO are so confident they’ve offered to loan us their rolling stock for a year for free, to prove their claims.

So it seems smart to pull the line into Fyshwick and then help all the commercial guys move to Hume and Mitchell, and replace the entire area with super high denisity apartments (like Green Square in Sydney) for 30,000 or 40,000 buyers.

That’s one way to solve the housing crisis… mini manhattan. So sure, why not.

While TALGO are very confident, I understand that 2 hours Sydney to Canberra, without significant upgrades (talking hundreds of millions of $$$) to upgrade the alignment of the track, its quality and also improve a number of stations (due to the impact of tilting technology on the loading gauge of trains), is nothing but a pipe dream.

Informed sources I know think it might be able to shave 30-45 off the current snails pace of 4 1/2 hours without to Sydney.

But with an offer to trial it, would be stupid not to take it up and see what it could achieve. Hopefully such a trial would go better than the one in mid 90s with the Swedish Tilt Train.

dungfungus 8:12 am 19 Nov 17

A_Cog said :

The Spanish company TALGO reckon their tilting trains can do Kingston-Central Station in 2 hours. That’s better than us catching a taxi to the airport, checking in and waiting, boarding, flying, landing, disembarking, getting out of the airport, onto transport and reaching our Sydney destination.

TALGO are so confident they’ve offered to loan us their rolling stock for a year for free, to prove their claims.

So it seems smart to pull the line into Fyshwick and then help all the commercial guys move to Hume and Mitchell, and replace the entire area with super high denisity apartments (like Green Square in Sydney) for 30,000 or 40,000 buyers.

That’s one way to solve the housing crisis… mini manhattan. So sure, why not.

No one is going to buy a home unit in Fyshwick with an emissions belching waste incinerator going 24/7 in the same suburb.

What’s plan B?

A_Cog 12:25 am 19 Nov 17

The Spanish company TALGO reckon their tilting trains can do Kingston-Central Station in 2 hours. That’s better than us catching a taxi to the airport, checking in and waiting, boarding, flying, landing, disembarking, getting out of the airport, onto transport and reaching our Sydney destination.

TALGO are so confident they’ve offered to loan us their rolling stock for a year for free, to prove their claims.

So it seems smart to pull the line into Fyshwick and then help all the commercial guys move to Hume and Mitchell, and replace the entire area with super high denisity apartments (like Green Square in Sydney) for 30,000 or 40,000 buyers.

That’s one way to solve the housing crisis… mini manhattan. So sure, why not.

bigred 8:18 pm 17 Nov 17

This has been an open secret around town for most of this calendar year. Yes, NSW is working on a significant upgrade to the current service over the next few years, including the brand new train carriages. I understand there is also significant design work proceeding to result in track improvements in the southern highlands, but it appears Queanbeyan to Bungendore is not included.

Ian Bushnell 12:07 pm 16 Nov 17

The Chief Minister has been talking to the NSW Government about improving the rail link with Sydney. I assume Canberra Railway Station and the rail infrastructure in the ACT is on the agenda.

John Moulis 8:49 pm 15 Nov 17

Um, not so fast Andrew. Canberra railway station and the rail line is owned by the NSW government. Has this been run by Gladys and her ministers yet?

MrPC 3:13 pm 15 Nov 17

Oaks Estate would be a better location for a simple bus turnback on Route 200.

Fyshwick could still be a good location for a transport interchange, but only under two conditions:
* Reuse the rail corridor for a busway for fast services between the City and Queanbeyan (i.e. scrub all that red paint off Canberra Avenue), and
* Run another frequent rapid bus route from Weston/Woden via Hindmarsh Drive, into the new Bunnings Station, then via a new bus-only bridge from Tennant Street to Brindabella Business Park, then to the Airport, then up the Majura Parkway to Gungahlin.

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