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Canberra Railway Station

By benett 28 October 2013 27

The Canberra Railway Station. Well, what can I say.

It’s terrible. Yep, it is. It’s not used as much as it used to. Yes that’s true. Its Kingston location is just wrong. So what?

Why is it terrible?

Terrible? Sorry, it’s a bit of a joke.

It’s not used as much as it used to

90% of people go get the bus and have done for ages now. It’s cheaper but more annoying because you have to mingle (or get too close) with people.

You’re shy or scared to play your tunes on your phone as the person next to you might hear them and find you out to be a loser. The buses are of course more frequent, central and all that …

Its Kingston location is just wrong

This is a fact. And it’s the ‘the’ fact for me. It makes no sense. It obviously should have moved LONG ago towards the city (civic). And that has no doubt already been stated on numerous occasions. But I’m just here to reiterate the point.

SO WHAT!

So what? Well, come on. Canberran’s aren’t bogans or booners. They’re fine examples of human beings. And they need a properly located train station that doesn’t give interstate folk the impression that Canberra is a shit-heap near the end of the earth. In short, it seems fairly neglected and pretty well overdue for replacement and or relocation. It’s a bit shit.


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Canberra Railway Station
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Ramon Williams 1:54 pm 27 Nov 17

Staff at Kingston Railway Station, Mike and Natalie, are to be congratulated for their efficiency and courtesy. On Wednesday, 22nd November, 2017, I had a Medical Emergency. Mike handled the booking, while Natalie communicated with the Ambulance. After treatment at Canberra Hospital, I returned for the last train to Sydney. Again, Mike handled the booking. I was most impressed with the service received. I would suggest, if not feeling well, don’t board the train. The staff will help in every way possible.

c_c™ 7:15 pm 29 Oct 13

justsomeaussie said :

c_c™ said :

Eastlake/Causeway was home to Canberra’s first industrial area and tips. They coaxed the tenants out, moving them to the railway adjacent part of Fyshwick and built straight over the top. The cost of remediating the area is astronomical. It’s heavily contaminated, well beyond just asbestos. The word from Planning this year, is unless the Commonwealth chips in a lot, then Eastlake isn’t on the horizon. The cost of remediation alone will be more than it will cost to build the public works component of the City to the Lake plan.

If this is the case, then what on earth is the Territory Government doing letting anyone live at the Causeway at all? Surely it’s a litigators dream to have people in Government housing sitting on contaminated land.

Generally speaking if it’s left undisturbed and buried, there’s negligible risk, not counting of course the longer term implications of chemicals like hydrocarbons and electrical oils entering the water table or nearby waterways. Disturbing it for construction is the problem. And since an area quite a bit bigger than The Causeway, on the lake/wetlands side of the existing housing is formerly a tip for all grades of waste, it could be more than just some top layer soil needing remediation.

Deref 11:28 am 29 Oct 13

Roundhead89 said :

It seems that the correct term is “railroad station”. My copy of Webster’s dictionary has no entry for “railway station” or even “railway”.

You’re clearly not aware that Webster’s is an American dictionary. To paraphrase Churchill, America and Australia are two countries separated by a common language.

Roundhead89 11:26 am 29 Oct 13

davo101 said :

Two things:

1. Thank you for calling it a railway station. I’m stick of numpties calling them train stations.
2. There is a long-term plan to move the station to the western side of the Monaro Highway.

It seems that the correct term is “railroad station”. My copy of Webster’s dictionary has no entry for “railway station” or even “railway”.

justsomeaussie 11:19 am 29 Oct 13

c_c™ said :

Eastlake/Causeway was home to Canberra’s first industrial area and tips. They coaxed the tenants out, moving them to the railway adjacent part of Fyshwick and built straight over the top. The cost of remediating the area is astronomical. It’s heavily contaminated, well beyond just asbestos. The word from Planning this year, is unless the Commonwealth chips in a lot, then Eastlake isn’t on the horizon. The cost of remediation alone will be more than it will cost to build the public works component of the City to the Lake plan.

If this is the case, then what on earth is the Territory Government doing letting anyone live at the Causeway at all? Surely it’s a litigators dream to have people in Government housing sitting on contaminated land.

IrishPete 8:04 am 29 Oct 13

All very interesting.

A few points. Many train travellers are pensioners spending just $2.50 one-way. That doesn’t give a lot of financial return. Student fares are also substantially less than regular fares. I doubt the buses to/from the train station are much cop, given some of the times it leaves and arrives, unless you live on that bus route.

The fares are much less than air travel, and when you add in the cost and time of travel to the airport, parking, checkin, baggage retrieval, and travel onwards to your actual destination, it is much much cheaper and doesn’t take much longer. It is the poor frequency of trains that becomes the impediment.

I asked Shane Rattenbury the other day about the service, and he thinks the ACT Government has nothing to do with it. Therein lies the problem – if the NSW Govt, is carrying the whole cost, then ACT will get no say. I suggest people write to Shane asking questions. A few mil shaved off the light rail project could make an enormous difference.

Maybe the Snows would agree to fund the moving of the station to the airport precinct, so regional NSW people could catch the train to catch a plane.

P.s. if the Canberra train went to Sydney Airport, that would also be useful. Changing with baggage is a pain.

miz 7:20 am 29 Oct 13

The proposed light rail would have made more sense if the first leg was going to connect to the railway station (which, BTW, is actually more geographically central than Civic – it’s just that inner northerners try to pretend the southside doesn’t exist!).

But I guess then everyone would have asked why we are not getting a proper under/overground heavy rail system (like Sydney. Melbourne, Brisbane, etc). Sydney has built railway lines under the city, eg Eastern Suburbs line, train line to Sydney airport (around the time of the Olympics).

c_c™ 1:01 am 29 Oct 13

justsomeaussie said :

c_c™ said :

Yeah, um, no. ACTPLA is using the word “renewal” for East Lake these days, and knowing what they know, don’t hold your breath for anything significant happening with that. Maybe some stuff close to Wentworth Ave but anything else won’t be feasible.

Can you elaborate any further? I thought they were always using the word Urban Renewal the entire time but the intention was to pull down the Causeway houses and rezone the entire area medium to high density residential with a school.

I know the edge of First Edition has been stagnate for some time and I thought it was to do with asbestos contamination but it’s hard to get a peep out of anyone.

Any input on East Lake at all would be great.

Eastlake/Causeway was home to Canberra’s first industrial area and tips. They coaxed the tenants out, moving them to the railway adjacent part of Fyshwick and built straight over the top. The cost of remediating the area is astronomical. It’s heavily contaminated, well beyond just asbestos. The word from Planning this year, is unless the Commonwealth chips in a lot, then Eastlake isn’t on the horizon. The cost of remediation alone will be more than it will cost to build the public works component of the City to the Lake plan.

aussielyn 11:00 pm 28 Oct 13

The future of Kingston Railway Station is part of the East Lake development plan. This has been held up because it will cost $100M + to clean up the toxic waste on the site. The ACT treasury is dependent on land sales so it is keen to sell the land. THE ESA Report is here: http://narrabundah.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Eastlake-Final-Report-ESA-Stage-1-19-Oct-2005-alias.pdf

The ACT Railway Masterplan report is here: http://www.actpla.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/16354/Railway_Masterplan_Report.pdf

Minister Corbell tweeted to me @ACTVCC that the new light rail gauge has yet to be determined but un-likely to be same as heavy gauge. So light rail will not be integrated with the line at Kingston Railway Station. Therefore, the scene is being set to get rid of the station and the line. The NSW Liberals would prefer to sell off country railway as it is very costly to maintain.
I have a small pocket history of early rail in the ACT here: http://narrabundah.org.au/?page_id=926

curlylocks 10:34 pm 28 Oct 13

I have heard rumours that they want to place the railway Station Here: https://maps.google.com.au/?ll=-35.320144,149.155031&spn=0.002996,0.004128&t=h&z=19

Bunnings at present own the land.

justsomeaussie 6:05 pm 28 Oct 13

c_c™ said :

Yeah, um, no. ACTPLA is using the word “renewal” for East Lake these days, and knowing what they know, don’t hold your breath for anything significant happening with that. Maybe some stuff close to Wentworth Ave but anything else won’t be feasible.

Can you elaborate any further? I thought they were always using the word Urban Renewal the entire time but the intention was to pull down the Causeway houses and rezone the entire area medium to high density residential with a school.

I know the edge of First Edition has been stagnate for some time and I thought it was to do with asbestos contamination but it’s hard to get a peep out of anyone.

Any input on East Lake at all would be great.

MrPC 6:01 pm 28 Oct 13

As has been correctly pointed out by gooterz, the line used to go to Civic. The bridge across the Molonglo River (now LBG) was washed away in a flood, and there was never much point in replacing it, so the rail line has terminated at Kingston ever since.

As a Queanbeyan resident I take the train to Sydney occasionally. The fare is not so bad once you factor out the $8 bus fare from QBN to Civic and the 35 minutes that bus takes to get to Civic, plus the waiting time there. The seats are far more spacious on the train, the food sold onboard is edible (just), the scenery is nicer (the freeway rarely gets in the way of the scenery), you’re able to stand up and stretch aboard the train without looking at all odd, and you can get off the train at Campbelltown to get the local trains from there (for the East Hills and South lines anyway) instead of having to go all the way into Central and back out again on the bus, regardless of your actual destination. Sure, you could get off at Sydney Airport and get the train from there, and save about 40 minutes (for the Illawarra and East Hills lines), but it’ll cost you an airport rail access charge (about another $12).

On the plus side they did just make the evening service run 7 nights a week (in both directions) as of a week ago. It used to only run 4 nights a week, making it difficult to get home from medical appointments in Sydney.

c_c™ 3:21 pm 28 Oct 13

Why is it terrible? Because there’s no co-location, it’s stand alone, and the demographic that use it aren’t worth investing in.

justsomeaussie said :

With the East Lake development going ahead next year (supposedly)

Yeah, um, no. ACTPLA is using the word “renewal” for East Lake these days, and knowing what they know, don’t hold your breath for anything significant happening with that. Maybe some stuff close to Wentworth Ave but anything else won’t be feasible.

Innovation 2:00 pm 28 Oct 13

The bus station at Jolimont is not much better. Yes, it’s centrally located but it’s tired and run down and it’s often quite hard to get even a five minute car park to drop someone off or pick them up. The buses (including Greyhound’s business class service) are cramped, are hard to read on and typically only stop at the airport or Central. Sometimes the bus can take up to an extra hour when there are traffic jams getting in and out of Sydney.

The train station at Kingston has plenty of parking, I think is on the red rapid route and includes Western Sydney stops on the way into Central? The train would probably get better patronage if they put on extra carriages (with a consequent reduction in the per passenger price) and provided wifi. Many people wouldn’t care about the extra hour or sparse services if they could still be productive on the trip.

Paul0075 12:38 pm 28 Oct 13

The other option is keep it in its current location and just re-extend the line to Civic, so that way both sides of the lake has access to a railway service.

The issue with the railway service is that the folk in NSW don’t want to spend outside of their borders and don’t see this city as a priority for them.

The train in theory should be quicker than road transport, but with the lack of investment on our line in general, I can’t see it getting any better any time soon.

davo101 12:14 pm 28 Oct 13

enrique said :

Where?

Here. Probably should of said towards Fyshwick…

HiddenDragon 12:06 pm 28 Oct 13

My bet is for the Kingston station to be closed, sooner rather than later, to make way for redevelopment – in the interim (i.e. forever) Canberrans will be able to use the Queanbeyan station, pending the VFT…….

Madam Cholet 12:04 pm 28 Oct 13

I caught the train not that long ago from Sydney to Canberra. I thought it was marvellous, especially as I had a table which I could get the laptop and ipad out on and do my uni assignment for four hours (didn’t help my mark unfortunately!). Try doing that on a bus. And, I could get up and walk around and get ‘food’.

I don’t think the price is prohibitive. I recall also that that when they tried to reduce the services all hell let loose. And what’s more the train is pretty busy at all times.

So, it’s in Kingston. A short walk across to the Kingston shops where you could get a bus, and hey, you can get a bus from the station as well into town – who’d have thought.

I’m not sure that many people actually live on top of their public transport options or even want to. I managed to get to Central station in Sydney when I caught the train and tha’t’s in a really crap place.

justsomeaussie 10:56 am 28 Oct 13

Wouldn’t it be simpler and I dare say it in Canberra, cheaper, to just run a ferry across the Lake? With some of the proposed developments on the Acton foreshore it would make sense to have a ferry service anyway.

thatsnotme 10:31 am 28 Oct 13

The station could be brand new and centrally located, but it’ll all be for nothing as long as we’re connected with terrible tracks that force trains to crawl along at the beat of times – let alone when it’s hot.

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