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Keep a rail corridor into Civic

By I-filed - 26 August 2009 50

Stanhope on 666 this morning accused citizens texting in to express concern about the proposal to develop the Kingston Rail Site, and move the train station further out, of “being misinformed”. Without detail on the table, it’s hard to be informed, isn’t it?
What a retrograde step – moving any opportunity for a rail hub further out from central Canberra! It was already a hassle having the train line ending at Kingston.
Any environmentally valid, strategic plans to redevelop the shunting yards would simply have to keep a rail corridor with the potential to run right into Civic.
Perhaps not even in the mid term, rail may stay under-used. But the long-term should be clear: high speed train to Sydney, and light rail potentially using heavy-rail infrastructure.
How on Earth did the CSIRO scientists manage to figure that turning the Kingston rail site into apartments is in keeping with sound environmental planning?
And where’s the evidence of public consultation on the part of CSIRO/ACTPLA on this one?

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50 Responses to
Keep a rail corridor into Civic
Pandy 7:08 pm 26 Aug 09

ACT Light Rail I am sure can tell you submitted something about saving the
corridor a couple of years ago.

The CSIRO released a future options paper on the rail yards in September 2007. Where is the final report? Where is the Rail Master plan? Back then CSIRO said that the rail station could move to Fyshwick but that the rail corridor should be reserved. I am all for saving the corridor for public transit use. Let the Greens
and Liberals block the idea.

I guess, that the railway museum out there be amply compensated and have a
site where they can build a new depot. Suggest that they build over Oaks
Estate as only the poor live there and do not fit in well with Stanhopes
Ceasescu dream (and we all know what happened to ‘ol Nicolae don’t we!)

Frankly, unless Stanhope is sucking on the Snows, the enviromentally sustainable option for travel is to reserve a high speed train corridor. don’t see it happening through Civic as WBG had wanted, but up through Majura Valley. Thus the new train station should be built near the airport.

arescarti42 7:05 pm 26 Aug 09

Great, way to mortgage Canberra’s future even further Stanhope. Political leadership sure is non existent in this town.

Gungahlin Al for Chief Minister I say.

iamspam 6:41 pm 26 Aug 09

As much as I love all things train, what rail corridor would be preserved, exactly? While it’s all nice and well to say SAVE THE TRAINS, there’s not really much to save at the moment. The Kingston terminus is a dead end, a throwback to when the rail line was used to deliver goods to Eastlake, like Danman says at #9.

If there were to be future funtimes with any form of Canberra rail (HS or light rail), it wouldn’t save anyone any time or money by using the current Kingston tracks. There’s not really anywhere a rail extension could go from there – it’s surrounded by apartments, wetlands and the lake.

Thumper 6:34 pm 26 Aug 09

Bus depot, train station.

Anyone see a link here?

It’s a money grab and I’m expecting a horror budget in the next year or two, given the government’s near panic to flog off whatever it can to developers.

George D 5:39 pm 26 Aug 09

Just hope they keep the museum where it is though.

Canberra isn’t going anywhere, Stanhope hasn’t sold it. Yet.

JC 4:17 pm 26 Aug 09

If we get high speed to Canberra they won’t use the line into Kingston. Now if this proposal is just the sidings then what’s the issue? They are under utilised as it is. Just hope they keep the museum where it is though.

Danman 3:30 pm 26 Aug 09

Uhh Sepi, I believe (Happy to be corrected) that Canberras Only rail connection to Melbourne is via Yass train station. Not sure where Kingston goes besides the usual suspects i.e Bungendore, Sydney etc.

Does it do the Bredbo line ?

In any case, few people know that Kingston lines used to extend from Kingston to the back of the Powerstation in Kingston and on to the Yarralumla Brickworks.

In fact I am pretty sure that the powerstation was made with local Yarralumla bricks.

If you exit the Kingston Markets to the rear carpark, you can see some inlaid “Rails” in the new footpath that symbolise this long forgotten line.

Tearing down the shunting yards and moving the station more easterly is just yet another money grab for valuable real estate. What next… Just make the whole area yuppie shoeboxes, be honest and get it done.

Do not insult the intelligence of Canberrans by trying to veil your intentions with thinly disguised studies.

Buzz2600 3:16 pm 26 Aug 09

While just about every ‘sustainable’ development plan in the world these days encorporates public transport infrastructure, such as rail, Stanhope proposes to demolish it and send it even further out to Fyshwick or QBN. If they ever wanted to make make people LESS reliant on cars and use rail this has got to be the worst idea they could propose. What about frieght into Canberra? Will now have to rely solely on trucks, increasing traffic, pollution, carbon footprint….. What is ACTPLA & CSIRO thinking – oh, thats right, we don’t know because its not been released yet (how misinformed of me!)?

I lived in Washington DC for three years and travelled every day on the Metro – what a great system! Not without its occasional problems, but there was no need for a car!

I say build a link underground to Civic and allow people the option of a train journey (on a decent timetable) or bus and I know what I would choose, even if it is more expensive! Sure, we don’t have the same population levels, but add together the population mass of the whole South East Australian corridor and you’ve got a huge number of people needing a better mass transport system than what we’ve got.

I listened to Stanhope this morning on the radio & he basically confirmed its all about selling the prime real estate Kingston station is sitting on. Thats the bottom line.

p1 2:53 pm 26 Aug 09

Bet you don’t catch the airport complaining about this…

youami 2:46 pm 26 Aug 09

Hopefully not off-topic, but apparently, if trains were ever removed from Canberra, it will be the only national capital city in the English-speaking OECD without a train service. Forget car-dominance in LA, think Canberra!

James-T-Kirk 2:41 pm 26 Aug 09

Keep it to allow Light Rail – the poor man’s bicycle.

As long as you have enough people to support it. Come back when we have 4+ million people here…

youami 2:35 pm 26 Aug 09

I agree that rail should not be moved from where it is, however, having the station at Kingston is no more difficult than having the airport at Pialligo, in fact, more convenient at Kingston because of more frequent buses and access to facilities such as hotels/motels and shops. Anyway, any argument should keep heavy-rail and light-rail separate as I believe they are mutually exclusive. Heavy-rail is not an option for Canberra, light-rail may be in the future. High-speed Heavy-rail, if it ever becomes reality, should not go any where near Civic but instead skirt around it (say come in and diverge from Queanbeyan through to the airport and up along a new Majura Rd corridor and head off towards Yass and Melbourne). Logistically, heavy-rail and moreso high-speed heavey-rail need their own right-of-way with bridges and interchanges etc or go underground and that is just not feasible for us 340,000-odd citizens to fund that. Also, keep in mind heavy-rail did once go to Civic before the lake and before floods washed away the causeway over the river. The causeway was, clearly, never rebuilt.

Gungahlin Al 2:35 pm 26 Aug 09

Jon Stanhope also claimed this morning that all their studies to date say light rail doesn’t stack up. Not true. The PWC cost/benefit report said it would save/make the ACT an absolute motza – and that didn’t include increased land prices and rates…

I can understand them wanting to wind back the shunting yards, but please keep a two-way corridor open.
Governments around Australia are spending trainloads trying to buy back rail corridors. Can’t our government here for once learn from past mistakes?

PM 2:30 pm 26 Aug 09

It’s a money-grab. He doesn’t care about rail of any kind.

sepi 2:19 pm 26 Aug 09

this is an unbelievably stupid idea.

Demolishing Canberra’s train connection to Melbourne and Sydney could well end up being Stanhope’s legacy, rather than the arboretum he so fondly imagines.

CT article states that passengers to Sydney have increased recently. this is amazing in the face of rail timetable cuts, and shows a real demand for the trains.

Bring back the railways!!!

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