Push to bring back Gatton trains
PASSENGER train services should return to Gatton to serve the burgeoning Lockyer Valley region, according to rail campaigners and community leaders.
With Gatton continuing to grow and the 300-bed, $485 million women's correctional centre at Spring Creek set to open later this year, many believe the time is right to reintroduce services.
The Queensland Rail city network currently ends at Rosewood on the Ipswich line, but there are tracks between Rosewood and Gatton from long gone former passenger services.
Robert Dow, from commuter lobby group Rail Back on Track, said diesel engine trains similar to ones used in Victoria could be used on the existing train tracks straight away.
While those services were operating, Queensland Rail could electrify the line to allow for future electric services.
“We really think it makes sense to extend the services out to Gatton,” Mr Dow said.
“There's a need to focus on sustainable transport solutions for the future, and servicing a growing area like the Lockyer Valley with trains is a sensible way to do that.”
Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said electrified lines should be introduced as soon as possible to support the Lockyer Valley and surrounding populations.
“It's something we've lobbied for for years to be done,” he said.
Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss said he would prefer to see a bus service introduced between Gatton and the Dinmore train station.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said a rail corridor through the area had been identified in the Gowrie to Grandchester Rail Corridor Study completed in 2003.
The corridor is expected to be delivered between 2026 and 2031.
In a statement, the department said constructing a rail line through the Grandchester range would be difficult.
“The existing alignment is based on 1860s design, and the Gowrie to Grandchester Rail Corridor Study indicates a new tunnel would be required in this location. This means that any interim rail extension from Rosewood to Gatton would involve very significant costs,” the statement said.