By Rachel Riley
Queensland Rail is planning a major restoration project for one of Brisbane’s busiest train stations, with South Brisbane station closed to passengers for approximately six weeks.
The proposed “South Brisbane Station Upgrade Project” will include improvements to the station’s three platforms, amenity facilities and on site security.
The project will also improve the comfort and travel of up to 4,000 passengers who use the 120-year-old station every day.
In a statement, Minister for Transport and Multicultural Affairs Annastacia Palaszczuk, says the project will also “restore and preserve the historic rail landmark” with its trademark red bricks to be restored.
The project is expected to cost $10 million and is part of an infrastructure investment program by the Queensland Government to make improvements at approximately 50 train stations on the network.
Robert Dow, spokesman for commuter advocacy group Rail Back on Track, says South Brisbane station is one of Brisbane’s oldest and is in definite need of an upgrade, especially regarding its platform heights.
“The railway stations on our network have been there for up to 100 years so the platform heights do need raising,” Mr Dow said.
“This improves access for people, particular people with impaired mobility and people in wheel chairs.”
Mr Dow says the station upgrade will only affect those passengers who board and de-train at South Brisbane, with trains to still run through the station to and from the city.
He says people should not be concerned as alternative arrangements will be made available for any passengers inconvenienced.
“There will be some disruption as the station is closed clearly,” he said.
“[But] there are options in terms of accessing the South East Busway from South Bank railway station and there has been some suggestion there will also be shuttles buses.”
Meanwhile, authorities have been door knocking local residents and surrounding businesses to inform them of the proposed changes to the station.
Owner of South Brisbane station’s News and Casket Ron Wedlake says he has been consulted and offered compensation by Queensland Rail and the proposed restoration plans look very exciting.
“Queensland Rail have offered us certain incentives … and I’m quite excited about the whole project actually, I think it will enhance the area significantly,” Mr Wedlake said.
Mr Wedlake says he believes local business and the greater South Brisbane community will really benefit.
“Certainly from a business perspective we are quite excited about it … for the area,” he said.
“It’s going to be restored back to its original condition … and I can’t see anything but positives coming out of it.”
South Brisbane station will be closed to passengers from October 31 and is not expected to be open again until December 9.
Queensland Rail: South Brisbane Station Upgrade
Translink: South Brisbane station upgrade