New system to propel commuters into the future

A HI-TECH train tracking system combined with the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail tunnels will mean passengers will see more trains more often - up to 24 an hour - on the southeast Queensland rail network.

The European Train Control System (ETCS) means trains can be run closer together on the tracks with beacons along the line feeding back information to the driver and the control centre, as well as more accurate real time schedules for passengers.

The Cross River Rail twin tunnels under the Brisbane River will end the Merivale single bridge bottleneck choking the rail system, the project delivery authority says, and, together with the European Train Control System, will enable up to 24 trains per hour by 2036.

On top of the futuristic train management system, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority has also created the state's most detailed digital 3D computerised map, creating a 17km digital model of the project.

The virtual Cross River Rail has helped engineers design the mammoth building project as well as guided planners to plot the best way to move passengers in and out of the stations 30m below ground.

The digital model of the whole project includes concepts of what the stations and the precincts surrounding them might look like in 2025, after the project's completion.

State Development Minister Kate Jones said Cross River Rail would help give southeast Queensland among the best public transport systems in the country.

"When I went to Melbourne as a 16-year-old, I was staggered at how quickly and easily you could catch a train, tram or bus," Ms Jones said.

"Queenslanders couldn't dream of that kind of integrated transport system in the early 1990s.

"Through Cross River Rail, we're building one of the most modern, quickest transport systems this country has ever seen.

"A new turn-up-and-go transport system will allow commuters to arrive at a station in peak hour and jump on a carriage in five minutes. It will be transformational. It will really have an impact on people's lives."

The Courier-Mail in conjunction with the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority is presenting a series looking at the project and what it will bring to the state.

Construction of the project is pouring $2.8 million a day into the Queensland economy - jumping to $4 million a day as it ramps up even further through the second half of the year - and currently employs 1800 people across eight sites, peaking at more than 3000.

The 10.2km railway line will run from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills and include 5.9km of twin tunnels under the river and Brisbane CBD and four new, underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street as well as upgrades at other stations.

It is projected to take 47,000 people off roads and offer a turn-up-and-go train timetable that shortens waiting times.

Originally published as New system to propel commuters into the future