Aussie first pedestrian rail crossing in Pomona
POMONA railway station pedestrian crossing is now home to an Australian-first pedestrian signal which alerts customers with a 'Another Train Coming' signal and tone alarm.
This cutting edge warning system has received the thumbs up from locals who fought to keep the vital town link open, as well as Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey and Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton during a local inspection tour.
Mr Bailey was on hand to inspect $7 million worth of construction works at the Cooran, Pomona and Eumundi station platforms.
Locals said the path now forms part of an east-west walking and cycling route through town that will become important to the Noosa Trail Network. These improvements are predicted to help make Pomona the hub for 100km of paths winding through the hinterland.
Mr Bailey and Ms Bolton acknowledged local community groups for their role in making sure the upgrades reflected the unique character of the hinterland communities.
Mr Bailey said Queensland Rail crews had worked throughout the year to rollout more accessible platforms, waiting shelters, upgraded lighting, security cameras and in Pomona managed to retain some original pieces of history.
"As part of Pomona station upgrade, Queensland Rail was able to install new welcome signage, an accessible parking bay and landscaping, together with a heritage seat and plaque at the station building.
"New concrete footpaths, with lighting, have also been completed on both sides of the station which now connect with the council footpath on Station St," Mr Bailey said.
Ms Bolton said: "These works have some wonderful additions, including cutting edge technology and accessibility for all-abilities with the new ramp access to the platform and cross-town pathway.
"Given the historical significance of this crossing, and the saving of, this has been a welcomed outcome, and residents are to be heartily congratulated for their united voice on this," she said.
The minister is also being urged to consider to have five shuttle trains operating daily each way between Nambour and Gympie North by advocacy group Rail Back On Track.
Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the investment made in the three station upgrades and improvements made to the Yandina and Cooroy railway stations in recent years should pave the way for shuttle trains to run through the Noosa hinterland.
These would be in addition to the two return express services morning and night.
"As more people call the railway towns of the Sunshine Coast and Noosa hinterland home, additional thought needs to be given to the contribution they make to the settlement pattern of southeast and the need generated for more frequent trains operating as shuttles between Nambour and Gympie North," Mr Dow said.
He said while there was congestion on the tracks south of Nambour, this was less of a problem northwards where shuttle trains could be scheduled within the passenger rail timetable.
"The momentum gained with this work needs to continue, first by ensuring that the reliability of the existing two return train services a day achieve an on-time running performance rating above the 79.04 per cent level recorded in financial year 2018-19.
"This can be done by using trains other than the ageing Intercity Express train sets, which are at the end of their useful life, and fitting new trains with safety gear," Mr Dow said.