Final works on a $4.8 million facelift of Far North Queensland’s popular Freshwater station are now complete, enhancing the site’s facilities for the more than 400,000 customers who enjoy the Kuranda Scenic Railway (KSR) service every year.
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said the project had boosted efficiency and the customer experience at the station, delivering improvements to the station’s coach and bus interchange, car parking and platform facilities, as well as a new transit shelter.
“Freshwater station is iconic to the Far North Queensland region and plays a pivotal role in the tourist-favourite KSR service. The Palaszczuk Government is pleased to have invested more than $4.8 million to improve the station precinct and boost the tourism experience at this location,” Mr Crawford said.
“Freshwater station accommodates around 60 per cent of customer boardings for the KSR, which is proudly regarded as Queensland Rail’s most popular tourist service.
“Last financial year, the KSR attracted more than 400,000 visitors keen to explore the stunning Barron Gorge and world heritage listed rainforests.
“We know the KSR plays an important part in the Far North’s tourism industry, attracting visitors from right around the world including Japan, Korea, China, the European nations and the Americas, which is why we’re committed to investing in this tourism icon.
“The Freshwater station upgrade has greatly improved the efficiency of the station, with a new bus interchange catering for six coach buses and six minibuses, and a new covered walkway for pedestrians providing a safer, all-weather connection from the interchange to the station.
“Twenty customer car parking spaces have also been relocated to Meller Street and two new accessible car spaces and a new drop-off zone with a waiting shelter are now situated at the station entrance.
“Running parallel to the station, Meller Street has also been widened to two lanes, ensuring there is adequate turning space for vehicles to access the new car park.”
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the most recent works completed also involved the extension of the station’s platform to better experience the local railway history no matter what the weather.
“This builds upon the most recently completed work, which involved extending the length of the station platform to cater for a full service 15-carriage KSR train to ensure boarding efficiencies, as well as tactile markers which have been installed along the full length of the platform to enhance accessibility.”
“The first stage of the project, completed in 2017, saw a refurbishment of Red Lynch’s Cottage – a historic pioneer cottage that provides a unique educational experience for visitors. The cottage was refurbished and repainted, with repairs to the roof, floor and cladding to preserve the building.
“This upgrade is fantastic news for the Freshwater community and visiting tourists, who will benefit from accessible improvements and a more modern, enjoyable customer experience.”
Freshwater station upgrade works now completed include:
- Improvements to the coach and bus interchange, catering for six road coaches and six minibuses
- A new covered walkway constructed from the interchange to the station
- Twenty customer car parking spaces relocated to Meller Street
- Two new accessible car spaces and a new drop-off zone with a waiting shelter installed at the station entrance
- Meller Street widened to two lanes to improve vehicle access
- Length of the station platform extended to cater for a full service 15-carriage KSR train
- Tactile markers installed along the full length of the platform to enhance accessibility
- Improved signage
- Refurbishment and repainting of Red Lynch’s Cottage, which included repairs to the roof, floor and cladding to preserve the building.