Townsville train station has been identified as a priority site for an overhaul, as part of a budget commitment to improve accessibility and the customer experience at regional stations.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said this year’s budget saw the Regional Station Accessibility Upgrade Program expanded to include two additional stations.
“This enhanced program will see upgrades get underway at Cairns and Townsville stations, in addition to work continuing at Rockhampton, Maryborough West and Bundaberg stations,” Mr Bailey said.
“Townsville station is a key regional rail hub that sees close to 20,000 customer journeys each year, and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to improving these important facilities for locals and tourists alike.
“A $1 million feasibility study for Townsville is being planned and is expected to be completed in 2023.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the proposal planned to deliver improvements and upgraded facilities for all members of the community.
“This budget is a budget that delivers for all of Queensland, and especially for our regional centres,” he said.
“Accessibility improvements make our transport services easier for people of all abilities to access, whether that be parents with prams, families with luggage or people with disabilities.
“Our priority with this budget is to deliver the people of Queensland with better services, which is exactly what we will achieve through this program.
“Proposed improvements include a refurbished station precinct on the existing site with uplifts like customer lounges with improved seating, tables and air conditioning, breakout areas with device charging stations, an integrated travel centre and luggage check-in facility.
“A seating refresh, enhanced signage, service information screens, public announcement systems and new emergency help phones are also proposed throughout the station, significantly improving the customer experience.”
Mr Stewart said the proposal will make it safer and easier for people of all abilities to have access to the fantastic long-distance trains services this state has to offer.
“Whether you’re heading home from a holiday in Brisbane, or catching the Spirit of Queensland to Cairns, having access to improved facilities will be welcomed by all those who visit.”
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said more accessible car parking would be welcomed.
“Better access to services will see more Queenslanders enjoying the services that regional Queensland has to offer,” Mr Harper said.
“Upgrades may also include installation of tactile ground indicators, handrails where required and an upgrade to the accessible toilets for enhanced customer comforts and a more modern look and feel.
“A new drop-off zone will also be considered that integrates with other public transport providers, for improved connections.”
Member for Mundingburra Les Walker said good Queensland jobs would be supported by the investment.
“The Palaszczuk Government is supporting good jobs across the state, and this is just another example of that in action,” Mr Walker said.
“I look forward to seeing the feasibility study get underway as the Palaszczuk Government backs Townsville.
“This investment complements the many highlights of the budget, including most hospital beds, better mental health services along with the upgrade of Stuart Drive and Bowen Bridge Road.”
Assistant Minister for Train Manufacturing and Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said Queensland Rail was currently undertaking planning and technical studies for upgrades to Rockhampton and Maryborough West stations, while a feasibility study for Bundaberg station is expected to be completed in mid-2023.
“These are some of our most-frequented stations on Queensland Rail’s regional network, and I look forward to them having more modern, accessible, customer-focused facilities for locals and visitors alike,” Mr Saunders.