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Queensland Rail's operations on the new tracks, Corinda - Darra

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John Nightingale
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 03/03/2010 - 1:04pm
Queensland Rail's operations on the new tracks, Corinda - Darra

 The South West News this week had an item about noise created by coal freight trains at Darra, exacerbated by a new embankment. This stimulated me to send QR a message about their use, or lack of use, of the new freight line. We have found noise an increasing problem, more trains I guess, but also the way the line is used by train controllers. Recently an anonymous flyer from a resident suggested complaining to QR, but as it was anonymous I was loath to take up the issue. However, I have no sent the following:


My back fence abuts the noise barrier on the railway between Dunlop Tce and Allan Tce, Corinda. You recently spent millions adding a dedicated and non-electrified freight line and passing loop between Corinda Station and Allan Tce to cope with increased demand for freight and passenger capacity on the Ipswich line.
However, since the opening of the new lines your train controllers have persisted in routing Port bound coal trains on the old inbound line used by passenger trains. The problem this creates is that the coal trains must cross numerous points to attain the Corinda/Yeeronpilly line.
While the noise of each train remains much as it was before, there are now more freight services and there is an alternative - the freight line and its passing loop. Services on these lines do no cross points except at Allan Tce and at Corinda Station.
The noise levels of these freights are almost entirely unnecessary, especially during the dead of night when the noise level is most intrusive, as the freight line and passing loop are both available.
I have a good view of the line while at home, and have observed the lack of use of the passing loop (I have seen a ballast train parked on the loop for some hours, and once a freight outbound while a disabled(?) pair of diesel locos waited on the freight line). It is clear that your controllers are using routines that come from pre-freight line times: ie, use the old inbound line (known, I believe, as the main line in that direction) unless there is a conflicting passenger service.
I request a noise audit at night - a time between midnight and 5am - to establish the levels imposed by the current practice. That is, the noise level of freights using the dedicated freight line, empty and full-loaded Versus the noise level of the equivalent freights using the old main line.
Yours sincerely,
John Nightingale,
12 Walker St
Corinda, 4075


Last seen: 7 years 4 weeks ago
Joined: 10/05/2011 - 5:54pm
Qld Rail Noise

I have also sent a letter to Qld Rail and also my local member regarding the increase of noise from the railway yard near our home. This is a summary of what I sent

We are writing to you regarding the constant screeching of brakes from the trains. We live not far from the Corinda Depot and since they have taken over the property and removed the demountable buildings and container and cut back the shrubs the noise level has increased enormously.

We have lived here now for 6 years and its only in the last 4 months that the noise factor has increased as well as the regular notification of work from 11pm to 6am. The other side of the railway line has noise barriers but along Oxley Road side there are no noise barriers. What needs to be done to have them installed?. We have the backing of a lot of our neighbours and wish to pursue this matter further. I look forward to meeting or discussing this matter further.

wolf schoen
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 26/04/2012 - 4:19pm
Rail Noise and Dust Issues with QR

This was our last communication with QR.  We are waiting now for the letter of reply to our noise and soot complaint.
Wed, 30 May 2012 05:34:35 +1000
Dear Mr Pistak

I am writing to you in regard to the train noise issue we are forced to deal with in Allan Terrace, Corinda.

The noise has reached an unbearable stage and is no longer tolerable. Being woken up by the extreme noise/pressure levels generated by the coal trains during the night in particular, most nights, and numerous times has become very stressful indeed. Often the inability to get back to sleep because of the coal train frequency, is not conducive to completing an effective day’s work either. Having our house walls and often floor boards vibrate and our windows rattle every time a coal train passes, are by any standard unacceptable conditions to live under. In other words, virtually every passing coal train and some of the other freight trains, exceed the “Environment Protection (Noise) Policy 2008 “Acoustic quality objectives.
I have been waiting for Mr Chris Stewart from QR Communications to contact me after QR’s internal meeting on 14 May 2012.

He has not contacted me to this date. Therefore I am contacting you as the QR Chief Network Officer.

Can you please inform us about QR’s plans and timeframe to address the extreme train noise issue in regard to Allan Terrace, Corinda and hopefully confirm that we are dealing with safe soot levels, both from the coal wagons and the diesel locomotives? The idea of being exposed to, in particular diesel locomotive, small particle emissions is of great concern. The ability of those particles to penetrate lung tissue, like asbestos, is not something we think we should be forced to take a chance with.

We are looking forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely
Wolf Schoenknecht & Family
24 Allan Terrace
Corinda  4075
 Mr Schoenknecht  John Pistak has forwarded me your latest email.

When we spoke on 14 May - after your referral to me by the office of the Director-General of Transport -  I did say that someone would be in touch with you as soon as possible after the meeting that day.

 As it happened, that same day your correspondence with the Minister for Transport and Main Roads arrived, meaning that we focused on responding with the latest information through the Minister.

 I tried to call you but the phone number we had on file was for a Ray White Real Estate Office at Oxley and I did not have this email address.

A letter to you responding to noise and coal dust issues is now with the Minister's Office for signature.

I understand your frustration and concern.  That's why I said on 14 May that if you did not hear from someone within a day or so to call me back, because you had my mobile number. 

I assure you we are taking your concerns seriously.
Without pre-empting the response from the Minister, I can tell you that we have had a number of meetings within Queensland Rail and with the operator of the coal trains, QR National (a public listed company unrelated to Queensland Rail) to explore all possible measures to address your concerns.

 We have already carried out some work on the tracks, and are planning some other near term operational measures in conjunction with QR National and Pacific National (who operate freight trains on this network) to modify the way freight trains move through the Corinda area. This includes modifyingdriving technique and reducing stopping and starting.

 We continue to work on the issues and will continue to keep residents of Corinda up to date through our communication team.

 Chris Stewart
GM Government and Stakeholder Relationships
Level 15, 295 Ann
BrisbaneGPO Box 1429Brisbane Qld 4001 T: 8922005  M: 0417 603907  F: 8923451

wolf schoen
Last seen: 6 years 11 months ago
Joined: 26/04/2012 - 4:19pm
The latest communications to QR

11 June 2012
Dear Mr Benstead
Thank you for responding to our email to Mr. John Pistak for him. Your expressed written commitment that QR takes our concerns seriously, is reassuring.
We believe the time has come for QR to prioritize the extension of the acoustic fence northwards from the old Corinda Primary School Site Redevelopment complex to past the Allan Terrace Bridge. Even the Qxley Station Park “n” ride car park in Ardoyne Road has a high beautiful acoustic fence. Why don’t we?
How does one of your 10 sound monitoring locations in ”an adjacent street and similar distance from the rail corridor” inform you about the noise impact on Allan Terrace?
The new fourth industrial un-electrified railway track is on the Allan Terrace side. In reference to our personal situation only18 meters away from our property line, the close proximity of that track and the massive noise and dust pollution from that track is our major issue of complaint.
My own readings from my Sound Meter (AEMC Model CA832) inform me that QR’s Interim Levels (4.3 Code of Practice Railway Noise Management) are breached by practically every coal train and most other goods trains. I have previously informed QR about this aspect of our complaint via emails to Ms Claudette Poulson.
According to my Sound Meter readings, Allan Terrace would make QR’s NNMP Priority List one (1) (p. 29 Code of Practice Railway Noise Management) easily.  The latest Single Event Maximum Sound Pressure Level I recorded on my Sound Meter and captured on my video camera, was 103.9 aB(A) on Sunday,  3rd June 20012  at approx. 19.45 o’clock.
Historical evidence I have on file from the year 2000, and in reference to the old Corinda  Primary School Site Redevelopment, support the claim that excessive noise levels are really not something new in regard to Allan Terrace. In the Noise Assessment Report for that Redevelopment it states: “The highest train passby noise level at the LD 720 site was 96 dBA, with an average maximum LAmax of 83 dBA to 84 dBA. At the LD700 site the highest LAmax   recorded was 97 dBA, with an average maximum LAmax of 87 dBA.”.… “The results of these measurements, presented in Appendix B, indicate that Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) Citytrains and diesel-locomotive-hauled (coal and general-freight) trains are both significant noise sources. QR has advised that there are typically around 106 electric passenger train movements and 45 freight train movements on this line each weekday.” (Richard Heggie Associates Pty LTD, 26 October 2000, p3. point 2.2).
How many freight train movements are we forced to deal with now? How many of these movements are at night? How many of these movements are on weekends and public holidays? This moment in time, 1.02am Tuesday 12th of June 2012, too many to let me go to sleep!
I request that you act in this matter urgently. I request an Environmental Noise Assessment report for Allan Terrace, Corinda. Having houses vibrate and windows shake in Allan Terrace with every freight train passing and making people’s lives unbearable because of freight train noise disturbance is not the way forward.
Our family and many others in Allan Terrace have lived here for a long time (in our case 21 years). We believe in, understand and have always been supportive of a sustainable rail network and the consequences associated with it.
However, it seems that QR is either ignoring or taking advantage of the tolerance of people living along the rail corridors of this city, especially in regard to the unsustainable noise/dust issues generated by freight trains. Running large volume freight trains and large volume passenger trains together on a city rail corridor original designed for a much lesser dense environment is inherently problematic; however there is a kind of flippantness or disregard by QR in regard to seriously addressing our complaints.
A brief personnel perspective on the dust issue:
Wiping my finger along the chamfer boards of our house and the slats of our verandah and deck produces a very black finger. The recently painted outside of our house already needs high pressure cleaning desperately.
The cartridge filter of our pool pump, when taken out for cleaning, is these days a distinct grey/black, while in the past it was more a brown/rust colour.
Our family’s main concern in regard to the dust issue is: the “Diesel particle matter of PM2.5 as a noxious form of air pollution”.
 Like many others across Brisbane, I intend shortly to report to the managers of the Queensland Environmental Protection Act 1994 in regard to the dust issue. And if necessary I will request the help of Ms Jo Bragg in her role as an environmental lawyer.
As per your request in your letter, I am very happy to conduct any future communications with QR via Ms Fiona Byles (General Manager Environment).
My employer does not permit private phone conversations during working hours. Other commitments during the day and the general complexity of things make it inconvenient to deal with her over the phone. After all, I deal with this rail issue only during parts of my Rest and Recuperation time. I don’t have the luxury to treat it as an occupation. Therefore I would like an alternate point of contact with her.  
In conclusion, improved and more detailed attendance to maintenance by QR National would have detected that, for more than a few months, they have been running wagons with faulty bogies that make more of a racket than the others.
Finally, I like to finish with a quote from a resident up the track: “If QR, would give a little instead of just doing whatever it likes, then we could all live a little more harmoniously.” (Full transcript attached as PDF, sourced from QR new workshop application No A003321800 to BCC)
With the hope of a positive outcome,
Yours sincerely,
Regards from
Wolfgang (Wolf) Schoenknecht and family
24 Allan Terrace ,
Corinda  Qld  4075

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