Off The Rails Day 5: A Seamless Gold Coast Test

The Off The Rails experiment has seen some pretty variable results, so it was pleasing to run a test journey from the Brisbane CBD to the Gold Coast and back again and encounter no issues whatsoever.

The Gold Coast rail line is useful for both commuters and tourists, but given that most of it runs in the hinterland and I've had so many drop-outs in trains during the last week, I wasn't necessarily expecting to remain connected. However, the Telstra Ultimate USB ran without a hitch or a dropout on the whole journey to Robina and the whole journey back.

At Roma St, my tests got a download speed of 12.42Mbps (pretty much as high as this service ever gets, uploads at 1.73Mbps and a 95ms ping time. The Robina speeds were slower (6.17Mbps, 0.44Mbps and 109ms) but more than acceptable. The fact that it stayed connected throughout would definitely be good news for anyone doing this trip daily and hoping to make their commute more productive, and compares very favourably with similar tests I've tried in Perth and Sydney.

I'd taken the night train from Sawtell to Brisbane on Sunday, but my devotion to the cause was not so strong that I was willing to stay up all night testing signal in that scenario. That would have been highly anti-social given that everyone else in the carriage was sleeping anyway, and the Gold Coast test covered roughly similar territory. Tomorrow, I'll round out the major conclusions from the project.


    Having done the Robina to Brisbane trip a few times on the train, I can say that the same does not apply to Vodafone 3G... it is very patchy and drops in and out all the way. I had to resort to the Kindle for my digital entertainment.

    I know there was talk of offering wifi on south east queensland trains. This was well over a year ago, and still nothing.

      There has been some progress:

    Telstra is, frankly, the only realistic option on the Gold Coast line. Even then, there are locations where the service will momentarily drop out.

    Vodafone, Optus and Three are all severely lacking on this line. There is a well known black spot around Ormeau station for these networks - whereas a Telstra device will maintain a strong signal and connection without a problem here.

    Good luck getting a seat on a train running that line at peak hour to do some work. I've done trips where I have been standing the entire way from Bowen Hills to Robina...

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