Cross River Rail is one of Queensland’s biggest ever infrastructure projects and is marked as the state government’s highest priority infrastructure project. This $5.4 billion project will be fully funded by the Queensland state government and forms the centrepiece of the Queensland 2017-2018 state budget.
The project will build a new 10.2 km rail line between Dutton Park (south of Brisbane) and Bowen Hills (north of Brisbane), with 5.9 km of tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD. There will be new high-capacity stations at four inner city locations (Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street) and an upgrade of the current Exhibition station.
The aim is to remove a bottle-neck across the Brisbane River and boost capacity for the entire South-east Queensland rail network. The project also aims to address the booming population of South-east Queensland, forecast to reach almost 5 million people by 2036.
“This project has been in the making for over 10 years; it’s exciting to finally see the State Government acting on this vital piece of rail infrastructure,” said Ironfish National Housing Manager, Josh Ure. “Once complete, Cross River Rail will bring the city closer to the outlying suburbs of Brisbane, making it more convenient for workers to get to the CBD.
“To provide some perspective, Cross River Rail is similar in scale to Melbourne’s biggest road project, the $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel project, or the $5.8 billion Sydney Metro Northwest project. Suburbs surrounding these vital infrastructure projects will benefit massively from a convenience and desirability point of view in the future.”
The project is described by Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk as being ‘a game-changer for South-east Queensland,’ by transforming the way people travel and creating over 1,500 jobs in each year of construction.
“It has been almost a decade since Cross River Rail was first put on the agenda and I’m proud that I will be the Premier to build this project,” said Ms Palaszczuk. “The bottom line is my government will start construction on Cross River Rail this year – it will support more than 1,540 jobs each year and with a construction timeframe of five years, that’s more than 7,700 jobs for Queenslanders.”
Cross River Rail will allow the rail network to expand, offering faster travel times across South-east Queensland:
- There will be four new underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street and two upgraded stations at Dutton Park and the Exhibition Showgrounds.
- Commuters will save up to 15 minutes if travelling from southern stations such as Beenleigh
- Commuters will save up to eight minutes if travelling from northern stations such as Petrie
- Commuters will save up to six minutes if travelling from western stations such as Ipswich
- Commuters will save up to 14 minutes if travelling from eastern stations such as Cleveland
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said that the project was a ‘no-brainer’ due to its far-reaching economic benefits.
“Cross River Rail will deliver a significant boost to the economy in the South East and throughout the state, boosting the economy by $70 billion,” Mr Pitt said.
“This project will deliver strong economic benefits for Queenslanders providing value for money.”