The Australian Government is investing approximately $390 million towards the duplication of Queensland’s North Coast Rail Line - between Beerburrum and Landsborough. This project will also build capacity upgrades from Landsborough to Nambour.
“Reduced travel times and greater trip reliability makes rail a more attractive option for travellers between the region and Brisbane in particular, while more parking at stations will also add to the equation,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said.
Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said that this project is big news for the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regions, with up to 20 kilometres of track to be duplicated as well as a further 19 kilometres to be upgraded.
“This project makes good sense in itself - as it will relieve pressure on the busy Bruce Highway and provide commuters with additional train services.
It also offers a potential launch pad for further work to deliver a faster rail service along this route in the future, depending on the outcome from the business case which is now underway,” Mr Fletcher said.
Mr Fletcher added that funding for a business case to plan for faster rail between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane was announced in March 2018. The completed Beerburrum to Nambour Line upgrade is going to be the starting point of this business case, which will examine the potential of further investments that will improve rail services between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Concept plans (source: Queensland Government)
The Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Line Upgrade has been added as a priority initiative on Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List - released on 27 march 2018 - because this project is essential to the near future of the region and it will also deliver national productivity gains.
According to Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace, this project will involve a number of upgrades to the rail line between Landsborough and Nambour, including passing loops extension as well as additional parking at some train stations.
“Through this major investment, we will address conflict between passenger and freight trains on the current single-track line, which is constraining the growth of both types of traffic.
“This will also be a significant economic boost to the region, creating more than 600 jobs and driving even more investment into the local economy,” Mr Wallace said.
Federal Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien said that without this investment for the line duplication, freight traffic will likely move to road-based transport in order to meet supply chain demands as freight train paths are expected to reach capacity by 2023. The increase in road traffic then will put more pressure on the Bruce Highway and potentially increase congestion along the route.
The Australian and Queensland Governments will be working together to finalise the funding needed for this project and develop a construction timeframe as well.
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