Project profiles: Queensland
The following provides Rail Express readers with the latest project updates for key passenger rail projects in Queensland.
Gold Coast Rapid Transit
The Gold Coast Rapid Transit Project is the single most important piece of transport infrastructure ever undertaken on the Gold Coast.
Stage One of the $1bn light rail project is 13 kilometres in length, has 16 stations and will service the new Gold Coast University Hospital and the expected 20,000-plus student population of Griffith University and the fast growing commercial, retail and recreational centres of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
A spokesperson for Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads told Rail Express this will be the only light rail system in operation in Queensland and is the first to be built in a regional centre anywhere in Australia.
“It will be a great boost for tourism and transport especially when the Commonwealth Games comes to town in 2018 with many venues and accommodation centres directly accessible by the system," the spokesperson said.
According to the spokesperson, the Gold Coast Rapid Transit project government funded early works for the light rail have delivered a number of significant benefits to the community.
“Since 2010 and at a time of a severe downturn in the local construction industry the works have created 2,600* jobs for Gold Coasters, injected $66.5* million into the local economy and modernised and upgraded underground services leaving a significant legacy for the community for many decades to come. (*as at March 2012),” the spokesperson said.
“The early enabling works in Southport were completed by Seymour Whyte Constructions in early March 2012. Workers have relocated underground services, roads have been widened and levelled and three major intersections rebuilt. Of the 60 major subcontractors and suppliers working on the Southport roadworks, 40 were local companies.
“Three new 1650mm stormwater pipes under Gold Coast Highway in Broadbeach near the Britannia Avenue intersection have replaced one pipe that was just 525mm in diameter (about the diameter of a domestic rubbish bin) and around 60 years old. The new pipes provide nearly 30 times the previous capacity, carrying stormwater away from the Broadbeach catchment area, not just the highway, providing vital flood mitigation in this area.”
In Broadbeach there are also a number of additional long term benefits for the community, the spokesperson said.
“For example, more than 2.5km of new electrical cabling has been installed under the roadway, 32 kilometres of new Telstra cabling has been installed underground, more than 2.7km of stormwater drainage has been updated to better manage the summer rainfall and 700 metres of new gas lines have been laid,” the spokesperson said.
“Once these early works have been completed it means that future work by GoldLinQ to lay the light rail tracks and build stations can be carried out with minimal disruption to the road network.”
GoldLinQ’s construction of the 13 kilometre light rail corridor began in January 2012. Where early works have not been done already, GoldLinQ will begin upgrading and relocating underground services in early July with track works to begin in September. This will be followed by station construction in late 2012 to early 2013.
Passenger operations will commence in mid-2014.
Moreton Bay Rail Link
The Moreton Bay Rail Link (MBRL) is set to transform Moreton Bay region by providing a dedicated public transport link for one of the fastest growing areas in the country.
MBRL will provide a 12.6-km dual-track passenger rail line between Petrie and Kippa-Ring, including six new stations at Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill, Kinsellas Road, Rothwell and Kippa-Ring.
The spokesperson told Rail Express that Moreton Bay residents will see work start soon with the construction of a road-over-rail bridge in Mango Hill.
“Plenty of action is also happening behind the scenes to work towards delivering the new rail line by late 2016,” the spokesperson said.
“Concept designs for the six new rail stations are well progressed and environmental plans being drafted include plans to manage koalas and other species in the rail corridor, along with a fauna management clearing plan. “
The $1.147bn required for the project will be provided jointly by the Australian Government ($742m), Queensland Government ($300m plus land) and Moreton Bay Regional Council ($105m).
The Moreton Bay Rail Link will:
- Provide a more reliable, economical, and faster alternative to driving to Brisbane’s central business district during peak periods
- Help reduce congestion on the road network, including the Bruce Highway, and free up capacity for journeys that can’t be made using public transport
- Provide sustainable and active transport options that reduce carbon emissions – every full train on the new line will take about 600 cars off the road
- Provide better access to major employment centres both within and outside the Moreton Bay region
- Help attract investment to the area and create business opportunities
- Act as a catalyst for growth along the alignment, with stations becoming hubs of new development in the region.
Richlands to Springfield
Since construction on the Richlands to Springfield project kicked off in November 2011, excellent progress has been made across the 9.5km project alignment.
Key achievements completed so far include:
- Clearing of the rail corridor
- Piling works at the Logan Motorway Interchange are 50% complete and bridge pier construction is underway
- Major earthworks on the northern approach to the Logan Motorway Interchange Rail Bridge
- Completion of piling for Springfield Central Station.
In 2012 the following construction activities will be undertaken along the rail corridor:
- Mid-2012: placement of the project’s first bridge beams over the Centenary Highway
- Mid-2012: completion of major earthworks and drainage at the Springfield Station site
- Mid-2012: commencement of piling at Springfield Station site and for the two new underpasses beneath the Centenary Highway, linking the local road network around Orion Town Centre
- Mid-2012: temporarily realigning a section of the Centenary Highway from Augusta Parkway to Springfield Greenbank Arterial Road.
The project is scheduled for completion in 2013, and once complete will deliver residents in the Springfield area with quality public transport choices providing a new way of life for the local community.
Keperra to Ferny Grove Rail Upgrade
The Keperra to Ferny Grove Rail Upgrade is improving public transport for residents in Brisbane's north-west suburbs.
The spokesperson explained the project is designed to tackle traffic flow by providing better transport options, increasing rail capacity on the Ferny Grove line, eliminating delays at Keperra station and encouraging people to use more sustainable transport options.
Key milestones include:
- Early 2011: start of construction
- 10th April 2012: the new high-level platform at Ferny Grove station opened and train services commenced on the new 2.6km second track between Keperra and Ferny Grove stations
- July 2012: completion of the station building, including the ticket office and end of ride cycle facilities
- Late 2012: project completion, including new bus interchanges kiss ‘n’ ride facilities.
Cross River Rail
The progress of Cross River Rail will depend on funding approval by State and Commonwealth Governments. For the latest information about the project, visit www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au
8th - 9th May 2012 | InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto
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