The tender for the first stage of the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail upgrade will be released next month.
The move is a step forward for the long-awaited Sunshine Coast rail project with a call for tenders on early works released in June.
While the early works tender focused on improvements to roads and surrounding infrastructure, the Stage 1 tender includes line duplication, station upgrades, parking facilities and rail passing loops.
Specifically the works include: the duplication of the track north of Beerburrum to Glass House Maintains on an improved alignment and duplication between Glass House Maintains and Beerwah within the existing corridor; road over rail bridges at Beerburrum Road, Barrs Road, and Burgess Street; parking at Beerburrum, Landsborough, and Nambour; a bus interchange at Landsborough; and the relocation of utilities.
Early works will begin in 2021 with major construction to commence from 2022.
The upgrade is jointly funded by the Queensland and federal governments, with each contributing $390 million and $160.8m respectively.
Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the project would create 333 jobs in stage one.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the upgrade would entice more commuters to travel by train.
“Reduced travel times, greater service reliability and increased parking at stations will attract more travellers to rail, between the Sunshine Coast region and Brisbane in particular,” he said.
The Beerburrum to Nambour upgrade was listed by Infrastructure Australia as a priority project in June 2018, and detailed planning followed in 2019.
Federal member for Fisher Andrew Wallace said that early industry briefings hoped to garner involvement from local businesses.
“The industry briefing was a good opportunity to give local businesses some indication on what kind of work was coming down the line and allow the project team to get early feedback that will help as they develop the final scope for the upgrade,” he said.
Rail Back on Track administrator Robert Dow welcomed the commitment from both governments to get the project underway, however noted that further works could be included in the package.
“The planned commencement of Beerburrum to Nambour is very welcome but we would have like to have the track duplication through to Landsborough.”
Further duplication would improve train frequency for passenger as well as freight on the heavily-used North Coast Line.