Friday 25th Sep, 2020

Trad puts Brisbane rail capacity among ‘top priorities’

Wooden railway sleepers. Photo: Creative Commons / LooiNL
Photo: Creative Commons / LooiNL

Queensland will move to re-establish the ready-to-proceed status of the former Cross River Rail project, and has formally ruled out a combined bus and train option for the route.

State transport minister Jackie Trad says the government is “moving ahead” with planning to deliver extra capacity to the Brisbane rail network, an issue she says is one of the state’s top priorities.

Trad said last week the Palaszczuk Government is committed to transforming and revitalising the rail network in South East Queensland, with the view of providing a more efficient public transport system “that can cope with forecast demand”.

“Increasing the capacity of our rail network is one of our top priorities, we are working to identify solutions,” Trad, who is also deputy premier, said.

“Our assessment will include an investigation of elements of the Cross River Rail and Bus and Train projects to identify a preferred solution to address these capacity issues.

“It will also include a detailed assessment of the feasibility of introducing New Generation Signalling to the inner city rail network.

“Improved signalling would allow for a higher frequency of services on our most constrained part of the network, unlocking additional capacity that would benefit the entire region.”

Trad said “considerable” cost and time savings could be achieved during the evaluation phase, “by using planning prepared as part of the previous projects”.

“However, there will be no combination of buses and trains in the Cross River Rail design going forward,” she said.

“Buses and trains play different roles in our transport network and combining them in the same corridor does not make sense.”

The minister said the project team would deliver an updated business case of a preferred project to be considered by Government.

“The Queensland Government will include a complete business case as part of a funding submission to Infrastructure Australia and the Federal Government for this urgently needed project,” she said.

“We will also seek to re-establish the ready-to-proceed status previously applied to the Cross River Rail project.”

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