A three-year program of works worth more than $67 million will begin in September at Brisbane’s Central Station to modernise the flagship station.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the upgrade would support 750 jobs and revitalise the historic station which was first built in 1889.

“Central station is a gateway to the Brisbane CBD with up to 140,000 passengers travelling through the station every day, but the major transport hub hasn’t undergone a large-scale renovation since the 1990s,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The new-look will honour the iconic station’s heritage features, but also ensure the station keeps pace with design changes and delivers modern facilities for passengers.

“This $67 million investment will support 750 construction jobs in our CBD across a range of professions including engineering, electrical, rigging, carpentry, concreting and finishing trades.”

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said an innovative virtual reality render created by PDT Architects would give the community a chance to inspect the Central Station makeover and get a feel for the new design, three years before the upgrade is complete.

“Using virtual reality technology the community can get a first look at the design, experience 360 degree views inside the new-look Central Station and get a glimpse of how the lighter, brighter and more modern station will transform our CBD,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Mr Hinchliffe said the upgrade would include a new roof and an overhaul of the platforms, as well as new lifts and escalators.

“This upgrade will deliver a fresh new look, and make it easier for passengers to access and move around the station – one of the city’s most critical interchanges – with improvements including less cluttered and more accessible platforms, new information displays and lighting, ” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The most striking feature of the new-look station will be a new, raised roof which will extend over the Edward Street end of the concourse, with a glass façade that will transform the station and inject the space with more light.

“In addition to these works, planning is underway for further improvements, including a proposal for an additional escalator from the concourse to ANZAC Square, to reduce congestion during peak periods.

“All the platforms will be modernised with new floor, wall and roof coverings, passenger information displays, CCTV and lighting. We will also raise platforms 1-4 to allow level-entry boarding, which will make it easier for passengers in wheelchairs, parents with prams and those traveling with luggage to access trains.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the upgrade is part of the State Government’s plan to cater for growth and build the railway infrastructure that will be needed in the future.

Member for Brisbane Central Grace Grace said every effort would be made to minimise disruption to commuters while the upgrade was underway.

“Central is a critical station in Brisbane’s rail network and it will remain open throughout the project, so work will be staged and planned to ensure the station can continue to function,” Ms Grace said.

“Importantly for commuters, peak timetables will be maintained and other services will remain as close to normal as possible.

“To minimise disruption to passengers, most works will be completed during scheduled closures at night and on weekends, and Queensland Rail will work closely with its valued tenants and stakeholders around the station, to ensure the impact of the project is managed effectively.”

The upgrade will begin in September 2016, beginning with work on Queensland Rail’s ‘back of house’ facilities including offices, communications rooms and first aid areas where many rail staff work tirelessly to ensure customers enjoy a safe, comfortable journey.

Work will commence on the lifts, escalators and platform upgrades in early 2017.

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