Cross River Rail progress is moving ahead with major tunneling works powering along beneath Roma Street, and detailed designs released for three new stations.

Almost 400m of tunnels have been excavated beneath Roma Street as one of the most crucial sites for the transformational Cross River Rail project starts to take shape.

The Roma Street underground is one of five new and upgraded inner-city stations being constructed for the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project.

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said while progress on the surface of the two-hectare Roma Street site was obvious, even more work was taking place out of sight underground.

“Late last year we said goodbye to Brisbane’s ugliest building – the Brisbane Transit Centre – and now piling work has started to stabilise the ground in preparation to excavate the station building shaft,” Mr Bailey said.

“But what many people don’t appreciate is the sheer scale of work taking place under their feet.

“More than 385m of tunnels have been excavated so far.”

Mr Bailey said two 115-tonne road headers working more than seven storeys underground were about three quarters of the way through excavating the 280m-long station cavern.

“If 1 William Street was put on its side and shoved underground, it still wouldn’t be as long as Roma Street’s station cavern once it’s fully excavated,” Mr Bailey said.

“More than 100 workers are busy making sure the station cavern is finished in preparation for the arrival of the massive Tunnel Boring Machines from Woolloongabba mid-year.”

The station will be set 27m below the ground and will have 220m-long platforms

More than 46,000 people are expected to use the new Roma Street station each weekday by 2036.

Meanwhile, Gold Coasters have been given a sneak peek at plans for the new Pimpama train station, marking the beginning of the detailed design process for the station, as well as the Helensvale North and Merrimac station.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said about 20 full-time jobs would be created through the transformational project’s detailed design process.

GHD, along with its architecture arm GHD Woodhead have been awarded the design contract for Pimpama, Merrimac and Helensvale North stations.

“This is the very first important step towards building three new stations on the coast as part of my government’s $56 billion infrastructure guarantee,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Investing in these stations alongside our $1 billion M1 upgrade, $1.5 billion second M1 and $709 million light rail stage 3 is an important part of our economic recovery and will put the Gold Coast in the fast lane when it comes to transport and jobs through COVID-19.”

Mr Bailey said in addition to creating 20 full-time roles, as many as 100 GHD workers would be involved during the detailed design process.

“Most of the workforce is local, including graduate engineers and scientists and cadet technicians based in GHD’s Gold Coast and Brisbane offices,” Mr Bailey said.

“GHD will refine the existing concept designs for each station, producing detailed designs, documentation and approvals ready for construction.

“As part of the detailed design phase, additional studies will be undertaken including construction methodology, noise modelling, flood modelling and flora and fauna studies.

“Community feedback and input is being considered as part of the detailed design phase and there will be another opportunity for public consultation on the updated designs later this year, with nearby communities to be notified well in advance.”

Member for Gaven, Meaghan Scanlon, said the important step with design would ensure the stations would be ready by 2025 when Cross River Rail begins operation.

“The first concept images are exciting for our community, and show the opportunities that the Palaszczuk Government is creating by investing in public transport on the coast,” Ms Scanlon said.

“Getting started now means that within a few years Gold Coasters in our booming northern suburbs will be able to catch a train to the rest of the Gold Coast, to Brisbane and connect with our light rail.”

GHD’s General Manager, South Queensland Operations, Richard Evans, said the company was delighted to work on the detailed designs of the three stations, having already delivered the station concept designs and business cases.

“These three new stations will play a vital role in the continued growth of the Gold Coast and Queensland communities,” Mr Evans said.

Early investigations for the stations are underway, including geotechnical works, surveying and environmental studies. 

The stations will be operational in time for Cross River Rail’s opening in 2025.

For more information about the Cross River Rail project, visit

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