Queensland’s Cross River Rail is progressing, with the project’s second Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) breaking through at Roma Street, and locals encouraged to have their say on freshly released detailed designs of the Hope Island train station.

TBM Merle will be joining its counterpart machine, following its breakthrough into the 280-metre-long cavern at Roma Street, in the future station’s underground cavern – whilst designs for one of the three new stations to be built as part of the project, the Hope Island train station, have been released. 

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the TBM breakthrough marked a major milestone in construction of Cross River Rail, which will make it quicker and easier for Gold Coasters to commute to Brisbane during peak times.

“We’re investing in public infrastructure to rebuild our economy, create jobs and ease pressure on local roads here on the Gold Coast,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

Queensland Transport Minister, Mark Bailey, said that the TBM breakthrough is a massive feat of engineering and a huge milestone in its own right for any tunnelling project. 

“Seeing both of these 1350-tonne mega machines together in the same underground cavern at the same time, is just awe inspiring,” Mr Bailey said. 

“It’s a really tangible reminder of just how big this project is and how transformational it will be for Queenslanders travelling to, from and through Brisbane in the future.”

Mr Bailey said the TBMs would take about four weeks to traverse the Roma Street cavern on a skidding system and would then continue on to the project’s northern portal, where they would break through by the end of 2021. 

Whilst the TBM’s reach milestones, the public’s feedback is shaping the new Hope Island train station. 

Ms Palaszczuk said that after hearing from locals the government has refined the Hope Island train station designs and is now requesting feedback from the community about what they want to see at the station next. 

“This new station will be a great win for Gold Coasters who live and work in Hope Island and Helensvale,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

Mr Bailey said public consultation had opened on the design of the station, which had previously been referred to as Helensvale North.

“It includes 179 car parks with provisions for more parking, a 40-bike enclosure and a range of improved accessibility features, such as two through-lifts on both platforms, six accessible car parks and tactile indicators,” Mr Bailey said. 

“Feedback from this round of consultation will be used to inform the final design for construction and the final name of the station.”

Mr Bailey said changing the station’s name from Helensvale North to Hope Island was one of the key pieces of feedback so far encapsulated in the latest design.

Mr Bailey also said the three new Gold Coast stations, which also included Pimpama and Merrimac, showed Cross River Rail’s benefits stretched much further than the 5.9km of twin tunnels that would run below the Brisbane River and CBD.

“All three new Gold Coast stations will mean greater access to convenient rail services and easier travel within the Gold Coast, as well as to Brisbane,” Mr Bailey said.

“The new stations will reinvigorate public transport in key growth areas on the Gold Coast, deliver new park ‘n’ ride facilities and provide stimulus for future economic development.”

Community consultation on Hope Island station’s design will run from 23 August 2021 until 18 September, and feedback can be provided on Cross River Rail’s website.

Residents can sign up for works notices and updates for all three new Gold Coast stations here, and to track Cross River Rail’s TBMs, visit the project’s website.

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