Image: Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Transport Minister Mark Bailey with Cross River Rail workers at the Woolloongabba station site. Image courtesy of Queensland Government.

The Queensland Government has allocated $3.5 billion for rail projects in its 2022-23 Budget, as the state’s population booms.

The $3.5 billion worth of funding is contained in the Queensland budget forward estimates for new rail projects over the next four years, which includes many projects that will be delivered over the next decade.

Investments include:

  • $924 million towards the $1.22 billion Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3, Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads (jointly funded by the Federal Government, Queensland Government and City of Gold Coast)
  • $876 million towards the $2.6 billion Logan and Gold Coast Faster Rail (Kuraby to Beenleigh) upgrade (jointly funded with the Federal Government)
  • $489 million towards the $550.8 million Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade Stage 1 (jointly funded with the Federal Government)
  • $265 million towards the $374.1 million New Generation Rollingstock, European Train Control System fitment, install new signalling
  • $261 million towards the $275.7 million New Generation Rollingstock, Automatic Train Operations and Platform Screen Doors interface
  • $263 million towards the New Generation Rollingstock program
  • $212 million towards the $600 million Queensland Train Manufacturing Program which forms part of $7.1 billion to boost the state’s train manufacturing industry and build and operate 65 trains
  • $107 million towards the $120 million commitment for the construction of three new Gold Coast railway stations at Pimpama, Hope Island and Merrimac – project cost and timing subject to further planning
  • $92.5 million towards the $95.1 million Loganlea train station relocation (jointly funded with the Federal Government)
  • $30 million Loganlea train station park ‘n’ ride upgrade (jointly funded with the Federal Government)
  • $4.8 million towards the $6 million commitment to Beerwah and Maroochydore rail extension planning

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, said the Queensland Government’s rail revolution will support more than 5,000 jobs and deliver better services for Queenslanders.

“Investing in rail gets Queenslanders to work sooner, and it gets them back home to their family sooner as well,” Mr Dick said.

“But by making trains here in Queensland, it also supports traditional manufacturing, and skilled jobs in the many small and medium businesses that are part of the supply chain.

“We want to see more of these skilled jobs here in Queensland, which is one of the reasons we recently finalised the purchase of the Rockhampton Railyards.

“That will enable us to encourage suppliers into the rail manufacturing supply chain to relocate to Queensland.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the $3.5 billion rail investment will transform transport, drive Queensland’s future growth and support jobs.

“We’re transforming transport in Queensland to support the massive population boom we are seeing, and rail is a big part of our future transport network,” Mr Bailey said.

“But this budget shows we are not just building a new underground line, with significant investments in freight and passenger services across our state, we are transforming the network.”

Mr Bailey said this investment is headlined by projects like the Beerburrum to Nambour and Kuraby to Beenleigh track duplications, Gold Coast Light Rail stage three, station upgrades across all of Queensland, plus the manufacturing of 65 brand new trains in Maryborough.

“Bringing all of these projects together is the rollout of our brand new ETCS technology, a world leading program used across much of Europe, which will allow us to run more services, more often, all while improving safety,” Mr Bailey said.

“That’s why we’ve committed more than $500 million in this year’s state budget for the installation of technology on the NGR trains that talk to the Cross River Rail Platform Screen doors and the ETCS fitment program, to further expand its rollout across the network.”

Mr Bailey said while there are billions of dollars in new funding for major rail projects, the transformation of the network was well underway with the first train tracks now laid in Cross River Rail’s tunnels.

“We finished the 5.9km twin-tunnels on Cross River Rail last year, and now we are building the underground stations and laying the tracks,” Mr Bailey said.

“In really exciting news for Queenslanders, the first 50m of track has now been laid from just south of the future Albert Street station back towards the future Woolloongabba station.”

Mr Bailey said the budget delivers further upgrades to Queensland train rollingstock.

“Cross River Rail will have automatic doors at our underground stations, similar to what people may have experienced in Singapore and Tokyo, which will improve safety, temperature control and ease of exiting and entering trains,” Mr Bailey said.

“But these automatic doors also mean we need the trains to stop with absolute precision at our underground stations, and the only way to do this is through our digital technology rollout.

“That’s why we’ve committed more than $500 million dollars in the budget towards a further upgrade to the New Generation Rollingstock program which will allow these trains to work with the automatic doors at our underground stations.

“ETCS signalling and technology also allows us to safely run trains a lot closer together across the network, meaning we can deliver more services, more often, and reduce travel times and delays, all while improving safety.”

Mr Bailey said secret construction costs have been skyrocketing over the last two years during the pandemic.

“The prices of concrete, steel and timber have all risen, while the labour market is red-hot due to the infrastructure boom going on across Queensland,” Mr Bailey said.

“This is not just a Queensland issue though, with every state in Australia and many countries globally facing the same challenges.

“Unlike other state and local governments, we aren’t cutting projects, putting them on hold or descoping them – we know Queensland is growing like never before and that means we need to deliver the infrastructure to support that growth.”

Image: Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Transport Minister Mark Bailey with Cross River Rail workers at the Woolloongabba station site. Image courtesy of Queensland Government.

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4 Comments
  1. Bernice Cox 2 weeks ago

    What a joke!!!! Absolutely no funding for that piece of hot steaming pile of crap that is the North Coast Line between SEQ and Townsville!!!! Whilst NSW and Victoria invest in transformative regional rail Queensland is again being the backwards state investing almost exclusively in the South East! Thus is a f***** state when it comes to regional transportation. Embarrassing and gutted at the wasted opportunity.

  2. Pat 2 weeks ago

    Hopelessly incompetent n corrupt Queensland anti government. Throwing money at the the same old places while the rest miss out yet again. Bah humbug.

  3. Jeffrey 3 days ago

    “Mr Bailey said secret construction costs have been skyrocketing over the last two years during the pandemic.”
    So how much is Cross River Rail now?
    It was $6.888 billion at last honest count.

    Second, more than four years after announcing Beerburrum to Nambour rail project (9 June 2018 at Nambour station), NOT one sleeper has yet been laid for the heavy rail. It makes ‘Yes, Minister’ look serious.
    Only 46.7% of the budgeted amounts over the past four years have been spent to date, that’s a mere $15.5 million per year.
    Not much of a priority is it?

    Also there is NO funding, state or federal for the rail duplication beyond Beerwah, stopping the so-called falsely named ‘Beerburrum to Nambour’ rail project some 26km south of the town.

  4. Jon Bryant 3 days ago

    This is all just fiddling at the edges until this Government and their major opposition party accept that their prioritisation of transport investment primarily on expanding road capacity is just increasing congestion! They deny Induced Demand and spent close to $11B on project that even Engineering Australia says will just create more congestion and where there will be little evidence of economic benefit! Until this is reversed and investment is primarily in active/public transport and regional/freight rail they are wasting our hard earned taxes

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