Through the 2022-23 State Budget, the Queensland Government is committing $3.5 billion towards a pipeline of new rail projects to support the State’s growing population.
The State Government’s rail revolution will not only deliver better rail services for Queenslanders, but it will also support over 5,000 jobs.
“Investing in rail gets Queenslanders to work sooner, and it gets them back home to their family sooner as well.
“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 supplier into the rail manufacturing supply chain to relocate to Queensland,” Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said.
This significant investment in rail projects will help transform the State’s transport network as well as drive future growth in Queensland and support jobs.
The new funding builds on the $5.4 billion commitment in Cross River Rail, which is the State’s largest single infrastructure investment to date.
“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.
“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.
“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,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
A brand new ETCS technology is going to be rolled out across Queensland’s rail network to bring all the rail projects together. This technology is widely used across Europe, and it allows more train services to run more often while also improving safety.
The Queensland Government has committed more than $500 million through the recent State Budget towards the installation of this technology on the NGR trains that “talk to the Cross River Rail Platform Screen doors and the ETCS fitment program” that will further expand the technology’s rollout across the network.
Minister Bailey added that the transformation of the State’s rail network was well underway with the delivery of Cross River Rail, which the first train tracks have now been installed in the 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.
“In really exciting news for Queenslanders, the first 50 metres of track has now been laid from just south of the future Albert Street station back towards the future Woolloongabba station,” Minister Bailey said.
QLD Treasurer Cameron Dick and Transport Minister Mark Bailey with Cross River Rail workers at the Woolloongabba station site (source: Queensland Government)
The new budget will deliver further upgrades to Queensland’s train rollingstock, allowing for Cross River Rail to have automatic doors at underground stations – like what passengers can experience in Singapore and Tokyo – which help improve safety, temperature control as well as make it easier to enter and exit trains.
Having automatic doors will also mean that trains need to stop with absolute precision at the underground stations and rolling out digital technology is the only way for this to happen.
“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,” Minister Bailey said.
The significant budget investment in rail projects reflected the Queensland Government’s commitment to delivering what the State needs despite market pressures.
Over the last two years during the pandemic, construction costs have been increasing and the prices of materials such as concrete, steel and timber have risen while labour is “red-hot due to the infrastructure boom going on across Queensland”.
“This is not just a Queensland issue though, with every state in Australia and many countries globally facing the same challenges.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to delivering more infrastructure even in these challenging times for the construction sector,” Minister Bailey said.
The $3.5 billion funding commitment is included in the Queensland budget forward estimates for new rail projects, which will be spent over the next four years. This investment will cover several projects to be delivered over the next decade, including the following major projects:
The $16.8 billion WestConnex motorway development project has reached another milestone with the planning application lodged for the much-anticipated final stage of the project. The third and final stage involves the crucial link between the M4 and M5 corridors.
Formerly known as the PlantMiner blog, Felix Project News is Australia's top 10 Construction blog.
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