Cross River Rail is the number one infrastructure project RACQ has been calling for in south east Queensland.
29 August – Early works begun at Woolloongabba Station
24 August – Cross River Rail business was released to the public
22 August – Graeme Newton appointed permanent CEO of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
16 June – Industry Forum backs Cross River Rail
14 June – Mr Graeme Newton was engaged as the Head of the Delivery Authority
14 June – The demolition of GoPrint site at Woolloongabba was approved by the board of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
13 June – QLD Government announces its commitment to fully fund the building of the Cross River Rail. A funding requirement of $5.409 billion is forecasted.
A more detailed timeline of events for this project (including Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process) can be found here
What is the Cross River Rail?
The Cross River Rail is a 10.2km train line proposed to be built between the stations of Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, with 5.9km of the line running beneath the Brisbane River and CBD.
With the population of south east Queensland forecast to be more than 5 million people within 20 years, the Cross River Rail project will improve the reliability of public transport, increasing accessibility to the CBD and reducing congestion around existing bottlenecks.
As part of the project, five new high capacity stations will be built or upgraded to accommodate the new route. The route for the Cross River Rail was decided after significant cost-benefit analysis, community impact analysis and forecasting for commuter demand. The stations will be built or redeveloped at Boggo Road, Wooloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street and the Ekka.
How will Cross River Rail be funded?
The Queensland Government announced at the release of the 2017-18 Budget it will fully fund the $5.4 billion required to deliver Cross River Rail. The Palaszczuk Government suggested it would be seeking financial contribution from the Australian Government as well as commercial funding sources.
The Federal Government are yet to allocate any budget specifically for this project.
Comments regarding the funding:
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said the Club was relieved the project would finally get off the ground albeit slowly.
“Cross River Rail has been our number one infrastructure project for years and it’s good to see funding in the Budget to get the project started,” Mr Turner said.
“However, we need commitments the extra cash isn’t going to be at the cost of key projects across the State.”
From Brisbane City Council:
Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner has requested the State Government see the Cross River Rail project as ‘complementary, not competitive’ to other projects such as the Brisbane Metro project.
“By working together, we can deliver the best possible bus system for Brisbane residents with effective Metro and Cross River Rail systems to cater to the future public transport needs of Brisbane,” Cr Schrinner said.
“A cooperative and strategic approach to our public transport will result in improvements which encourage more people, not less, to take advantage of public transport, by making services more user-friendly and responsive to community needs.”
Proposed timeline for Cross River Rail development
The target year to see the Cross River Rail in operation is 2024.
The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority has stated initial works on clearing land are scheduled to begin before the close of 2017. Early works have commenced at the Woolloongabba station. Major constructions are due to commence in late 2018.
Travel time improvements
The Queensland Government claims the Cross River Rail project will deliver significant travel time improvements across the rail network. Whether you travel by the rail network or any other form of travel in south east Queensland, passengers will see improvements.
Commuters travelling from the north will save on average nine minutes, 15 minute savings from the south, 14 minutes from the east and four minutes if travelling from the west.
The Cross River Rail will relieve the bottleneck in the inner city and increase the capacity for the entire south east Queensland network. It is predicted the project will reduce the number of car trips off major arterial roads by 18,500 each day, which in itself has the potential to impact the local economy on a large scale in terms of productivity gains. A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) for the Cross River Rail business case, conducted by Building Queensland, suggested road travel time savings will account for 40 percent of the benefits for developing the project.
Improved commercial access
There will also be a number of city-building opportunities in areas close to the new or redeveloped stations. Accessibility to the city from these locations will be significantly improved, making it easier for people to access businesses along the route and reducing the commute time to do so.
In terms of new jobs, the Queensland Government expects the project to generate an estimated 1,547 jobs for each year construction is taking place. In its most intensive year, this number is predicted to be as high as 3,000. In the lead up to its operational launch and thereafter, the project will generate a number of long-term positions as well. The Queensland Government estimates the project will create up to 84,000 new jobs in total throughout its development and implementation phases.