The Queensland Government announced in April that the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority would oversee the construction of the $5.4 billion effort, making it the largest transport project to ever be built here. The CRRDA has already announced that construction will begin later this year and estimates that the work will be complete in 2024.
The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority has also approved demo work at the GoPrint site, where the future Woolloongabba station will be built. Workers will use the location as the launching pad for the entire project.
The project takes the place of the planned 2013 BaT Tunnel, which in turn replaced the 2010 Cross River Rail proposal.
What is the Cross River Rail project
According to the Brisbane cross river rail project map, the 10.2 kilometre rail link requires the construction of a 5.4 kilometre tunnel that will run underneath the Brisbane River and the central Brisbane business district.
The project is expected to include nearly six kilometres of underground tunnel, the building of four underground passenger stations in the heart of the city and an upgrade of the current Exhibition Station.
Five new inner city train stations will be created as a result of the project, generating an uptick in the core capacity of the rail network that serves Brisbane.
Part of the Brisbane Transit Centre will be tore down as a result of the Cross Rail River Project and the reconfiguration of the rail network will run from Dutton Park to near the current Boggo Road busway station, and also includes the Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and Exhibition Stations on the way to Bowen Hill.
Queensland Government representatives say the project is their number one infrastructure priority.
Why is the project necessary
Proponents of the Cross River Rail project argue that it will ease traffic congestion and thereby reduce travel time to work and school. In addition, they say that another train crossing into the city will be a requirement after 2021, when Brisbane's sole inner city river crossing, the Merivale Bridge, is forecast to reach its maximum carrying capacity.
Cross River Rail Funding
The Queensland Government on June 13 allocated $2.8 billion to begin the construction of the rail link. The remaining $2.6 billion will be allocated in future budgets.
In addition, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland has thrown its support behind a proposal that would create a network of turn up and go bus and train services to help with Cross River Rail funding. Called Connecting Brisbane, the joint effort of the State Government and Brisbane City Council would green light the Metro interchanges at gathering points like Chermside, Indooroopilly and Mount Cravatt. The stations would prevent people from tying up overtaxed services while passing through the city.
Rail passengers would benefit from Crossing Brisbane as well. Cross River Rail would permit Gold Coast trains to increase from 8 to 12 services during the peak of rush hour.
Transport Minister Jackie Trad has also thrown her support behind the Crossing Brisbane effort. She predicts the southeast will grow by two million people over the next two decades and needs both Cross River Rail and Crossing Brisbane to keep the area and its people moving.
The Cross River Rail project is expected to reshape the transport network in South East Queensland by adding more connections across the region, according to its supporters.
To learn more about the effort, visit crossriverrail.qld.gov.au; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or telephone 1 800 010875.