The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed the Queensland Government’s $1.121 billion funding commitment to support the delivery of faster rail from Brisbane to the Gold Coast.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said faster rail would have a transformative impact on the region.
“With South East Queensland’s population set to surge, faster rail will be essential to support regional development and reduce traffic gridlock between Brisbane and the Gold Coast,” Ms Wilkie said.
“This is fantastic news for the people of South East Queensland and the 1.2 million people set to make the move there over the next 15 years.”
The ARA’s Faster Rail Report, released in 2021, confirmed the need for urgent action to deliver faster, more reliable and more frequent services between capital cities and regional centres.
“Investment in faster rail on routes like Brisbane to Gold Coast will make it easier for people to leave the car at home for their daily commute or weekend away,” Ms Wilkie said.
“It will not only speed journey times, but increase flexibility for customers by enabling more trains, more often along the route.
“The global experience tells us faster rail drives urban renewal along the rail corridor, creating the opportunity for new housing and business precincts beyond capital city centres.
“With the Olympics just around the corner, faster rail will help showcase the very best Queensland has to offer and drive new development and growth long after the Games are over.”
Consumer research conducted by the ARA in 2021 confirmed 75 per cent of Gold Coast residents surveyed would travel to the city by train if it took the same or less time than driving.
The survey also highlighted the growth opportunities that came with investment in faster rail, with 78 per cent of Gold Coast participants believing faster rail links would make moving to the region more attractive.
Ms Wilkie welcomed the news that the project would create 900 jobs and said she looked forward to project planning getting underway.
The project is expected to have a total cost of $2.598 billion.