BRISBANE: The federal and state governments have announced a joint feasibility study into an improved freight line connecting Acacia Ridge and the Port of Brisbane, completing a missing link in Inland Rail network.
Already connected by a single line between the port and Dutton Park, the study will look into a potential dedicated freight line using dual gauge tracks allowing interstate trains to seamlessly connect from Melbourne using the $9.3 billion Inland Rail line.
At the announcement for the $1.5 million study, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Michael McCormack said that the freight connections were crucial in supporting the economic and development growth being experienced in the south-east.
“Infrastructure Australia identified a dedicated rail freight line servicing the Port of Brisbane as a high priority initiative and this is one of the options which will be investigated as part of the study,” Mr McCormack said.
“Inland Rail is a strategic investment in Australia’s infrastructure future and the Port of Brisbane study will examine the possibility of a dedicated freight link from the Port.”
Along with a dedicated freight line the study is expected to also look into the demand and existing infrastructure capacity of the Brisbane metropolitan network.
“Last year the Queensland Government announced it would fully fund and deliver the Cross River Rail Project and work has already started. Clearly, we need to understand what these projects will mean for the movement of rail freight,” Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said.
“I expect that freight flows may change as a result of these network-shaping projects and increased interactions with the suburban passenger network.
“The views of key stakeholders such as the Port of Brisbane, Brisbane City Council, Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, Queensland Rail and the Australian Rail Track Corporation will be sought as part of the study,” Mr Bailey went on to say.
The feasibility study is expected to be completed within the next 12 months after independent specialist advisors are engaged.