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Sunshine coast in 45 min?

Brisbane / QLD Transport Discussion

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Sunshine coast in 45 min?

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Roderick.

Brisbane to Sunshine Coast in 45 minutes under new rail proposal 18 January 2018 .
45 minute train trips between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast are being touted in a proposal pushing for billions of dollars in federal government rail funding.
The North Coast Connect project would see the long-awaited duplication of the line between Beerburrum and Nambour and add a new rail spur connecting the region’s main coastal hubs to Brisbane for the first time.
The proposal would need to run significantly faster trains. Photo: Rob Homer.
It has been put together by a 26-member LNP political bloc dubbed Team Queensland, to be delivered by a consortium including development giants Stockland, Smec, Urbis and KPMG, according to Sunshine Coast MP Ted O’Brien.
The Member for Fairfax said the project was one of 11 shortlisted for a share in $20 million of federal funding to develop a business case, with three winners to be chosen within a month.
“I don’t think there is any greater game changer for the regions of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast than fast rail,” he said, calling on Labor MPs, state and local governments to form a “unity ticket” behind the proposal.
A state government spokesman welcomed the proposal but called for more detail.
"What the LNP need to understand is that none of these proposed new rail lines will work without Cross River Rail to open up the network," he said.
"The only way extra capacity on the Sunshine Coast can work is if there are no bottlenecks further down the line."
The Turnbull government made $10 billion available for National Rail Program funding last year, prompting a pledge from “Team Queensland” to secure as much of it as possible for the Sunshine state.
Mr O’Brien was hesitant to name a total cost for North Coast Connect at such an early stage but suggested it could be in the ballpark of $5 billion, “give or take one or two billion”.
The proposal was the only Queensland project to remain in the running for the business case funding, which the MPs hoped to use to press their case for NRP funds.
To achieve a 45-minute trip between Nambour and Brisbane, or 30 minutes from Beerwah, trains would need to be able to travel between 150km/h and 200kmh/h, far in excess of current average speeds, Mr O’Brien said.
That would mean the rail line from Brisbane to Beerburrum would need upgrading, along with significant changes to rail alignments in the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade Project.
The new 40-kilometre rail spur would connect the Sunshine Coast Airport, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore’s new town centre, Kawana, Caloundra and the Aura mega development at Caloundra south, Mr O’Brien said.
“Duplication of the Beerburrum to Nambour rail line has been a high priority and the need to improve commuter travel to Brisbane is a no-brainer. Well, right now we have the opportunity to pursue an even better solution,” he said.
Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher, who is expected to announce funding next week, said the business cases should demonstrate faster rail travel times through new or upgraded rail infrastructure.
“In addition, business cases must outline initiatives that will increase housing choices by opening up regional areas, encourage job and career opportunities, and improve access to specialist services for people in regional areas, as well as major events,” he said.
Mr O'Brien said the proposal could revitalise Sunshine Coast hinterland rail towns but admitted the fast trips would only be possible on express services.
"I’m fairly confident but, I’ve been involved in so many commercial transactions over the years that it’s silly to be overly confident," he said of next month's funding announcement.
"There’s some way to go yet.
"There's always a risk, coming out making very clear of your intent before you’ve got any deal signed and sealed but I think it’s necessary to test the pulse of the community."
www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queen ... 4yylb.html
Roderick Smith
 
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