Major investment in Sunshine Coast Rail Line

A new heavy rail connection is tracking towards construction on the Sunshine Coast, with the aim of making a trip to Brisbane at least 45 minutes faster than a car.

The Queensland Government is committing an initial $2.75 billion to deliver Stage 1 of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line project, which includes protection of the updated rail alignment all the way to Maroochydore.

The first stage will see a 19 km dual track built from Beerwah to Caloundra, the longest spur line in the south-east passenger network.
Staged delivery will see the line ultimately run to Birtinya and Maroochydore.

This will deliver faster rail to the Sunshine Coast, with trains able to reach speeds of 140km per hour on some sections of the track. The Beerwah to Caloundra stage could be operational in time for Brisbane 2032, subject to a matched funding agreement from the Federal Government.

The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and is forecast to be home to 600,000 people by 2046. Modelling shows most of the population growth will be concentrated along the first stage of the rail line, around Caloundra South (Aura).

Stage 1 of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is expected to be a significant enabler for new housing, including supply for 50,000 people at Caloundra South and up to 100,000 people at Beerwah East.

It’s hoped the initial stage of the project will accelerate the delivery of more than 3,000 affordable and diverse homes already planned within the region.

The funding envelope for Stage 1 is expected to be between $5.5 billion and $7 billion, with final costs to be confirmed at the completion of the procurement phase.

A ‘funding envelope’ is an approach taken on other similar projects around the world, allowing costs to be finalised when contracts are executed. It’s expected that Stage 1 of project will support 2,200 jobs in the region.

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads highlighted the projected benefits of the project.

“Direct Sunshine Coast Rail will revolutionise public transport – making a trip to from Caloundra to Brisbane at least 45 minutes faster than a car,” Minister Mellish said.

“For the first time, residents in the region will have a direct, fast and reliable connection to the South-East.

“Direct Sunshine Coast Rail will not only help ease congestion, but also help unlock future housing development on the Sunshine Coast.

“Sunny Coast residents will also get another first – a direct rail journey to the AFL or the Ekka, thanks to Cross River Rail. No station change needed. Suncorp Stadium will also be just a short walk from Roma Street.

“The project will also deliver cleaner and greener transport for a more sustainable Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and provide a lasting legacy for these communities.”

Find out more about the project here.

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