Three rail corridors across VIC, NSW, QLD receive federal money for business cases

Three rail corridors across VIC, NSW, QLD receive federal money for business cases
Three rail corridors across VIC, NSW, QLD receive federal money for business cases

Three intercity rail corridors across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland are set to share in $20million announced at the last federal budget to develop business cases for faster and expanded rail services.

The three separate business cases are expected to be developed over the next 12 months and the money the federal government invests in the business case development will be matched with investment from the three different proponents.

In Victoria, Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) - a private organisation which has previously unveiled plans to build a Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney high-speed rail line - has won the competitive selection process.

The New South Wales Government was selected for the rail corridor in that state and the North Coast Connect consortium was selected for Queensland.

The corridors to have business cases developed are Melbourne to Shepparton, Sydney to Newcastle and Brisbane to Nambour/Maroochydore.

According to the federal government, CLARA's proposal summary aims to build two new smart cities between the Victorian capital and Shepparton, linking them with some form of high-speed rail.   CLARA claims journey times from Shepparton to Melbourne could be reduced from 3 hours down to, potentially, 32 minutes. 

The New South Wales government aims to reduce the journey time from Newcastle to Sydney down from 3 hours to 2 hours through improvements such as removing regional level crossings, track re-alignments, and junction rearrangement.  

The North Coast Consortium aims improve rail journeys between Brisbane and Nambour through track improvements like curvature easing, duplication to from Beerburum to Nambour, operational systems upgrades to allow for 160kph services as well as build a new rail branch from Beerwah to Maroochydore.    The consortium stated benefits may include reducing journey times from 2 hours to 45 minutes.

The Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, said once each business case is complete it will proceed to be independently assessed by Infrastructure Australia at which point each proposal will be considered within the context of infrastructure priorities and future budgets as well as taking into account the level of state and private sector investment.

For more information, see: https://infrastructure.gov.au/rail/trains/faster_rail/

Lead image credit: Wikipedia.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Urban.com.au. Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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High Speed Rail CLARA

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