Feb 25, 2024 | Local News

Sunny Coast rail line from Beerwah to Caloundra possible by 2032

Vivienne Wynter

There is a ‘50/50 chance’ the Queensland Government’s rail line from Beerwah to Caloundra will be built by 2032, according to public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track.

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow welcomed the first firm commitment and detailed business case for the three stage Sunshine Coast Rail Line announced today by the state government.

Mr Dow said the Sunshine Coast Rail Line was initially proposed for completion in 2015, then in 2020.

‘It is disappointing the original time-lines keep getting pushed back. The longer the delay, the more costly the project becomes.’

The Miles Government is committing an initial $2.75 billion to deliver Stage One: a new 19 km dual track from Beerwah to Caloundra.

The government aims to complete Stage One in time for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, subject to matched funding from the Federal Government.

There is not yet a timeline for Stages Two and Three, extending the rail line to Birtinya, then Maroochydore.

This map shows the three stages of the Sunshine Coast Rail Project

Queensland Premier Stephen Miles said Stage One of the new rail line, which will include a connection to the Aura development in Caloundra, was not just about the Olympics.

‘A direct rail connection to the Sunshine Coast will unlock thousands of homes in the growing Sunshine Coast region and accelerate the release of new, affordable developments.

‘Without the rail line, that development would bring an unmanageable level of congestion to the local road network, making this connection essential for new housing to be brought forward.’

Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish said the new rail line would be a boon for commuters.

‘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.

L-R:: Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish and Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt with map of rail project

Rail Back on Track’s Mr Dow said there was no guarantee the project would be started because it was contingent on matched Federal funding.

‘We are grateful however, that there is a chance for completion of Stage One prior to 2032,’ Mr Dow said.

PHOTO: Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow

Queensland Deputy Premier Cameron Dick told a media conference at Beerwah today the state government was’confident of federal government support’.

The Queensland Government’s business case has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia which will recommend the Federal Government’s share of funding.

This could be announced as soon as the 2024 May Budget.

Fast facts

The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is a proposed 37.8km rail extension between Beerwah and Maroochydore to increase public transport opportunities and improve connectivity to Moreton Bay, Brisbane and beyond.

The detailed business case has determined an optimal realignment of the corridor between Beerwah and Maroochydore, enabling rail speeds of up 160km/h.

The realignment aims to minimise environmental impact and reduce curves in the line to allow for faster train speeds.

For more: www.tmr.qld.gov.au/directsunshinecoastrail

 

PHOTO at top of story: Artist’s impression of a future train station on the Sunshine Coast Rail Line

 

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