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Responsible Agency: Department of Transport and Main Roads
Proposal Stage of Development: Detailed Business Case Complete
Planned Stage End Date: Not Applicable
Estimated Cost of Delivery: $780 million*
Date of Publication: December 2016

NEED

The 39 kilometre section of North Coast Line rail track between Beerburrum and Nambour carries a complex mixture of commuter, freight and long distance passenger trains on a single line track with passing loops at stations only. The infrastructure constraints on this section of the line include:

  • insufficient capacity to meet future freight and passenger demand due to the single track configuration, inadequate parking facilities, inadequate passing loops and single platforms at stations between Landsborough and Nambour
  • competition between freight and passenger services (passenger services have priority) and high track utilisation rates that result in the rail network being unable to recover from disruptions, with impacts on service reliability
  • current track configuration which allows only three peak-direction train services (plus one contra-peak) per hour, restricting the ability for rail to be part of the solution to relieve congestion on the Bruce Highway
  • ageing infrastructure, single line and poor track geometry resulting in reduced train speeds, extended delays to freight and passenger services and higher maintenance costs.

Freight train paths that meet supply chain needs are expected to reach capacity by 2023. Without the project, freight will likely be required to switch to road based transport beyond this time to meet supply chain requirements.

PROPOSAL

The objectives of the proposal are to:

  • remove capacity constraints to cater for forecast increases in passenger and freight demand
  • remove design constraints to enhance rail operational efficiency and service reliability
  • enable an increase in the number and frequency of passenger and freight services
  • reduce maintenance and improve overall rail whole-of-life cost.

The proposal has assessed a duplication of the North Coast line between Beerburrum and Landsborough (approximately 20 kilometres in length) and a range of upgrades to the existing rail infrastructure between Landsborough and Nambour including passing loop extensions, provision of dual platforms at stations connected by lifts and pedestrian bridges, and additional car parking at some stations. The proposal also assessed the elimination of level crossings at Barrs Road near Glass House Mountains and Caloundra Street in Landsborough. The proposal is forecast to deliver:

  • increased capacity and travel time savings for freight and passenger services
  • up to four additional passenger services per hour in the peak
  • increased passenger service reliability
  • a more integrated and effective transport system, through the provision of additional parking at stations and additional feeder bus services.

NEXT STEPS

Queensland Government investment consideration

* Nominal cost in Australian dollars, Building Queensland Detailed Business Case 2016.