Responsible Agency: Department of Transport and Main Roads
Proposal Stage of Development: Detailed Business Case Complete
Building Queensland Role: Led Detailed Business Case
Planned Stage End Date: To be determined
Estimated Cost of Delivery: $390 million*
Date of Publication: December 2017


Infrastructure constraints limit the use of longer trains on the existing rail network to the Port of Townsville. These constraints are impacting freight throughput on the road and rail networks, affecting the cost and efficiency of freight movements. The rail corridor requires trains to traverse the Townsville urban area to access the Port of Townsville, creating safety issues and congestion at open level crossings, and environmental and amenity issues in residential areas. Currently, 1,000-metre trains operating in the rail corridor must be broken up before entering the port precinct, which also contributes to the inefficient movement of trains. The Australian Government has committed $150 million to the project as part of the Townsville City Deal.


The proposal investigated options for a new freight rail link with greater capacity connecting the Mount Isa line and North Coast line, through the Townsville State Development Area to the Port of Townsville. The analysis considered the planned expansion of the Port of Townsville, including associated investment and land use planning activities. A key focus of the analysis was estimating future demand and freight capacity along the whole supply chain. The preservation and development of the rail corridor and associated investment in other parts of the supply chain have been referred to the Queensland Government for further consideration.


The project is expected to:

  • enhance regional development as well as state and national economic prosperity by effectively moving increasing volumes of freight—primarily for export
  • contribute to eliminating supply chain constraints and bottlenecks affecting the region’s ability to expand its productive capacity
  • improve management of community amenity, safety, sustainability and congestion impacts associated with future increases in rail freight moving through the Townsville urban area.


Further actions required.

* Nominal cost in Australian dollars 2017, Building Queensland detailed business case.