The media releases I've read all seem to dance around the most costly part, the range descent. Previous costings have always been clear that this represents the most expensive part of the entire Melbourne to Brisbane corridor, at $2b plus, and ranging much, much higher depending on final route. Pages 13 to 18 show all the rather big numbers, represented as 000's, to lessen the impact and save on printing ink:http://www.artc.com.au/library/IRAS%20WP3%20Stage%201%20Capital%20Works%20Costings%20090505.pdf
Here we see the southern diversion from Rosewood to Kagaru, and the newer proposal to tunnel from Browns Plains to Murrarie:http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/new-rail-freight-route-in-federal-coalition-plan/story-e6freoof-1226650247870
Slightly different take on that dual gauge line from Dutton Park (with the big flyover) already in place to the port and opened to much fanfare, but anyways.
Note this to-do-list:
Key tasks include:
- identifying a preferred corridor from Moree to the Port of Brisbane;
- delivering the preliminary engineering design and environmental assessment;
- land acquisition and approvals from Illabo to Toowoomba;
- establishing a corridor between Rosewood (west of Ipswich) and Acacia Ridge (south of Brisbane);
- investigating a rail tunnel linking the Port of Brisbane to Acacia Ridge; and
- a new 24/7 freight connection from Acacia Ridge Intermodal Terminal to the Port of Brisbane to free up capacity for the south-east Queensland passenger network.
The southern corridor has long been a plan in the (unlikely?) event that the new line down the range became reality.http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Name/S/Southern-Freight-Rail-Corridor-Study.aspx
But the press releases are very lacking in details of exactly how freight will move from that sloping acreage at Charlton to the end of the wires at Rosewood.
"A completed inland rail line would eventually link the Port of Brisbane to Melbourne via the Darling Downs and would separate freight and passenger train lines near Ipswich. "
A rather indefinite timeline.
"The Newman Government has already committed $67 million to deliver two of the 10 stages, consisting of two passing loops and upgrades to 11 rail tunnels near Toowoomba,” Mr Emerson said."
Given the tunnels are heritage listed, single track, cannot be widened and are narrow gauge only, that looks suspiciously like a narrow gauge only line, then.http://www.nationals.org.au/News/LatestNews/tabid/94/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/8528/Inland-rail--the-future-of-freight.aspx
Perhaps there is another part of the plan they're not telling us?
"Navigating the rail development through the Great Dividing Range is expected to be the most costly part of the project. "http://www.qt.com.au/news/coalition-focus-finalising-inland-rail-plans/2000005/
Just don't mention the Toowoomba bypass. It will probably be unsuitable for rail, and built in a hurry once trucking advocates realise the profitabilities, erhh, possibilities of the road. ie "This project will improve safety, increase capacity and improve travel times by getting trucks out of the Toowoomba CDB," he said.http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/toowoomba-range-bypass-project-placed-down-pecking/1931218/http://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/state-government-toowoomba-bypass-election/1994212/
I understood that Inland Rail was never completely focussed on end-to-end transit, but a lot about developing inter-trip movements along the pathway, by encouraging freight from the regions along the corridor.
Perhaps I should invest in a western Toowoomba truck stop... certainly seems more likely than the via recta railway from Warwick that I keep hearing about:http://www.southerndownssteamrailway.com.au/historical_info/via_recta.phphttp://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/rail-vision-alive-and-well/281793/
But then again, the Redcliffe, oops, Kippa Ring railway is being built, isn't it? That unicorn got out of the cage. It only took 120 years, or so.