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Rail commuters will be moving around south-east Queensland very differently from 2025, with the state government releasing plans for a major network shake-up to integrate its $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project.
State Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the planned changes amounted to a "brand new network".
"This network will be a change for Queenslanders, but it will open the door for future investment and time-saving timetable changes to help Queenslanders get home sooner and safer," he said.
Under the plan, south-east Queensland trains will operate in three sections, all connecting at the existing or new underground Roma Street stations.
Existing rail lines will be shifted to reconnect at new or upgraded stations — significantly altering how residents on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast access Brisbane.
A map for the new network that is expected to be operational from 2025.(Supplied: Queensland government)Sector One will connect the Gold and Sunshine Coasts directly, operating trains from Varsity Lakes and Beenleigh through to Redcliffe Peninsula, Nambour and Gympie.
Sector Two will link the Rosewood and Springfield lines through Central to the domestic airport and Shorncliffe.
Sector Three will run Ferny Grove trains through Central and Southbank to Cleveland.
Suburban services to shiftThe new rail plan will shift multiple suburban services, splitting the Ferny Grove line from the Beenleigh line, placing the airport spur along the Ipswich line, and extending the Doomben line from Roma Street to Indooroopilly.
In a major shift, commuters on the Beenleigh and Gold Coast lines will need to change at Boggo Road or Roma Street to access South Brisbane stations and Central station in the CBD.
The Gold Coast and Beenleigh lines will instead travel through the city via Albert Street, Woolloongabba and Boggo Road.
The underground station at Boggo Road is taking shape.(Supplied: Cross River Rail)Another line will run between Boggo Road and the newly upgraded Exhibition station at Bowen Hills.
Travellers from Ipswich and Rosewood will also need to switch trains in the city to connect to northbound Sunshine Coast services.
Future and legacyThe 10.2km underground Cross River Rail project will run from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, with nearly 6 kilometres of tunnels cut under Brisbane River and new underground stations at Roma Street, Albert Street, Woolloongabba and Boggo Road.
"More than 80,000 people migrated to Queensland in the past two years, and this investment shows we are at full throttle, planning, building and delivering a world-class rail network for the state," Mr Bailey said.
A artistic impression of the Cross River Rail design for Roma Street Station.(Supplied: Queensland government)The planned network will be in place several years before the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, and was kickstarted in 2019 by south-east Queensland mayors who called for better-connected rail and public transport infrastructure across the region.
Mr Bailey said the government's rail investment also included a $6 million planning study for the Direct Sunshine Coast line, a $2.5 million corridor study for a line connecting the booming city of Springfield to Ipswich, and a $20 million Salisbury to Beaudesert business case.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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