There are capacity constraints in the existing transport system for trips to and from Brisbane’s CBD, and strong population and employment growth in South East Queensland.
The current rail connection into and through Brisbane’s CBD is expected to reach capacity by the early to mid-2020s, while parts of the road and bus network are already close to or at capacity. The population of South East Queensland is forecast to continue growing over coming decades. This growth, together with jobs growth centred on the CBD, will drive additional demand for trips to and from the CBD.
The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit identified crossings of the Brisbane River as a critical bottleneck for trains and buses.
The Cross River Rail initiative would provide a north–south passenger rail line through Brisbane’s inner city from Bowen Hills (north of the CBD) to Dutton Park, via Roma Street, Albert Street in the southern CBD, Woolloongabba and Boggo Road. This would provide a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River, enabling increased capacity in the rail network and connectivity with other public transport.
Infrastructure Australia evaluated the 2016 business case for the Cross River Rail project in 2017. In June 2017, the Queensland Government committed to fully fund the project. Should Australian Government funding be sought, Infrastructure Australia would welcome a revised business case with updated information.
The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority became operational on 14 April 2017 and is leading the development, procurement and delivery of the Cross River Rail project. The Queensland Government is fully funding the project, and the tendering process for the two major packages of work is expected to be completed in 2019. The project is proposed to be operational by 2024.