By 2045, container trade at the Port of Brisbane is forecast to increase by 300%, representing an increase of 4.8% per year. The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit identiﬁed that growth at the Port of Brisbane is likely to become constrained by the lack of a dedicated freight rail connection.
Population growth in South East Queensland is creating congestion on both the road and rail networks, negatively impacting on the productivity of greater Brisbane and the Queensland economy as a whole.
The rail connection to the Port of Brisbane from the south is shared between passenger and freight trains on some sections. Passenger trains take priority over freight trains, with freight trains constrained to operate to and from the port only during out of peak periods. As freight and passenger demand grows, the shared sections will become further constrained, and additional capacity for freight trains will be required.
The preservation and, ultimately, construction of a dedicated freight rail corridor would allow more freight movements to be removed from the road network, which would help alleviate congestion.
A future upgrade would seek to improve connectivity between the Port of Brisbane and freight terminals in the Brisbane region through preserving and, ultimately, delivering a dedicated freight rail corridor. This would aim to meet the projected increase in freight volumes, while facilitating a modal shift from road to rail.
The Australian Government and Queensland Government recently completed a joint study to deﬁne future service requirements and potential options to meet these requirements.
Proponent(s) to be identiﬁed.
The Australian Government and Queensland Government have committed to undertake further planning to evaluate the short-listed options and identify a preferred option for corridor preservation, with the study commencing the third quarter of 2020.