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Railway engineering is being given a boost in Queensland – news that has been welcomed by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).
A world-first $5 billion combined train and bus tunnel in Brisbane is set to go ahead, despite the current federal government pulling funding for the project after winning the election in September.
Chief executive officer of the ARA Bryan Nye said it is important for state governments to continue putting their faith in infrastructure initiatives even in tough economic times.
“This investment in critical infrastructure for Brisbane will see eased congestion in the CBD, more public transport routes into the city and more people and freight going on rail,” he stated.
“With Brisbane’s inner city rail network reaching its absolute capacity within the next five years, providing an extra river crossing in the CBD will ensure Brisbane’s entire transport network doesn’t grind to a halt.”
The 5.4-kilometre tunnel will have two train lines in the lower section and two lanes for buses in the upper section.
According to Queensland premier Campbell Newman, a single 15-metre-wide tunnel is being built using the largest borer to ever be operated in the country.
Going underground at Dutton Park in the south to Victoria Park in the north, it will travel via new stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said: “This will be a major economic boost, creating hundreds of jobs and new pathways for business to grow and develop in Brisbane.”
The Queensland government also revealed that it has chosen a preferred tenderer for the delivery of 75 new six-car passenger trains for the state’s fleet – the largest order of this kind in its history.
Bombardier NGR Consortium was chosen for the job, with the coaches being deployed at the new bus and train tunnel.