Plans for passenger rail services between Toowoomba and Brisbane have taken a major step forward with the inclusion of a $15 million business case announced in the 2018 Federal Budget.
Member for Groom John McVeigh said the funding was provided under the Federal Government’s $250 million Major Project Business Fund an initiative that supports the Government’s 10-year infrastructure investment strategy.
“This is something that we have dreamed about in this region for decades. Passenger rail services from Toowoomba to Brisbane would literally change the future of the entire Toowoomba region ” Dr McVeigh said.
“A detailed business case is a critical step in the process and will help determine the economic environmental and social costs and benefits of potential rail options and the potential to improve access for communities to services and employment.”
Dr McVeigh said people living in the region currently had limited transport options and that passenger rail would have far reaching benefits.
“Passenger rail would benefit Toowoomba and the wider Lockyer Valley area with increased access for jobs tourism health care and housing ” Dr McVeigh said.
“It would also give further impetus to the development of the Wellcamp Airport as an alternative for the growth corridor west of Brisbane as well as lead to a further tourism boost for Toowoomba to become the mountain retreat of Brisbane akin to the Blue Mountains of Sydney.”
The business case will investigate a range of route options including but not limited to:
- upgrades to the existing rail line to enable regular commuter passenger rail services and integrating passenger services in freight corridors;
- route staging and timing of construction; and
- type of rolling stock.
Dr McVeigh said this major funding commitment builds on funding for other nation-building infrastructure projects in the region currently underway including Inland Rail and Toowoomba’s Second Range Crossing.
“Toowoomba is a city on the move. It is an exciting time to be part of our growing community and see the many opportunities arise from big investments to infrastructure improvements in the region currently underway ” Dr McVeigh said.
Above: Member for Groom Dr John McVeigh at the historic Toowoomba Railway Station before addressing the media about a $15 million business case to examine Toowoomba to Brisbane passenger rail services.