Miles Government commits to heavy rail to the Sunshine Coast

Miles Government commits to heavy rail to the Sunshine Coast
Artist impression - future station

In a long overdue move to bolster Queensland's and the Sunshine Coast's transport network, the Miles Government has announced a major $2.75 billion investment towards Stage 1 of the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line project. This initiative aims to significantly reduce travel times between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, offering a faster alternative by at least 45 minutes compared to driving.

Premier Steven Miles underscored the transformative potential of the new rail connection, stating, “A direct rail connection to the Sunshine Coast will unlock thousands of homes in the growing Sunshine Coast region and accelerate the release of new, affordable developments." He highlighted the critical role of the rail line in managing future congestion and facilitating new housing projects in the area.

The initial phase of the project includes a 19 km dual track from Beerwah to Caloundra (see map below), marking the longest spur line in the south-east passenger network. With plans to extend the line to Birtinya and Maroochydore, the government aims to deliver a swift rail service capable of reaching speeds up to 140 km per hour.

The Sunshine Coast, one of Queensland's fastest-growing regions, is expected to accommodate 600,000 residents by 2046. The rail project not only promises enhanced connectivity but also supports the development of over 3,000 affordable homes in the region, addressing the critical need for housing amidst burgeoning population growth.

With a funding envelope estimated between $5.5 billion and $7 billion for Stage 1, the project's completion hinges on a funding partnership with the Federal Government. If realised, the Beerwah to Caloundra segment could be operational in time for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics, contributing to a sustainable and efficient transport solution for the future.

The project is poised to create approximately 2,200 jobs, marking a significant investment in the region's economic and social development. Premier Miles emphasised the broader implications of the rail line, noting its role in reducing transport emissions and fostering a more connected South East Queensland.

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