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TIN news:  An initial A$800m tranche of funding to ‘kick-start’ Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project was announced by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad on June 27.
The 10·2 km cross-city rail link would run from Bowen Hills to Dutton Park, tunnelling under the city centre and the Brisbane River to serve Wooloongabba. There would be five underground stations, including Albert Street in the city centre and interchanges to the existing Queensland Rail suburban network at Roma Street and Boggo Road. The link would increase peak rail capacity in the central area from 86 to ultimately 134 trains per hour.
Endorsed by the state’s independent infrastructure adviser, Building Queensland, in its Infrastructure Priority Pipeline Report, the A$5·4bn scheme was described by Palaszczuk as ‘Queensland’s number one infrastructure project’.
The initial funding will come from the State Infrastructure Fund, which was allocated A$2bn in the 2016-17 state budget announced by Treasurer Curtis Pitt on June 14. It forms part of an A$40bn four-year infrastructure programme. The budget also committed A$50m to establish the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and commence early work on the rail link, as well as A$634m to fund the introduction of ETCS Level 2 across the Brisbane suburban rail network.
Palaszczuk said the business case for Cross River Rail would now be submitted to the federal government and Infrastructure Australia ‘to ensure we urgently secure federal funding’. No decision is expected until after the federal elections on July 2.
Trad added that the project would require support from ‘all three levels of government and partnerships with the private sector’. One of the key tasks for the Delivery Authority would be to explore ‘innovative funding models for Cross River Rail’, she explained. Construction of the line is expected to take around five years.

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