Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Preferred Toowoomba Route
On Thursday last week, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Darren Chester MP, announced the preferred route for the Inland Rail from Yelarbon to Gowrie.
Between December 2016 and April 2017, 4 alignment options between Yelarbon and Gowrie underwent a like-for-like review to determine which option to take to the detailed design, planning and approvals phase.
The Federal Government’s decision was informed by 3 key reports:
- the outcomes of the like-for-like analysis,
- capital expenditure costings, and
- the transparency and objectivity of the review process and key community issues to consider.
The 4 alignments reviewed were:
1 the route from Inglewood through Millmerran proposed in the 2010 Inland Rail Alignment Study and endorsed in 2015 by the Inland Rail Implementation Group;
2 a route through Karara and Leyburn;
3 a route closer to Warwick; and
4 a route or connection to the Charlton and Wellcamp areas.
On 21 September 2017, Minister Chester announced that the alignment via Wellcamp and Charlton will proceed to the planning and approvals phase. The alignment will support the development of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region through its proximity to the west Toowoomba industrial precinct. Moree Plains Shire Council’s Mayor Cr Katrina Humphries commented, “Every time announcements like this are made in relation to the Inland Rail, it pleases me immensely.
“This project is a big one for our country; with lots of pieces required to put together the whole picture. It’s great to see that after undertaking due diligence in relation to the options, the Government has taken a decision and is moving ahead. This is the only way a project of this magnitude will come to fruition.”
“For Moree, this is a great outcome; we have seen some early wins in our neck of the woods regarding the Inland Rail through collaboration by Council, industry and the agricultural sectors to position Moree to take advantage of the Inland Rail. The upgrading and re-opening of 2.8 km rail link east of Moree is an example of recent development benefiting the transport industry.
“For the project to really unlock economic gains for our producers, the alignment into Queensland is obviously essential. I know there’s still a long way to go but last week’s announcement is certainly a positive step forward,” said Mayor Humphries.
For more information, visit the Inland Rail website https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/