At an estimated total cost of $5.4 billion, the government-led Cross River Rail Project is one of South East Queensland’s most dynamic transport expansion projects to make it to public tender.

While it’s still being decided who will undertake the essential building stages of the project – planned to start in 2019 – the upgrade to infrastructure is in the early works stage already creating employment opportunities for Brisbane residents, commuters and business owners across the state.


Cross River Rail is a development of the existing Brisbane rail network. The track will cover an additional 10.2 kilometres of railway with 5.9 of those running through a tunnel underneath the CBD and Brisbane River.

Running between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, the underground section of the network will add underground terminals in the central locations of Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street.

Planned facility upgrades to the existing Dutton Park and Exhibition stations are also part of the significant expansion of the network.


As a collaboration between the government and the private sector, tenders for the construction are still underway with the major stages of construction expected to start in 2019.

Cross River Rail is now a major project in the early works stage with government-led preparation having begun at the Woolloongabba site. As of May 2018, demolition, surveying and fencing will be underway, as well as the location of vital services including sewerage, electricity and water.

Cross River rail is a significant project for the state expected to span over five years. With a predicted completion date of 2024, you can find out more specific timings by contacting the Cross River Rail department directly.


The need for the major upgrade to transport infrastructure is multifaceted.

Support predicted population growth

In research undertaken by the government, it was identified that the population of South East Queensland (including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Logan), will increase at a rate of approximately 2% every year by 2036.

While this growth isn’t restricted to those living in the capital, as the economical hub of the state, Brisbane needs to have the capacity to sustain the increase in employment opportunities and services and existing transport systems currently do not meet requirements.

To reduce congestion

The existing rail system operates a total of 11 lines merging into two lines through Brisbane CBD. This currently leads to a “bottleneck” for carriages travelling to central locations which reduces the efficiency of the existing service.

Not only does the existing system buckle under current pressures causing delays for commuters, at the rate of population growth predicted in Infrastructure Australia government’s official report, platform capacity will reach capacity too.

To increase accessibility to vital services within Brisbane

The Cross River Rail will integrate with existing bus and rail networks to provide greater accessibility for residents of, and visitors to Brisbane to city employment, housing, and amenities including the international airport.


The cost associated with The Cross River Rail Project is expected to reach $5.4 billion and is one of the most significant financial outlays for the current government. As such, the justification for the project has been well researched and is extensive. Some of the following predictions have been made by the government:

Increased employment

According to government reports, the project delivery alone will create 1500 jobs a year and up to 3000 jobs in the most intensive years of construction.

This will include local Brisbane residents and dedicated specialist engineers, construction workers and technicians brought into the region specifically to deliver the complex project.

Improve economy

Once the network expansion is fully operational, it’s estimated that an extra 17480 seats will be available on Brisbane trains in peak hour. In addition to a direct rail link to the southern end of the CBD, Brisbane CBD will become a much more appealing destination for those visiting restaurants, the arts, and retail.

Environmental sustainability

It’s estimated that 47,000 people will travel by train instead of the road into and around Brisbane once the project is complete. Less cars on the road will reduce fuel consumption and therefore the level of harmful carbon emissions making a significant contribution to reducing global warming.

Improve safety

The Gold Coast Bulleting reported 450 crashes on the Gold Coast to Brisbane stretch of the M1 in 2016, that’s over one per day!
With a more appealing and convenient public transport network in Brisbane, less cars driving into the CBD will lead to fewer accidents and dramatically improve the safety of road users. Direct trains from the Gold Coast to Brisbane will leave every five minutes making the rail network the safest, cheapest and most convenient way to travel.

Increase opportunity for Sunshine Coast residents

The Sunshine Coast is a coastal location with very few residents living there for the career opportunities. With a train leaving the Sunshine Coast for the CBD every six minutes once the project is complete, this increased accessibility will lead to further career opportunity for residents of the Sunshine Coast.
With an easier and more convenient commute, those living in Brisbane whose career is a priority will now be able to have the ‘best of both worlds’ and be more likely to move to areas like the Sunshine Coast driving property prices and opportunity within those traditionally quieter areas.

Turn up and Go

With the frequency of trains increasing across South East Queensland, The Cross River Rail Project is moving towards a ‘turn up and go’ system that will increase the flexibility of 164,000 employers, students and residents who are predicted to use the service daily.


Nerang riverThe project will improve central facilities of the CBD to dramatically raise Brisbane’s profile and set it on an equal footing with its traditionally more progressive counterparts, Sydney and Melbourne.

The expansion of the rail network is a project that Brisbane needs in order to achieve economic and cultural growth that the region has been striving for. To find out more about this or any other project, contact AM Project Partners today.