All Aboard The Inland Rail
One of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia is on track to carry freight between Melbourne and Brisbane in record time.
And it’s set to bring benefits to the Toowoomba region, too.
Around three-quarters of Australia’s freight is currently transported by road. But with the federal government’s Inland Rail Project finally underway that’s set to change.
Get on board
The Inland Rail project comes in response to the growing demand for freight across the nation. With an estimated increase in the freight of 75 per cent by 2031, the time is right for a new freight-only railway.
The $10 billion project will connect Melbourne and Brisbane via an inland route, and is the largest rail infrastructure project in the country.
It’s hoped the line will transform how goods are moved along the east coast. Not only will transport times between Melbourne and Brisbane be cut to less than 24 hours, it’s also expected that if the rail line becomes a cheaper option than road, fewer trucks will be on the roads and therefore emissions will be cut.
Plus, the Inland Rail is infrastructure that is expected to boost Australia’s GDP by $16 billion over the next 50 years.
What’s the route?
Stretching 1700 kilometres from Tottenham, in Melbourne’s western suburbs, all the way to Acacia Ridge in Brisbane’s south, the Inland Rail will snake its way through numerous population centres in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Closer to home, trains will pass through Gowrie and Helidon, heading through the Toowoomba Range and making use of a 6.4 kilometre tunnel.
Where’s the project at?
This is such a huge project that it’s been divided into 13 smaller projects or sections. Work has begun on the Parkes to Narromine section, west of Sydney, and should be completed by the end of this year.
Narrabri to North Star is expected to begin later this year, with the remaining sections currently in the reference design stage.
The whole line is expected to be finished in 2025.
Benefits for Toowoomba
While there is some objection to the project from landowners who are concerned about its impact, there are also many who see its advantages.
Along with other regional centres like Parkes and Wagga Wagga, Toowoomba looks set to benefit as a freight hub. That should see an increase in jobs in our region. And there’ll be a boost to jobs overall: the project expects to create 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the height of construction along its entire length.
The line will also improve access to and from regional markets, making it easier for local producers to get their goods out into the world.
Then there’s the benefit to the local property market. Of the ten infrastructure projects predicted to most influence property prices in the coming years, top of the list is the Inland Rail project.
And Toowoomba is noted as one of the locations specifically tipped to reap the rewards.
Looking to be part of Toowoomba’s boom? Contact our team today.
Image credit: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/maps