Time to get serious about Sunny Coast rail upgrade

RACQ has called on the State Government to review its Beerburrum to Nambour rail line upgrade plan to give Sunshine Coast residents the rail infrastructure they deserved.

The Queensland Government continued to prepare a business case for the rail line upgrade which would feature the duplication of the southern section (Beerburrum to Landsborough), however the need to duplicate the northern section (Landsborough to Nambour) had been ignored.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the Government’s current plan for the northern section was a band-aid solution, and the duplication of the entire line was essential to address transport issues surrounding the busy corridor.

“To make this project worthwhile the entire line from Beerburrum to Nambour needs to be duplicated – not just the southern section which is currently proposed,” Ms Smith said.

“The present plan to make only minor improvements to the northern existing section of line isn’t enough and if it goes ahead it’ll be a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

Ms Smith said a duplication of the whole line would mean additional passengers and freight services could be moved from the at capacity Bruce Highway, and onto rail.

“If done correctly, the rail line upgrade will provide additional services for commuters to Brisbane and take freight trucks off the road and over to rail, reducing Bruce Highway congestion. It’ll also improve public transport options on the coast – something locals are crying out for,” she said.

“Preliminary work has commenced on the Bruce Highway to upgrade Caloundra Road to the Sunshine Motorway to six lanes. This, combined with the rail line duplication, will significantly improve the transport network on the Sunshine Coast.

“We’re urging the State Government and Sunshine Coast Regional Council to work together to make sure this project delivers the benefits Sunshine Coast residents deserve.”

The Beerburrum to Nambour rail line business case was expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.