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    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    First Class Berth For City Rail In Infrastructure Plan

    Premier & Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    First Class Berth For City Rail In Infrastructure Plan

    Premier Peter Beattie has revealed the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan will include an investigation of a new Brisbane River rail crossing and an expanded inner-city rail system.

    Mr Beattie said the project was just a taste of the Infrastructure Plan, to be released on 27 April.

    "This $4.5 million investigation could lead to a second rail bridge over the Brisbane River, or a tunnel under the river, plus new stations and tracks," Mr Beattie said.

    "It could possibly even lead to a new inner-Brisbane network of tunnels.

    "We will need a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River at some future date, to meet demand from the one million extra people who will live in the region in the next 20 years - not to mention the extra tourists and business travellers.

    "Estimates suggest the Merivale Bridge and CBD rail tunnels will approach capacity by 2016.

    "We are talking about a huge investment of dollars and thousands of jobs for skilled workers.

    "A river tunnel alone would cost well over $2 billion, while a bridge would cost well over $1 billion.

    "It is imperative that the planning, feasibility and design work are spot-on.

    "You could not have a tunnel unless you expanded the inner-city underground rail system."

    The investigations will commence in 2006-07 and take an estimated three years.

    "The rocketing popularity of the Citytrain network is driving planning for more rail services," Mr Beattie said.

    "Last year, through our Smart State Building Fund, the Government announced a $247 million expansion of track and rail services on the Beenleigh-Gold Coast line.

    "Add to this $123M for track duplication and extension of the rail line to a new station at Reedy Creek, which the government announced last month.

    "Ultimately, many of these extra trains roll into Roma Street across the Merivale Bridge.

    "I love this extra demand for rail, because it is a safe and environmentally friendly way to travel, and the more it is used the more we can invest in a world-class service for Queenslanders," Mr Beattie said.

    The Merivale Bridge opened on 18 November 1978, to meet the needs of electrification of the Citytrain network which commenced in 1979.

    "Back then, locomotives hauled passenger carriages," Mr Beattie said.

    "Today about 90,000 passenger services and 3,000 freight services cross the bridge in each direction every year.

    "The fact we are talking about another rail crossing 27 years after the Merivale Bridge was opened underlines the government's determination to plan smartly for the escalating popularity of South-East Queensland."

    14 April 2005

    Media contact: 3224 4500