THE passenger load on South East Queensland's busiest railway lines will reach capacity in the next decade without further investment in network improvements, according to the Queensland Government's long-term rail network strategy released last week.
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said South East Queensland's Rail Horizon confirmed the state's busiest railway lines will be overwhelmed by passenger growth if rail network capacity and congestion challenges are not address before 2026.
"There will be standing-room only on our commuter trains if we don't plan for the massive population growth down the track or invest in major projects like Cross River Rail," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"By 2036, the South East Queensland population is forecast to reach almost 4.9 million people and we need a better rail system to keep pace with growth and provide a better experience for passengers."
Mr Hinchliffe said the increasing growth corridors in South East Queensland would place pressure on the transport network, particularly where the system converges in the Brisbane CBD.
The Minister said the strategy aims to direct investment to the rail network which will get more efficiency out of existing infrastructure, adding that Cross River Rail, new high capacity signals and longer trains all form part of the government's plan.
According to the government, key South East Queensland rail network initiatives include:
- Moreton Bay Rail Link - due for completion mid-2016;
- Coomera to Helensvale track duplication - due for completion in 2017;
- Roll out of 75 new generation six-car trains from late 2016; and
- Proposed Cross River Rail - Queensland Government will deliver the business case to the Federal Government for consideration by mid-2016.
More information about the South East Queensland's Rail Horizon is available from the Department of Transport and Main Roads website at <http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Travel-and-transport/Rail/South-East-Queenslands-Rail-Horizon>.