THE Queensland Government has announced that Brisbane's flagship station is set to be transformed following the start of a three-year program of works worth more than $67 million at Central Station.
In a statement this week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the upgrade would support 750 jobs and revitalise the historic station which was first built in 1889.
"Central station is a gateway to the Brisbane CBD with up to 140,000 passengers travelling through the station every day, but the major transport hub hasn't undergone a large-scale renovation since the 1990s," the Premier said.
"The new-look will honour the iconic station's heritage features, but also ensure the station keeps pace with design changes and delivers modern facilities for passengers.
"This $67 million investment will support 750 construction jobs in our CBD across a range of professions including engineering, electrical, rigging, carpentry, concreting and finishing trades."
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said an innovative virtual reality render created by pdt. architects would give the community a chance to inspect the Central Station makeover and get a feel for the new design, three years before the upgrade is complete.
"Using virtual reality technology the community can get a first look at the design, experience 360 degree views inside the new-look Central Station and get a glimpse of how the lighter, brighter and more modern station will transform our CBD," he said.
Mr Hinchliffe said the Central station upgrade would include a new roof and an overhaul of the platforms, as well as new lifts and escalators.
"This upgrade will deliver a fresh new look, and make it easier for passengers to access and move around the station – one of the city's most critical interchanges – with improvements including less cluttered and more accessible platforms, new information displays and lighting," Mr Hinchliffe said.
"The most striking feature of the new-look station will be a new, raised roof which will extend over the Edward Street end of the concourse, with a glass façade that will transform the station and inject the space with more light.
"In addition to these works, planning is underway for further improvements, including a proposal for an additional escalator from the concourse to ANZAC Square, to reduce congestion during peak periods.
"All the platforms will be modernised with new floor, wall and roof coverings, passenger information displays, CCTV and lighting. We will also raise platforms 1-4 to allow level-entry boarding, which will make it easier for passengers in wheelchairs, parents with prams and those traveling with luggage to access trains."
The Central station upgrade will commence this month, beginning with work on Queensland Rail's 'back of house' facilities including offices, communications rooms and first aid areas. Work will commence on the lifts, escalators and platform upgrades in early 2017.