Inland Rail steams ahead with two project declarations

Media Release


17 March 2017

  • Gowrie to Helidon and Helidon to Calvert sections declared as ‘Coordinated Projects’
  • Declaration will trigger the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • Market testing for the delivery of the project is close to finalisation

The second phase of the market testing is close to being finalised for the historic Inland Rail project.

While this market testing process continues to decide on the preferred delivery model or approach, the Commonwealth Government is moving ahead with formal assessment and approvals processes to ensure the next stages of the project is ready to roll out.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said today two sections of the potential route have been declared in Queensland as ‘Coordinated Projects’.

“The declaration of the Gowrie to Helidon and Helidon to Calvert sections is a critical part of the planning and assessment stage,” Mr Chester said.

“This means the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) can now start preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for these sections.

“Shortly, the Queensland Office of the Coordinator will release a draft Terms of Reference which will be open for public comment.

“This is another good opportunity for the community to have their say on the Inland Rail project.

“During construction, these two projects alone will create on average 3,000 jobs in West Moreton, and 2,300 jobs in the Darling Downs Region.

“After the market testing has concluded I'm keen to see construction commence sooner rather than later.

“We believe in the future of regional Australia, and the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail project to deliver benefits today and in 100 years from now.

“The Inland Rail project will deliver a high performance and direct interstate rail corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane, enabling freight operators to avoid the congested Sydney network and deliver goods to market quickly,” Mr Chester said.

Further information on the market testing process is available at

For more information on the Inland Rail programme, visit