Faster Rail on the horizon for key commuter corridors

Three business cases for faster rail will be developed under the Turnbull Government's $20 million Faster Rail Prospectus.

The business cases are expected to be delivered over the next twelve months, and the Turnbull Government's funding for the business cases will be combined with funding provided by the project proponents.

The intention of this process is to develop detailed proposals for faster rail services between major cities and surrounding regional areas.

The successful proposals in NSW, Queensland, and Victoria were selected following a competitive assessment process for their potential to substantially improve the efficiency of rail links between key regional centres and major cities.

If these proposals prove to be viable, they offer the potential to significantly reduce journey times on these key corridors—meaning better options for people who want to have the lifestyle of a regional centre but access to the job opportunities of a big city.

In the Faster Rail prospectus, the Turnbull Government stated that we wanted to look at both ‘evolutionary’ and ‘revolutionary’ proposals—and the three proposals chosen for further development are at different points along this spectrum. One involves upgrades to existing track, another proposes entirely new track, and the third sees a mix. We have also ensured that three different transport corridors, in three different states, are being considered.

Once the business case for each proposal is complete they will then proceed to independent assessment by Infrastructure Australia.

Following a competitive selection process, the three proposals selected for business case development are:

  • The NSW Government proposal for Sydney to Newcastle;
  • Consolidated Land and Rail Australia's (CLARA) proposal for Melbourne to Greater Shepparton; and
  • North Coast Connect consortium's proposal for Brisbane and the regions of Moreton Bay and the Sunshine Coast.

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