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Right on track: Brisbane Olympics drives Gold Coast rail link expansion

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While the political bickering over the organisation of the Brisbane 2032 Olympics continues to hog the headlines, the transport infrastructure associated with the event is quietly taking shape.

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The Palaszczuk Government has taken a further step towards building its $2.6 billion Logan Gold Coast Faster Rail project, formally designating the expanded corridor needed to duplicate and straighten the existing track between Kuraby and Beenleigh stations.

Transport and Main Roads bureaucrats detailed the route the corridor will take, designating a 19.74 kms ribbon of land between the Beenleigh Road Overpass and the Beenleigh Connection Road as “railway land”.

The Government plans to spend $876 million on the joint federal-state project over the next four years as part of a $3.5 billion rail building spree on top of the massive Cross River Rail project.

The milestone was reached in the same week the volume was turned up in the political row over the snubbing the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast mayors for seats on the Brisbane Olympic’s organising committee.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate was quoted as saying the state’s move to leave him and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson off the committee was “morally wrong”.

The Faster Rail link, which involves doubling the number of tracks between Kuraby and Beenleigh from two to four, will rid the network of a notorious bottleneck that is limiting the number of services able to run between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Five level crossings will go and nine rail stations will be upgraded as part of the expansion, with the journey to and from the Gold Coast along what is one of the busiest long-distance commuting lines in Australia expected to be cut by 15 minutes.

While the project has been linked to the 2032 Olympics, it will also ensure south-east Queensland’s transport network is better able to cope with the estimated 1.2 million new residents in the region by 2036.

The Federal government is also investigating the feasibility of extending the Gold Coast line from Varsity Lakes to the Gold Coast Airport.

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