The Honourable Anna Bligh
Transport and Multicultural Affairs
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
WORK UNDERWAY ON SPRINGFIELD RAIL LINK
Premier Anna Bligh today turned the first sod on a new 9.5 km rail line that will link Brisbane with one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.
The $475 million Richlands to Springfield project officially starts construction this week.
The Premier said that through a competitive tendering process for the delivery of the project the taxpayer gained $171 million in cost savings and a new station at Springfield near the Springfield Link Bridge.
"We fast tracked this project and it is great to see work underway on another vital piece of rail infrastructure for South East Queensland," said the Premier.
"This is a major transport initiative of the Queensland Government to support one of the fastest growing areas in Australia, with more than 21,000 people currently living in greater Springfield.
"The area's population is expected to reach 105,000 during the next twenty years, and we're building the transport infrastructure to meet this growing region's needs."
The Government opened Richlands station, which was part of the $800 million stage one of the Darra to Springfield project, early to help after the floods and already 2,500 trips are made every weekday on the line.
"The new 9.5km rail line is expected to take two million work hours and will create about 3,200 jobs during construction," said the Premier.
"This investment will provide residents with a clean, green alternative to car travel.
"It'll encourage people to use public transport as their preferred way to travel, ultimately reducing reliance on local roads.
"During morning peak the new rail line could potentially take up to 2,500 cars off the Centenary Highway, with the train trip from Springfield Central to Brisbane expected to take about 40 minutes."
Transport Minister Ms Palaszczuk said the Springfield community would benefit from the two new stations being built as part of the project - Springfield Central Station near the Orion Shopping Centre and Springfield Station near Woodcrest College.
"By the time the project is finished in 2013, two years ahead of our original estimates, this will be part of an integrated public transport alternative," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Both new stations will link with buses and the South East Queensland cycle path network."
Ms Palaszczuk said a new interim bus service - Route 535 (from Orion Springfield to Richlands train station) - would start in February next year.
Ms Palaszczuk said the $850,000 a year bus service, delivered by Westside, would run half-hourly every morning and afternoon, Monday-Friday, between 5.08am-8.20am and 4.33pm-7.05pm.
"The interim buses will run 145 times a week and offering 6800 weekly seats.
'This is about giving people options and delivering an effective public transport alternative," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"It will serve emerging developments in Springfield Lakes including Education City and gives residents another option to the park 'n' rides at Goodna and Richlands train stations.
"Sixteen bus stops will be installed for the new bus route and four new buses added to the network."
"As part of the project, we're also building a 5.1km cycle path connecting Springfield Central and Springfield to Richlands Station and the South East Queensland cycle network as part of the project.
"There will also be about 2.1km of shared-use pedestrian and cycle paths around the stations at Springfield Central and Springfield and both stations will have secure bike storage facilities."
Member for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller said local people would benefit from two new stations being built as part of the project.
"We'll be getting two stations, Springfield Central Station near the Orion Shopping Centre and Springfield Station near Woodcrest College," she said.
"It's great that work is now underway on this vital piece of infrastructure for local area."
Springfield Land Corporation Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said this is a great announcement for the entire Western Corridor.
"This is long term planning at its best. These twin rail stations will open up new opportunities for Australia's fastest growing area," Mr Sinnathamby said.
"I know the people of Greater Springfield will support and use this vital piece of infrastructure."