Graeme Newton, CEO of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, discusses how work is progressing on the mega project and why it will transform travel in Australia’s third largest city.
Entrance to the TBM tunnel from Woolloongabba.
Like many Brisbane locals, I adore our river. The iconic body of water snakes through the heart of our city, and is central to our way of life in the state capital of tropical Queensland.
But, because it effectively cuts our city in half, we are a slave to it.
Our beloved river is a natural barrier which makes public transport – rail in particular – difficult, with one bridge serving as the only inner-city rail crossing.
It means the Merivale Bridge creates a bottleneck, limiting the ability to increase capacity on South East Queensland’s rail network, and is a point of frailty that can result in cascading delays across the network.
To ensure the rail network is able to service a growing population into the future, the solution was to build Cross River Rail – a new underground for Brisbane that goes directly under the river.
It’s a decision that has already paid dividends before a single train has gone through a tunnel, with Cross River Rail central to Brisbane’s successful bid to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Cross River Rail is Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project – a new 10.2km rail line that includes 5.9km of twin tunnels under the Brisbane River and CBD.
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