By 2020, Australia’s National Rail Plan says, rail will be used to carry a staggering 4.6 million people a year.
It’s the equivalent of the population of London.
But it’s the rail link between Brisbane and Melbourne that’s the main attraction for many.
The idea is to create a direct link between the two major cities.
“This will be the largest urban rail system in the world and will be a catalyst for economic development, creating more jobs and attracting more tourists to the region,” the plan states.
Australia’s National Transportation Plan says it’s time for a new rail link In the meantime, the rail line between Brisbane’s CBD and the outer suburbs will remain a pipe dream.
It’s still just a dream, but it’s an ambitious one.
For the past decade, the Federal Government has been developing a long-term plan for the state’s rail network.
Its called the Future Rail Link (FRL), and it’s meant to replace Brisbane’s old regional rail line, known as the Eastern Freeway.
When the state opened the Eastern line to cars in 2013, it was hoped the future of Brisbane’s rail system would be a bright spot.
Now, more than a decade later, the state is trying to close the gap with a longterm plan to upgrade the Eastern section of the line and connect it to the city’s main commuter railway, the Northern line.
There are many hurdles to jump through to make this dream come true, but one key element of the plan is to build a link between Melbourne’s CBD, the suburbs and the Northern rail line.
The plan envisages a 10-minute trip between the city and the inner suburbs.
Currently, this trip takes a full 15 minutes, but the FRL’s plan envisions a 30-minute, four-hour journey.
Once the new line is operational, it will connect the CBD with the inner-city, providing a direct, direct connection between the CBD and its northern suburbs.
The link will also be able to accommodate trains that can travel more than 100 kilometres per hour, as well as freight trains, which travel between Melbourne and Sydney more than 1,000 kilometres an hour.
A train on the Northern Line trains to Melbourne.
Source: SuppliedThe new rail plan envises the opening of the Eastern and Northern lines in 2021.
As part of the $3.8 billion rail link, the government will build a station at Victoria Park in the CBD.
The station will be connected to the new FRL line by a bridge, which will be able turn the rail carriages into a single track, which can be extended to the inner city.
This new bridge, known locally as the Western Bridge, will be constructed over the existing rail line and extend for at least 15 metres.
It will also link the new rail station to the existing Southern rail line at the Western Freeway station in the northern suburbs, and will also connect to the Eastern Railway line at Western Freight.
In total, the new section of rail will run from Victoria Park to the Melbourne Inner City and from there to the CBD’s inner suburbs, with a capacity of 5,000 passengers a day.
However, the future rail link is not just a pipe-dream.
Although the FSL has the capacity to connect the two rail lines, the construction of the Western and Southern sections is not yet complete.
And while the line is not currently being built, it is expected to be completed within five years.
So the future FRL is a significant achievement, but its still not quite there.
Why it matters?
Rail projects are usually conceived as a long term investment.
The Government hopes the FBL will create jobs and boost the economy.
But, as we’ve already seen with the Eastern Rail Link, this is only part of a long game.
What the future looks like: The future of rail between Brisbane, Melbourne and the Inner Cities is a big question mark.
Rail projects like the FFL can only go so far.
FSL’s Southern section is currently under construction.
It should be completed by 2020.
Construction of the FPL between Brisbane city and its inner suburbs is not complete.
Source the Commonwealth website.
More to come.