New rail extension on the right track to boost jobs
Written on the 7 April 2009
THE $324 million extension of the Robina to Varsity Lakes railway is one of the largest rail infrastructure investment projects underway in Queensland and will employ 2000 workers.
Premier Anna Bligh says the new 4.1km rail extension south of Robina to Varsity Lakes will support local industries and inject much needed funds into the local economy.
“Laying the first new extension to the Gold Coast rail line in more than 10 years represents a significant milestone for the project,” says Bligh.
“This project will provide greatly improved access to rail services for people living in the southern Gold Coast region. This new public transport infrastructure, which includes a new eco-friendly station at Varsity Lakes with 300 commuter car parks, will reduce the number of cars on our roads.
“This project is providing more than 2000 jobs - not just for those directly involved in construction but also equipment and material suppliers, hospitality workers and others in associated industries such as manufacturing.”
State Government has secured a contract to buy 20 new trains in a deal worth $300 million, which is the first stage of a 58 new train roll out beginning in 2010. The new trains are in addition to the Government’s current order of 44 passenger trains, worth $585 million.
Sixteen of the 44 passenger trains are already operating on the Gold Coast line and six of the 20 new trains that have been ordered so far will operate in the region.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan says the new rail corridor involved the excavation of around 270,000 cubic metres of earth, equating to almost 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“More than 12,000 sleepers and approximately 1000 tonnes of rail will be used to construct the two new electrified tracks,” she says.
“One hundred and thirtytwo masts have been erected in the rail corridor, ready for the overhead electrical wiring, signalling and communication equipment to be installed by late 2009.
“Fifty thousand cubic metres of hard sedimentary rock was excavated to create a 300 metre cut-and-cover rail tunnel under Easthill Drive at Robina, which is almost complete with the roof to be poured in the next few months.”
The project includes building a new road network providing access to Varsity Lakes station, including a new road-over-rail bridge linking the Pacific Motorway at the Exit 85 roundabout and Scottsdale Drive.