New Rail Line to Connect Sunshine Coast and Brisbane

Sunshine Coast Rail

5 Min Read
Artist Impression of Future Sunshine Coast Station

The Queensland Government has announced a major investment in a new rail line that will link the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and the rest of South East Queensland.

The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line project will provide a fast, reliable and sustainable transport option for residents and visitors of the region, reducing travel time by at least 45 minutes compared to driving.

The project will also unlock new housing opportunities, support regional growth and create thousands of jobs.

North Coast Region map

Stage 1: Beerwah to Caloundra

The first stage of the project will see a 19 km dual track built from Beerwah to Caloundra, the longest spur line in the south-east passenger network.

The Government has committed an initial $2.75 billion to deliver this stage, which includes protection of the updated rail alignment all the way to Maroochydore.

The funding envelope for Stage 1 is expected to be between $5.5 billion and $7 billion, with final costs to be confirmed at the completion of the procurement phase.

The project has submitted a business case to Infrastructure Australia for assessment, and will require matching funding from the Federal Government to enable construction by 2032.

The Federal Government has already committed $1.6 billion to the project.

The Beerwah to Caloundra stage could be operational in time for Brisbane 2032, subject to a matched funding agreement from the Federal Government.

Future stages: Birtinya and Maroochydore

Staged delivery will see the line ultimately run to Birtinya and Maroochydore, delivering faster rail to the Sunshine Coast, with trains able to reach speeds of 140km per hour on some sections of the track.

This will provide a direct connection between the Sunshine Coast’s growth areas and South East Queensland’s rail network, enhancing accessibility and mobility for the region.

Benefits for the region

The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line will bring significant benefits for the region, including:

  • Housing: The project will be a significant enabler for new housing, including supply for 50,000 people at Caloundra South and up to 100,000 people at Beerwah East. It’s expected the initial stage of the project will accelerate the delivery of more than 3,000 affordable and diverse homes already planned within the region.
  • Growth: The Sunshine Coast is one of the fastest growing regions in the state, and is forecast to be home to 600,000 people by 2046. Modelling shows most of the population growth will be concentrated along the first stage of the rail line, around Caloundra South (Aura).
  • Jobs: It’s expected that Stage 1 of project will support 2,200 good jobs in the region, boosting the local economy and providing opportunities for skills development and training.
  • Environment: The project will reduce congestion and transport emissions, contributing to the state’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The project will also incorporate sustainable design features, such as renewable energy sources, water recycling and native landscaping.

What they said

Premier Steven Miles said the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line was a record investment in Queensland’s rail network, building on the multi-billion dollar rail revolution currently underway.

“A direct rail connection to the Sunshine Coast will unlock thousands of homes in the growing Sunshine Coast region and accelerate the release of new, affordable developments,” he said.

Concept drawing of a hypothetical Caloundra train station.

“Without the rail line, that development would bring an unmanageable level of congestion to the local road network, making this connection essential for new housing to be brought forward.”

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Cameron Dick said the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line would transform South East Queensland.

“The Sunshine Coast has a growing economy and approximately 11 million annual visitors who currently rely on private vehicles, so this project will make it easier and faster to work, holiday, or travel to see friends and family,” he said.

“This project is a game-changer for the region, and we are calling on the Federal Government to match our funding commitment and get this project moving as soon as possible.”

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  • When it does start, a whole lot of new employment options is great.
    Also a pick up on the hospiality trade, with further employment when operating.

  • what I have heard is the only reason its going to Caloundra is because the Sunshine Coast Council is planning a light rail between Caloundra and the Airport via Maroochydore, So I think at the Caloundra Teminus, passengers will be able to change to a Tram

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