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Ipswich joins forces with councils to see passenger rail become a reality

Three local councils have joined forces to form an alliance, in the next step toward passenger rail becoming a reality from Brisbane to Toowoomba.

Ipswich City Council  has joined with Toowoomba Regional Council and Lockyer Valley Regional Council to form the Ipswich to Toowoomba Passenger Rail Alliance.

The three councils have invited key industry representatives to join the alliance, including participants from universities, defence, health and tourism.

Following on from the Commonwealth Government’s funding of a $15 million business case looking at passenger rail from Toowoomba to Brisbane, Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said the alliance was vital to ensure the needs and interests of local communities are a priority.

“We want to ensure our local communities are adequately included in the business case, so we’re seeking active involvement from key sectors across council regions in that process.

“Tourism advocates Lockyer Valley Tourism are on board and we welcome their commitment to this project.

“We need to improve accessibility of Lockyer Valley residents to employment opportunities in our nearby cities,” Mayor Milligan said.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said further meetings with industry groups within the region would be held in the coming weeks to gather their support.

“Faster, regular passenger rail between Brisbane and Toowoomba via Ipswich is vital for the future of the wider region, especially in providing reliable access to employment, tertiary education, specialist health services and tourism opportunities.

“Toowoomba is Australia’s largest inland non-capital city, yet has no meaningful passenger rail link, so this is an opportunity we cannot miss,” Mayor Antonio said.

Ipswich City Council’s Manager of Infrastructure Strategy Tony Dileo said council supports the business case development for this significant project.

“Council is looking forward to contributing through the alliance partnership,” Mr Dileo said.

Mayors Antonio and Milligan (pictured below) announced the alliance at Withcott on Friday.

8 Comments

  1. Yes it’s a better idea to use the express trains from Brisbane City to Toowoomba via Ipswich Station as always so many events & festivals.

  2. The Westlander train takes about 4 hours to make the 120 kilometer journey from Brisbane to Toowoomba, that a bus could probably do in 90 minutes. Despite Toowoomba being the largest inland city in the country, i imagine the cost of upgrading the line would be prohibitive.

  3. Thanks for the update on the inland rail, however can you please provide an accurate update on:
    1. Rail Line Springfield to Ipswich via Ripley>Deebing Hts and what is the proposed location. There are many ,”rumours” out there

    2. Road upgrade Warwick road and Pisasale Drive for the entry / exit from the new shopping complex

    3, When is the upgrade of Binnies road from the roundabout Pisasale /Binniestrack / Grampian Road commencing

    Thanks

    4. When is Pisasale Drive and Grampian road going to be upgraded to dual carriage way?

  4. This article is really saying Ipswich Council has decided to join a group lobbying for something that’s highly unlikely to happen.
    Fact check:
    (a) Councils don’t build railway lines, state governments do, and the Qld Government is not actually flush with money.
    (b) Current rail travel time between Ipswich and Toowoomba is about four hours versus about an hour and a half at the most by road. To make a rail service competitive with road transport would require a massive project on the scale of tye Second Range Crossing. Likely?
    (c) Given projected population growth in the Ripley Valley, extending the Springfield line to Ipswich -as always intended – would surely be a higher priority, and the Qld Government has indicated no timeframe for that.
    What are the odds? Up there with the Norman Street bridge I reckon.

  5. The rail line from Ipswich to Toowoomba, would need to have extensive upgrades to support a decent and regular commuter rail service. Currently all locomotives and rolling stock are limited to 80km/ph on the fastest stretch, making a trip from just Ipswich to Toowoomba alone around 90 minutes, longer than a bus service or car trip. If these councils were serious about brining forward decent and reliable commuter rail, they should be lobbying for high speed rail with speeds exceeding 200km/ph. High speed rail from Ipswich to Toowoomba would bring commute times down to just 20 mins, but the cost of infrastrucutre alone to make such a project plausible would be around $1.1 billion for 95km of track and overhead lines supporting high speed rail – double what it would cost to make the current narrow gauge line from Ipswich to Toowoomba suitable for 100km/ph services. Narrow gauge cannot support speeds exceeding 200km/ph (with an exception being for the electric tilt train which did 210km/ph on a straight line in a controlled environment).

    I think it is time that the councils and the state government quit messing around with the multiple $15-20 million dollar business plans (which all come to the same conclusion – we need fast rail and regular services) and come up with a strategy with how we’re going to fund this large project, because it needs to happen within the next 10 years.

    Regular commuter services provided by high speed rail will eleviate SEQ population density….this is an argument for another day….

  6. A train service between Toowoomba & Ipswich is very long overdue, especially for those that do the daily commute into Brisbane from Toowoomba or any of the smaller towns in between Toowoomba & Brisbane like Gatton, Laidley & Others
    A train service will also open up Tourism opportunities and allow the areas that have been slowly fading away to regenerate there will be increased opportunities for education, employment & tourism to the wider rural communities between Brisbane & Toowoomba.

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