Brisbane's Cross River Rail contract signed, creating more than 7,700 jobs

Posted: 2nd Jul

The state government has signed a key construction contract as part of the planned Cross River Rail project, a move the deputy premier believes "guarantees" the project will go ahead.

The deal has been sealed with Pulse, a consortium that will deliver tunnel stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street. They will also upgrade Dutton Park station and develop above the new stations.

The consortium was announced as the preferred option in April and includes Italian contractor Ghella, which worked on the Legacy Way tunnel, and companies previously involved in Sydney and Melbourne rail and road projects.

Cross River Rail promises to deliver an extra 18,000 seats on Brisbane trains, take 14,000 drivers off the roads, cut travel time on south-east Queensland train lines and create more than 7700 jobs.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad described the agreement as a key milestone and one that guaranteed the delivery of Cross River Rail.

"This project will create 7700 jobs during construction and we expect to see those jobs starting in the next couple of months," Ms Trad said.

"It means that we will be able to slash travel times and increase service frequency for commuters right across the south-east corner, from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and out to Ipswich.

"Major construction will commence later this year as scheduled, starting with the demolition of the Roma Street Transit Centre.

"Our commitment to this project will see tunnelling construction kick off next year too."

The $5.4 billion project includes a 10.2 kilometres stretch of rail track, with 5.9 kilometres to be incorporated in a tunnel, and incorporate four underground stations.

Ms Trad said the project would overhaul public transport in the region and revitalise the precincts near the new stations at Boggo Road, Albert Street, Roma Street and Woolloongabba.

"By 2036, the south-east corner alone will be home to nearly 5 million people, which makes the need for turn-up-and-go public transport essential," she said.

"South-east Queensland is one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions, and we need to build infrastructure now that helps us keep pace with that growth.

"Our public transport network is nearing capacity, constrained by a single rail river crossing with all lines running through the same four city centre stations.

"Cross River Rail will unlock this bottleneck creating new capacity for the whole region as it grows, ensuring high-capacity train stations where they are needed most."

The Pulse Consortium consists of the CIMIC Group companies, Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, and UGL with international partners DIF, BAM, and Ghella Investments & Partnerships.

UNITY is responsible for the rail integration systems, the track through the tunnels, incorporating the new rail with the existing network and a major upgrade at the Ekka station.

The alliance has worked with Queensland Rail in the past to build more than $2.5 billion worth of infrastructure on the south-east Queensland train network.

Hitachi Rail will bring a $634 million European Train Control System to the project, which will improve the safety and service frequency in the entire city rail network upon completion.

The international company specialises in signalling, communication and control systems for a variety of different railways across the globe.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the tunnelling work was set to begin in late 2020, a significant delay compared with the "second quarter of 2019" deadline given in February 2018.

Source: Toby Crockford - Brisbane Times -