Travelling to the Sunshine Coast in less than a hour is the kind of thing that beach-loving Brisbanites dream of, but if a new proposal receives the go-ahead, it could soon become a reality. Put forward by 26 Federal Coalition MPs in Queensland, the North Coast Connect project would see high-speed rail introduced between Brissie and Nambour. Say goodbye two-hour train trips and road journeys, and hello a CBD-to-beach jaunt in 45 minutes.
If successful, the plan would involve improving and upgrading the existing Brisbane to Beerburrum line, laying new lines from Beerburrum to Nambour, and building a 40-kilometre line from Beerwah to Maroochydore. To be delivered by development companies Stockland, Smec, Urbis and KPMG, it'd mark the first time the Sunshine Coast's actual coast was connected to Brisbane. As for the super-fast part, trains would be trains required to travel between 150 to 200 kilometres per hour.
At present, the proposal has passed its first hurdle, securing government funding to develop a business case. Just one of three projects chosen from a shortlist of 11, the North Coast Connect will receive a share of $20 million to progress their planning — contingent on contributing their own funds and raising others. From here, the next step will involve assessment by Infrastructure Australia in the hopes of accessing $10 billion in federal cash. The ultimate aim is for the rail line to be operational between Brisbane and Nambour within five years.