Cross River Rail

More Time to Enjoy the Brisbane Sunshine

The second rail crossing of the Brisbane River has arrived. After years of problematic circulation, the Cross River Rail project will improve the quality of travel for commuters in the State of Queensland.


Brisbane enjoys almost 300 days of sunshine every year, making it a perfect place to spend time outside. It is also the third most populated city in Australia, and growing. This is putting additional pressure on the regular functioning of transportation. What is more, the capacity of the current railway network has always been limited by a single crossing of the Brisbane River, and only four stations in the city center. This structure has significantly hindered the circulation of trains, causing problems for citizens forced to endure daily traffic jams and congestion.  

The Cross River Rail project, a 5.4-billion-dollar investment will, unlock this impasse by offering a second crossing of the river and consenting a much higher number of trains to circulate, and with a higher frequency. The new project includes: the excavation of a new 5.9 km tunnel below the river and the City Business District, the city’s financial center, the construction of four new stations and the refurbishment of two existing ones. A project that became even more relevant with the award of the Olympics of 2032, which will put Brisbane on the world showcase.

When complete, the quality of travel for commuters in the State of Queensland will improve notably, with a reduction of up to 24% in travel times at peak hours. The new railway network will in fact reach a peak of 24 trains per hour in both directions, with an estimated increase of 9,000 passengers per day by 2026 and 23,000 passengers by 2036. Additionally, the project will support the important objective of reducing private vehicles equivalent to 526,000 km in average daily travel distances. In short: a great deal more time to enjoy the legendary mild climate in one of the most livable cities in the world.


A Few Numbers

Cross River Rail is a new 10.2-kilometer railway line between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills. It includes 5.9 km of tunnel beath the Brisbane River and the CBD. The underground tunneling are mechanically excavated by two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), each roughly 7 meters in diameter, and using conventional methods for the remaining connections. Diverse transversal passages will connect the twin tunnels along their entire length. The project will also bring 4 state-of-the-art stations to the subway line, at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, and Roma Street, as well as refurbishing the Dutton Park and Exhibition stations. The two TBMs are operating at full capacity and tunneling. 


"Cross River Rail started more than two years ago. We built new tunnels under the Brisbane River providing greater connectivity across the network. Our innovative approach to cavern construction has reduced long-term impacts on the existing network." 

Roberto Pandolfi | Project Engineer 

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