Port of Gladstone study
The Australian Government has completed a prefeasibility study looking at extending Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone (known as the Inland Rail Gladstone Link Prefeasibility Study).
This study examined two possible alignments – the Inland Route, via Toowoomba and the Coastal Route, along the existing North Coast Line corridor from Brisbane to Gladstone – and considered the potential demand for freight services to and from Gladstone, in addition to the economic, financial, environmental and community consideration of a rail link.
An extension of Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone was found to not be economically viable at this time, with potential demand for the connection not sufficient to justify the capital cost, estimated to be up to $5 billion.
The report recommended that should there be improved market demand in the future, further analysis to determine the need to link Inland Rail to Gladstone could be considered.
The report makes four recommendations to support future consideration and network planning for extending Inland Rail to Gladstone:
- Demand prospects should be re-visited after Inland Rail is constructed and operationally consolidated, or there is a significant and sustainable improvement in coal investment conditions.
- Measures to improve connections between the narrow gauge North Coast Line and the standard gauge Inland Rail network in Brisbane should be considered to drive greater rail network efficiencies.
- Identify and protect future corridors for a dedicated rail freight connection between the standard gauge network south of Brisbane and the narrow gauge network north of Brisbane.
- Expansion of the interstate standard gauge network north of Brisbane should be considered in future infrastructure investments.
The Australian Government will revisit the case for linking Inland Rail to the Port of Gladstone should market conditions improve.
Download the Inland Rail Gladstone Link Prefeasibility Study