http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-cbds-new-underground-station-revealed-20100713-108l8.html?posted=sucessful#makeCommentBrisbane CBD's new underground station revealed
July 13, 2010 - 12:19PM
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Next stop: Albert Street
Tour the proposed new underground railway station at Albert Street in Brisbane CBD. Vision supplied by Queensland Government
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The Brisbane CBD's new underground rail station will be on Albert Street.
Premier Anna Bligh is set to announce the new station - the city's first in 100 years - this afternoon.
The underground rail line will connect the south of the CBD with a new station at Woolloongabba and an expanded Roma Street station.
The new rail line would be constructed deep below the city streets.
It will then go towards the Exhibition Station, at Bowen Hills, which is set for a revamp.
The Albert Street station will have an entrance close to the Botanical Gardens and initial plans show it running under Albert Street for several city blocks to Elizabeth Street.
Ms Bligh said the favoured route would be a "game changer" for rail travel in Brisbane.
"A station in Albert Street will provide a link directly to the heart of the CBD and make travelling to popular destinations such as the Queen Street Mall, the Botanic Gardens and QUT Gardens Point a lot easier," Ms Bligh said.
"It will be part of a project that will move 120,000 people in the morning peak into and out of the city.
"That's the equivalent of a 30-lane motorway right through the city."
Brisbane's $8.2 billion Cross River Rail Project is designed to build a second river crossing for rail services running north to south.
The city' only current river crossing for trains, the Merivale Bridge at South Brisbane, will be over capacity by 2016.
The study team had been considering two other possible routes, under Edward Street to Central Station and under George Street to Roma Street.
But feedback from city workers, commuters, students and technical studies had put the Albert Street station ahead, Ms Bligh said.
"One of the most exciting features of the proposed new station is the potential for rejuvenation of the southern part of the CBD," she said.
"Just imagine it - below the surface is a bustling train station integrated with a mix of retail and other commercial activities.
"Above the surface is a new place for the people - a mix of shops, cafes and public space - the new must-visit destination for people travelling to the CBD."
Other new rail stations are planned for Woolloongabba - where the State Government recently sold the Sunmap Centre and Go Print site - and at the new Boggo Road Urban Village site. Commuters will be able to link to the South East and Eastern busways.
An underground station at Boggo Road would let commuters link with the existing Park Road rail station and the Boggo Road and Eastern busways.
The Federal Government is providing $20 million and the Queensland Government $5 million towards the current feasibility study into the underground network.
"We will continue to work with the Federal Government and the private sector to see this vital project delivered by 2016 when our studies show it will be needed," Ms Bligh said.
Private sector funding is necessary for the project.
A draft business case will be ready by the end of this year and by mid-2011, the business case and funding proposals will go to both the state and federal governments.
Construction is expected to take about four years.
The Queensland government has already earmarked $14.2 billion for the inner city rail project, including $8.2 billion for this cross-river rail project.
Representatives of the Valley Chamber of Commerce last week questioned Cross River Rail Project director Luke Franzmann on why the rail line would initially go to Fortitude Valley.