Project funding

Melbourne to Geelong Faster Rail

The project will upgrade the rail corridor to deliver faster passenger rail services from Melbourne to Geelong. The project will be undertaken in a number of stages. Stage 1 will construct a dedicated track from Werribee to Laverton, allowing rail services to travel to Geelong via Werribee rather than Sunshine. This route is shorter and will allow express services to operate, potentially reducing travel times by 10-15 minutes.

The estimated cost of Stage 1 is $4 billion. The Australian Government has committed $2 billion which has been matched by the Victorian Government. Planning for Stage 1 is underway, with the development of a detailed business case expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and pre-construction expected to commence in 2023.

Logan and the Gold Coast Faster Rail – (formerly called Kuraby to Beenleigh)

The project will undertake pre-construction activities to upgrade the 19 kilometre section of existing rail track from Kuraby to Beenleigh. The project will finalise the scope, cost, timing and procurement for the project and undertake community consultation. The estimated cost of the project is $356.2 million. The Australian Government has committed $178.1 million, with the remaining costs to be met by the Queensland Government. The pre-construction activity is expected to be completed in 2023.

Business Cases and corridor investigations

The Australian Government is committed to supporting and shaping the growth of our cities and regions by delivering faster, more efficient and reliable rail infrastructure and services. The Government is investigating faster rail because of its potential to shift population growth away from our cities, stimulate regional development and improve access to jobs, services and affordable housing. 

The Australian Government has committed $79 million for business cases and corridor investigations for connections between major capital cities and key regional centres across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

Corridors being investigated include:

The National Faster Rail Agency is working in partnership with state and territory governments, industry and the private sector on these studies. Business cases are being developed to examine faster rail options along each corridor and their potential to reduce travel times. Business cases are helping guide future investment decisions and provide advice to government.

Sydney to Newcastle

The Australian Government has committed $5.25 million to investigate faster rail options from Sydney to Newcastle in partnership with the New South Wales Government. The Australian Government provided funding under the $20 million Faster Rail Prospectus to develop a strategic business case. The business case  was completed in December 2019.

In the 2020-21 Budget, the Australian Government committed a further $15 million for detailed planning work to identify potential priority faster rail projects along the corridor.

Sydney to Wollongong

The Australian Government committed $8 million to investigate faster rail options from Sydney to Wollongong (and onto Bomaderry) in partnership with the New South Wales Government. The business case was completed in March 2021.

Sydney to Parkes

The Australian Government committed $8 million to investigate faster rail options from Sydney to Parkes (via Bathurst and Orange) in partnership with the New South Wales Government. The business case was completed in April 2021.

Melbourne to Greater Shepparton

The Australian Government provided funding to the private sector consortium, Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA), under the $20 million Faster Rail Prospectus to develop a business case from Melbourne to Greater Shepparton. The business case investigated options to construct two new cities each housing a population of up to 400,000 near Shepparton and Nagambie, connected by high-speed rail to Melbourne. The business case was completed in September 2019. Next steps are in the hands of the consortium.

Melbourne to Warrnambool, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga and Traralgon

In the 2019-20 Budget the Australian Government committed $16 million to investigate faster rail opportunities for Melbourne to Albury-Wodonga and Melbourne to Traralgon rail corridors. Subsequently in 2021, it was agreed between the Australian and Victorian Governments to combine these into one broader faster rail corridor investigation covering the five major regional rail corridors in Victoria – including Melbourne to Warrnambool, Bendigo, Ballarat, Albury-Wodonga and Traralgon. The corridor investigations are underway and should be completed by mid-2022.

Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast

The Australian Government provided funding to the private sector consortium, North Coast Connect (NCC), under the $20 million Faster Rail Prospectus to develop a detailed business case from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast. The business case was completed in December 2019. NCC’s role has concluded and the Australian Government and the Queensland Government are working together on the next steps.

Brisbane to the Gold Coast

The Australian Government committed $8 million to investigate faster rail options from Brisbane to the Gold Coast in partnership with the Queensland Government. The project is being undertaken in two parts.

The first part developed a detailed business case for capacity upgrades between Kuraby and Beenleigh (now called Logan and the Gold Coast faster rail). This detailed business case was completed in August 2021.

The second part will conduct a Brisbane to Gold Coast corridor investigation for the entire corridor from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, including a possible extension from Varsity Lakes to the Gold Coast Airport. The investigation commenced in 2021 and should be completed by mid-2022.

Perth to Bunbury

In the 2020-21 Budget, the Australian Government committed $4 million to investigate faster rail options from Perth to Bunbury in partnership with the Western Australian Government. The project started in mid-2021 and is expected to be completed in 2024.