Department of Transport and Main Roads

Background to the Cross River Rail Cost Benefit Analysis

South East Queensland’s population is rising rapidly and putting pressure on the existing rail and road transport network. The existing rail network is nearing capacity, while road users can experience lengthy delays when entering and exiting the Central Business District.

A key constraint is the single inner city river crossing for rail which causes a bottleneck on the rail system, limiting the ability to expand services.

To address these issues, the Cross River Rail project was developed. Cross River Rail is a large-scale rail project ($5b) connecting the suburbs of Dutton Park and Bowen Hills in Brisbane, via a tunnel under the Brisbane CBD and Brisbane River. Services will connect to the five key stations of Boggo Road, Woolloongabba (new), Albert Street (new), Roma Street, and the Exhibition Showgrounds (new).

Project Detail

Building on our previous work on the Bus and Train (BAT) Project, NineSquared, in partnership with KPMG, developed the Cross River Rail Cost-Benefit Analysis and development of the economic appraisal submission to Infrastructure Australia and also the business case in accordance with the Building Queensland framework.

The Cross River Rail Cost-Benefit Analysis captured the direct impact of the project, including impacts to road users through reductions in travel time and vehicle operating costs. Mode shift towards public transport options were considered, along with wider economic benefits (WEBs) such as agglomeration, output changes and tax revenues. Additional economic modelling was conducted to capture the broader economic implications such as employment and gross state product. This was undertaken using a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model.

The study included a Preliminary Evaluation and Business Case phase as well as evaluation of automated train signalling using ETCS 2 technology. A summary of the Cost-Benefit Analysis is available here.

Project Outcomes

As a result of this analysis, the project was funded in 2016 and construction is currently underway. Early works on the project began in August 2017, including demolition work, public utility investigations, delivery of temporary structures and geotechnical investigations. Construction works commenced in late 2019, with other sites expected to be delivered in 2020 and construction estimated to be finished in 2024.

Working on a project of this size demonstrates NineSquared team’s deep understanding of the economics of multi-billion-dollar projects and demonstrates our capabilities to delivery economic analysis for major projects in business cases.

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