RAIL LINE ON TRACK
Passenger trains on the cards
AFTER years of community pleas and lobbying by local government, the region’s wish might be granted.
Lockyer Valley residents have been demanding a passenger train service for years and a new blueprint for the southeast has put a rail link on the cards.
But it comes at a high cost, and we won’t be seeing the trains roll into the station any time soon.
VITAL rail links and a revamped Warrego highway are on the cards for the region as part of a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure plan.
The Transformingseq infrastructure blueprint was proposed by the Council of Mayors South East Queensland, which includes the Lockyer Valley and Somerset regional councils.
The blueprint highlights 35 opportunities that could be considered as part of a future City Deal for South East Queensland.
Included in the plans are proposals for upgrading the Warrego Highway and improving bus services in the Lockyer Valley region.
But the headline proposal for the region is a passenger rail link between Toowoomba and Ipswich.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Tanya Milligan said the council would lobby for the rail project to be prioritised, as the community had been desperate for a rail link for years. “Our community needs it,” Cr Milligan said.
Former Lockyer Valley resident Chris Heinjus was in favour of the rail link, and said a regular service would bring immense benfits to the region.
“(It) will be invaluable for those who are normally isolated from places further afield,” Mr Heinjus said.
He said taking traffic off the Warrego Highway by offering park and ride services would also benefit the region.
The Federal Government last week announced it would begin negotiations with the State Government on funding arrangements for a South East Queensland City Deal.
Cr Milligan said it was a “very exciting time” for the region, and said government collaboration was needed to combat the issues facing the south-east.
“It’s about all three levels of government being responsible and working together,” she said.
❝ Mayors across south-east Queensland have been wanting this for a very long time — Tanya Milligan
HIGH SPEED: The Lockyer Valley could soon have a quick connection to Brisbane and Toowoomba.
EXCITING TIMES: Lockyer Valley Mayor Tanya Milligan said the Lockyer Valley community needed a rail link between Toowoomba and Ipswich.