QLD Govt to build $5 billion underground transport system

THE Queensland Government has scrapped plans for the cross-river rail system in Brisbane instead replacing it with a $5 billion state-of-the-art underground bus and train project.

Premier Campbell Newman said on Sunday (Nov 17) work is expected to start in 2015 with the project earmarked for completion in 2020 before becoming operational the following year.

"There has been too much conversation in the past, but we are a government that promised to deliver better planning, infrastructure and revitalised frontline services and that is what we are doing," he said.

"We have taken two of Brisbane's major congestion challenges, the Merivale train bridge and the Cultural Centre bus precinct, and come up with an affordable and elegant solution."

Mr Newman said the 5.4km tunnel from Dutton Park to Victoria Park would include two train lines in the lower section and two busway lanes in the upper section.

It will also see additional stations constructed at Woolloongabba, George St and Roma St.

"The project will deliver the public transport services needed for the next 50 years," he said.

"A single 15m-wide tunnel will be built, requiring the largest borer ever used in Australia, almost 2m wider than the Clem7 and Airport Link tunnels."

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said the project would deliver better passenger outcomes than previously proposed projects.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Brisbane into a world city with a public transport system to match," he said.

A public competition will be held early next year to come up with a name for the project.

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