NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (Qld)

The NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (B2G) section is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail. It comprises approximately 146km of new dual gauge track and 78km of upgraded track from the NSW/QLD border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north west of Toowoomba in Queensland.

This section will link one of Australia’s most productive farming regions by rail to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.


Planning approvals progress

In February 2018, Inland Rail submitted an Initial Advice Statement (IAS) to the Office of the Coordinator-General in support of an application for a ‘coordinated project’ declaration under the provisions of the Queensland State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. The project was also referred to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy for a ‘controlled action’ decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)(EPBC Act).

On 16 March 2018, the Queensland Coordinator-General declared the project as a ‘coordinated project’, triggering a requirement for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On 9 April 2018, the project was determined as a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment under the EPBC Act.

Assessment under the EPBC Act will be undertaken during the EIS process in accordance with the Assessment Bilateral Agreement between the Queensland and Australian Governments.

On 16 November 2018, the Coordinator-General released the final Terms of Reference (ToR) for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Inland Rail NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (B2G) project.

The draft ToR were open for public comment from 7 May to 18 June 2018. During this period, 97 submissions were received from government agencies, businesses and community members. The Coordinator-General has considered these submissions in finalising the ToR.

The final ToR is available to view on the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning website.

Next steps

Inland Rail is progressing engagement with local landholders and the broader community.

Our team is gathering on-site information within the B2G study area. We are carrying out geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, drilling core samples, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys. Field studies and investigations within the study area will continue over the coming months.

To find out more about the different types of studies and how they are carried out, please view the:

If we require access to a private property for field investigations, a member of the project team will contact the landholder in advance to seek their permission.

Public road crossing design

From November 2018 to February 2019, we asked landowners and road users for feedback on how they use local roads to inform the design of rail crossings on public roads in the B2G area.

Through our interactive map, drop-in sessions, meetings and pop-up consultation stands, we gathered over 350 pieces of feedback about your travel routes, how often you use local roads and the types of vehicles you use.

What we heard

Throughout this period, key feedback we received included:

  • access for emergency services, bus routes and postal services should be maintained
  • where possible, grade-separated interchanges are preferred
  • clearance widths and heights of trucks and machinery needs to be considered as the area experiences a high volume of b-double and b-triple trucks, cattle trucks, large mining equipment and farm machinery using local roads
  • community connectivity is important
  • interest in the potential change to travel times, and whether a level crossing or grade separation would change this
  • interest in local tendering opportunities.

This feedback has been included, together with traffic counts and information from local councils and Queensland Government departments on current and expected future transport needs, in designing the crossings. We are also working with road authorities, emergency services and other government agencies.

These discussions and information from the community have been fed into the design process and initial design progress indicates there may be a possibility for:

  • the rail to bridge over:
    • the Warrego Highway
    • Brimblecombe Road
    • Toowoomba – Cecil Plains Road
    • Biddeston Southbrook Road
    • Lochaber Road
    • Oakey – Pittsworth Road
    • Roche Road
    • Yarranlea Road
  • the roads to bridge over rail at:
    • Purcell Road
    • Linthorpe Road
    • Gore Highway (Brookstead).

Any proposed changes to public roads will consider safety, sight distances at level crossings, traffic numbers, stacking distances, if alternative access is available and the distances involved. The design is still underway for other roads in the B2G area.

All proposed changes are subject to review and approval by the relevant road authorities. As information becomes available, we will keep communities informed of any proposed changes to existing infrastructure.

For information about which roads are potentially intersected by the B2G project please view the road names flyer or visit our interactive map.

Additional information can be found on our FAQs, the Road Rail Crossing factsheet, and by viewing our consultation notice.

Condamine floodplain crossing study

Inland Rail is progressing the Condamine floodplain flood model and preliminary design for crossing the floodplain.

We have developed a detailed flood model of the Condamine floodplain catchment area in accordance with the Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines 2016. The model uses data from many different sources and includes additional inflows and a larger boundary compared to the Phase 1 flood model. The model also takes into account predicted future impacts from climate change.

Since August 2018, the project team have held meetings to validate the Condamine flood model with landowners whose properties were surveyed for historic flood markers. To date the general feedback has been that the model reflects existing flood behaviour, however we will continue to review the model.

Based on the model, we have now developed a preliminary design solution that reduces impacts downstream and upstream, with minimal impact on existing water flow, while maintaining connectivity to existing infrastructure. This preliminary design solution includes five bridges with nearly six kilometres of bridge openings and embankments perforated with more than 540 large culverts ranging in size from 900mm in diameter to 2100mm in diameter.

Modelling indicates that in a 1% AEP (1 in 100-year flood), the preliminary solution would change flood behaviour at 33 private properties. The design is preliminary and we will continue to work closely with landowners to further validate the flood model, and develop the design and mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the preliminary floodplain design here.

The preferred design is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2019.

Westbrook Creek and Gowrie Creek

Hydrology modelling for Dry Creek, Westbrook Creek and Gowrie Creek has been completed based on the centreline of the focused area of investigation. We are in the process of discussing the results of the hydrology modelling with landowners who may experience changed afflux levels.

The modelling will be updated when the rail corridor is determined. The modelling shows after the completion of Inland Rail, no buildings will be impacted by changes to water levels in a 1% AEP (1 in 100 year) event.

Focused area of investigation

Since the Australian Government announced the two-kilometre wide study area for the B2G project in 2017, the community has requested ARTC to provide more clarity to the impacted landowners.

As a result, we have prioritised studies over the past year to enable us to narrow the area of investigation, which varies in width depending on the area, constraints and results from initial design investigations. For more information, please view our latest project update newsletter.

The project team is continuing to develop the design and the focused area may change as a result of ongoing investigations or government approvals. ARTC will continue to engage with landowners and key stakeholders and keep you up-to-date about any changes to the focused area of investigation.

The focused area of investigation can also be viewed on our interactive map.

Design work is underway on bridge structures, earthworks, level crossings, drainage and other associated infrastructure.

Community Consultative Committees

We have established two community consultative committees for the NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie project area. For details of the committees and meetings, please see the links below:

Community consultation

The Border to Gowrie project consultation webpage contains detailed information about our consultations and how you can provide your contribution.

An open and ongoing invitation is extended to landowners in the B2G area to drop in to our Toowoomba office at 65 Neil Street. Our office hours are 9am – 5pm on weekdays.

Social impact assessment

The EIS includes a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), conducted by independent consultants. The SIA looks at how the project may affect people near the study corridor and in nearby communities. This includes potential negative impacts and potential benefits, and how ARTC can make sure the B2G project has positive outcomes for local communities.

The SIA draws on research, analysis and stakeholder engagement. The results of Inland Rail’s engagement with communities and stakeholders are being considered in the SIA. SIA-specific stakeholder engagement has included a community survey in November-December 2018 and workshops with community, government and business organisations in February 2019.

Feedback and information gathered will inform the impact assessment, and a range of mitigation and management actions will be developed to address significant social impacts. These will be outlined in the B2G SIA.

Previous engagement

In May and June 2018, we hosted seven community information sessions in the project study area to provide information to the community about the draft ToR for the preparation of an ElS for the B2G section of the Inland Rail and how they could provide comments to the Coordinator-General. A total of 120 people attended across the seven sessions.

In October and November 2017, we hosted 14 community meetings. More than 700 people attended the meetings and provided us with valuable local knowledge and community insights.

The comments and questions raised at the meetings have been captured in a consultation report.

Community consultation is vital to the success of Inland Rail and we welcome your participation.

We will continue to work closely with landowners within the study area as well as key stakeholders such as your local Council.

Preferred study area selection process

In mid-2016, ARTC conducted studies and started community engagement on a study area that travelled past Yelarbon, Inglewood, Millmerran, Pampas, Brookstead, Mt Tyson and Oakey (termed the Base Case Modified).

The Australian Government then asked ARTC to investigate three additional route options between Inglewood and Gowrie. The alternative corridor assessment process was conducted by independent consultants and overseen by the Yelarbon to Gowrie Project Reference Group. The assessment involved comparing the three alternative corridors against the Base Case Modified corridor on a like-for-like basis.

The four options were:

  • Corridor 1: Base Case Modified – Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Millmerran
  • Corridor 2: Base Case Modified (as described above), with a connection to Toowoomba Enterprise Hub and Charlton
  • Corridor 3: Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Karara, Leyburn and Felton
  • Corridor 4: Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Karara, Clifton and Wyreema and utilising the existing rail line close to Warwick.

View the Border to Gowrie preferred study area map (including the three alternative options not to be progressed)

Each of the corridor options was assessed against the service levels that Inland Rail needs to deliver to freight customers. This includes key elements such as a transit time of less than 24 hours between Melbourne and Brisbane, 98% reliability of service and at a cost comparable to or better than road transport.

The assessment, contained in the Corridor Options Report, along with other community-based feedback, was considered by the Australian Government in its decision-making on the preferred study area.

On 21 September 2017, the Australian Government announced that the corridor via Brookstead, Pittsworth and the Wellcamp-Charlton Industrial Precinct is the preferred study area to progress to detailed design and take forward into the formal planning and approvals process.

Interactive Map

We have developed an interactive project map to help us get a better understanding of key issues from a community perspective.

The B2G interactive map shows:

  • the study area
  • focused area of investigation
  • roads intersected by the project
  • locations of noise monitoring.

The map shows the focused area of investigation and allows users to have their say by simply dropping a pin on the map and adding a comment. As the project continues to develop, the map will be updated to reflect the latest design.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Contact us

You can have your questions answered about the project by contacting us directly, or asking us a question.

The NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (B2G) section is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail. It comprises approximately 146km of new dual gauge track and 78km of upgraded track from the NSW/QLD border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north west of Toowoomba in Queensland.

This section will link one of Australia’s most productive farming regions by rail to Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.


Planning approvals progress

In February 2018, Inland Rail submitted an Initial Advice Statement (IAS) to the Office of the Coordinator-General in support of an application for a ‘coordinated project’ declaration under the provisions of the Queensland State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. The project was also referred to the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy for a ‘controlled action’ decision under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)(EPBC Act).

On 16 March 2018, the Queensland Coordinator-General declared the project as a ‘coordinated project’, triggering a requirement for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). On 9 April 2018, the project was determined as a ‘controlled action’ requiring assessment under the EPBC Act.

Assessment under the EPBC Act will be undertaken during the EIS process in accordance with the Assessment Bilateral Agreement between the Queensland and Australian Governments.

On 16 November 2018, the Coordinator-General released the final Terms of Reference (ToR) for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Inland Rail NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (B2G) project.

The draft ToR were open for public comment from 7 May to 18 June 2018. During this period, 97 submissions were received from government agencies, businesses and community members. The Coordinator-General has considered these submissions in finalising the ToR.

The final ToR is available to view on the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning website.

Next steps

Inland Rail is progressing engagement with local landholders and the broader community.

Our team is gathering on-site information within the B2G study area. We are carrying out geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, drilling core samples, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys. Field studies and investigations within the study area will continue over the coming months.

To find out more about the different types of studies and how they are carried out, please view the:

If we require access to a private property for field investigations, a member of the project team will contact the landholder in advance to seek their permission.

Public road crossing design

From November 2018 to February 2019, we asked landowners and road users for feedback on how they use local roads to inform the design of rail crossings on public roads in the B2G area.

Through our interactive map, drop-in sessions, meetings and pop-up consultation stands, we gathered over 350 pieces of feedback about your travel routes, how often you use local roads and the types of vehicles you use.

What we heard

Throughout this period, key feedback we received included:

  • access for emergency services, bus routes and postal services should be maintained
  • where possible, grade-separated interchanges are preferred
  • clearance widths and heights of trucks and machinery needs to be considered as the area experiences a high volume of b-double and b-triple trucks, cattle trucks, large mining equipment and farm machinery using local roads
  • community connectivity is important
  • interest in the potential change to travel times, and whether a level crossing or grade separation would change this
  • interest in local tendering opportunities.

This feedback has been included, together with traffic counts and information from local councils and Queensland Government departments on current and expected future transport needs, in designing the crossings. We are also working with road authorities, emergency services and other government agencies.

These discussions and information from the community have been fed into the design process and initial design progress indicates there may be a possibility for:

  • the rail to bridge over:
    • the Warrego Highway
    • Brimblecombe Road
    • Toowoomba – Cecil Plains Road
    • Biddeston Southbrook Road
    • Lochaber Road
    • Oakey – Pittsworth Road
    • Roche Road
    • Yarranlea Road
  • the roads to bridge over rail at:
    • Purcell Road
    • Linthorpe Road
    • Gore Highway (Brookstead).

Any proposed changes to public roads will consider safety, sight distances at level crossings, traffic numbers, stacking distances, if alternative access is available and the distances involved. The design is still underway for other roads in the B2G area.

All proposed changes are subject to review and approval by the relevant road authorities. As information becomes available, we will keep communities informed of any proposed changes to existing infrastructure.

For information about which roads are potentially intersected by the B2G project please view the road names flyer or visit our interactive map.

Additional information can be found on our FAQs, the Road Rail Crossing factsheet, and by viewing our consultation notice.

Condamine floodplain crossing study

Inland Rail is progressing the Condamine floodplain flood model and preliminary design for crossing the floodplain.

We have developed a detailed flood model of the Condamine floodplain catchment area in accordance with the Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines 2016. The model uses data from many different sources and includes additional inflows and a larger boundary compared to the Phase 1 flood model. The model also takes into account predicted future impacts from climate change.

Since August 2018, the project team have held meetings to validate the Condamine flood model with landowners whose properties were surveyed for historic flood markers. To date the general feedback has been that the model reflects existing flood behaviour, however we will continue to review the model.

Based on the model, we have now developed a preliminary design solution that reduces impacts downstream and upstream, with minimal impact on existing water flow, while maintaining connectivity to existing infrastructure. This preliminary design solution includes five bridges with nearly six kilometres of bridge openings and embankments perforated with more than 540 large culverts ranging in size from 900mm in diameter to 2100mm in diameter.

Modelling indicates that in a 1% AEP (1 in 100-year flood), the preliminary solution would change flood behaviour at 33 private properties. The design is preliminary and we will continue to work closely with landowners to further validate the flood model, and develop the design and mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the preliminary floodplain design here.

The preferred design is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2019.

Westbrook Creek and Gowrie Creek

Hydrology modelling for Dry Creek, Westbrook Creek and Gowrie Creek has been completed based on the centreline of the focused area of investigation. We are in the process of discussing the results of the hydrology modelling with landowners who may experience changed afflux levels.

The modelling will be updated when the rail corridor is determined. The modelling shows after the completion of Inland Rail, no buildings will be impacted by changes to water levels in a 1% AEP (1 in 100 year) event.

Focused area of investigation

Since the Australian Government announced the two-kilometre wide study area for the B2G project in 2017, the community has requested ARTC to provide more clarity to the impacted landowners.

As a result, we have prioritised studies over the past year to enable us to narrow the area of investigation, which varies in width depending on the area, constraints and results from initial design investigations. For more information, please view our latest project update newsletter.

The project team is continuing to develop the design and the focused area may change as a result of ongoing investigations or government approvals. ARTC will continue to engage with landowners and key stakeholders and keep you up-to-date about any changes to the focused area of investigation.

The focused area of investigation can also be viewed on our interactive map.

Design work is underway on bridge structures, earthworks, level crossings, drainage and other associated infrastructure.

Community Consultative Committees

We have established two community consultative committees for the NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie project area. For details of the committees and meetings, please see the links below:

Community consultation

The Border to Gowrie project consultation webpage contains detailed information about our consultations and how you can provide your contribution.

An open and ongoing invitation is extended to landowners in the B2G area to drop in to our Toowoomba office at 65 Neil Street. Our office hours are 9am – 5pm on weekdays.

Social impact assessment

The EIS includes a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), conducted by independent consultants. The SIA looks at how the project may affect people near the study corridor and in nearby communities. This includes potential negative impacts and potential benefits, and how ARTC can make sure the B2G project has positive outcomes for local communities.

The SIA draws on research, analysis and stakeholder engagement. The results of Inland Rail’s engagement with communities and stakeholders are being considered in the SIA. SIA-specific stakeholder engagement has included a community survey in November-December 2018 and workshops with community, government and business organisations in February 2019.

Feedback and information gathered will inform the impact assessment, and a range of mitigation and management actions will be developed to address significant social impacts. These will be outlined in the B2G SIA.

Previous engagement

In May and June 2018, we hosted seven community information sessions in the project study area to provide information to the community about the draft ToR for the preparation of an ElS for the B2G section of the Inland Rail and how they could provide comments to the Coordinator-General. A total of 120 people attended across the seven sessions.

In October and November 2017, we hosted 14 community meetings. More than 700 people attended the meetings and provided us with valuable local knowledge and community insights.

The comments and questions raised at the meetings have been captured in a consultation report.

Community consultation is vital to the success of Inland Rail and we welcome your participation.

We will continue to work closely with landowners within the study area as well as key stakeholders such as your local Council.

Preferred study area selection process

In mid-2016, ARTC conducted studies and started community engagement on a study area that travelled past Yelarbon, Inglewood, Millmerran, Pampas, Brookstead, Mt Tyson and Oakey (termed the Base Case Modified).

The Australian Government then asked ARTC to investigate three additional route options between Inglewood and Gowrie. The alternative corridor assessment process was conducted by independent consultants and overseen by the Yelarbon to Gowrie Project Reference Group. The assessment involved comparing the three alternative corridors against the Base Case Modified corridor on a like-for-like basis.

The four options were:

  • Corridor 1: Base Case Modified – Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Millmerran
  • Corridor 2: Base Case Modified (as described above), with a connection to Toowoomba Enterprise Hub and Charlton
  • Corridor 3: Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Karara, Leyburn and Felton
  • Corridor 4: Yelarbon to Gowrie Junction via Karara, Clifton and Wyreema and utilising the existing rail line close to Warwick.

View the Border to Gowrie preferred study area map (including the three alternative options not to be progressed)

Each of the corridor options was assessed against the service levels that Inland Rail needs to deliver to freight customers. This includes key elements such as a transit time of less than 24 hours between Melbourne and Brisbane, 98% reliability of service and at a cost comparable to or better than road transport.

The assessment, contained in the Corridor Options Report, along with other community-based feedback, was considered by the Australian Government in its decision-making on the preferred study area.

On 21 September 2017, the Australian Government announced that the corridor via Brookstead, Pittsworth and the Wellcamp-Charlton Industrial Precinct is the preferred study area to progress to detailed design and take forward into the formal planning and approvals process.

Interactive Map

We have developed an interactive project map to help us get a better understanding of key issues from a community perspective.

The B2G interactive map shows:

  • the study area
  • focused area of investigation
  • roads intersected by the project
  • locations of noise monitoring.

The map shows the focused area of investigation and allows users to have their say by simply dropping a pin on the map and adding a comment. As the project continues to develop, the map will be updated to reflect the latest design.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.

Contact us

You can have your questions answered about the project by contacting us directly, or asking us a question.