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/Ql 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.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) progress and investigations

Following acceptance of the ToR in 2018, ARTC has been undertaking investigations for the B2G EIS.

An EIS is a tool the government uses to assess:

  • the current environment in the area of the project
  • potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the project
  • proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.

The B2G team has been gathering on-site information within the project study area. Numerous environmental and technical investigations, including geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, Indigenous and European cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys have been carried out. Results of these investigations have informed the development of the EIS and project reference design.

To view upcoming investigation works, you can view our latest notification.

The proposed rail alignment

The information and feedback collected as part of our field investigations and from consultation with the community and stakeholders has been used to develop a reference design.

This reference design includes details such as the proposed rail alignment, public road and rail crossings, and the project footprint.

The design has considered the technical viability, safety, operational restrictions, constructability, environment, and community and property impacts.

Design development will continue and will be assessed as part of the EIS.

You can view the proposed rail alignment on our interactive map.

The reference design will continue to be developed as a result of further investigations, government approvals or during the next phase of the project – detailed design.

We are committed to continuing community engagement and seeking community feedback on the reference design and we will keep you informed of any changes.

You can learn more about the process used for gathering information for the public road crossing design.

Flooding and hydrology

Condamine floodplain crossing

Since the release of the preliminary Condamine floodplain crossing in late 2018, Inland Rail has continued consultation with landowners and key stakeholders to update the flood model and design of the crossing solution.

The flood model has been expanded to incorporate additional local flow paths, in particular within the Back Creek catchment, and has also been validated against the 2013 flood event. We have undertaken further sensitivity testing on the model to determine how inflows from local creeks may impact water levels and velocities in a 1-in-100 (1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood event in order to gain more robust results based on local knowledge. We have also included additional data from the Warwick and Cecil Weir stream gauges, as well as anecdotal data of historic flood events prior to 1921, to improve our flood frequency analysis. These updates have allowed improved understanding of flooding behaviour in the Condamine floodplain but have not resulted in significant changes to the overall model or required considerable updates to the crossing design.

The Condamine floodplain crossing design has been updated to incorporate community feedback. Key changes included:

  • extending the proposed bridge over the North Branch by approximately 250m north
  • moving the proposed Yandilla rail bridge further south and combining with the proposed Grasstree Creek bridge
  • increasing the number of proposed culverts near Yandilla grain silos to ensure the drainage channel to the south of the silos has enough culverts to convey flood water.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution remains within the existing rail corridor, and now comprises:

  • 6 bridges
  • 6.1km total bridge length
  • Approximately 500 culverts (900mm – 2.1m in diameter).

Assessment of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution using the updated flood model indicates that in a 1% AEP event, the solution is likely to change flood behaviour at 23 private properties that already experience some degree of flooding. This includes changes in peak water levels of 10-50 mm at six houses. We are continuing to work with landowners to develop mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the floodplain crossing design here.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution is subject to assessment as part of the EIS process and may change as a result of conditions of approval, further investigations, or detailed design.

Gowrie Creek

Hydrology modelling for Gowrie Creek has been completed and the proposed alignment does not cross Gowrie Creek. Rather, it borders the existing 1% AEP floodplain before connecting to the Gowrie to Helidon (G2H) section of Inland Rail at Draper Road.

Flood modelling for the existing Gowrie Creek catchment for a 1% AEP flood event has shown:

  • the peak depth of water is approximately five metres in the Gowrie Creek channel
  • up to around one metre on the floodplain at the proposed rail alignment near the Leesons Road/Draper Road junction
  • the floodplain width varies between 200m and 500m.

Sufficient cross drainage infrastructure is proposed to the north of the Warrego Highway to maintain the natural flow of water of several small existing un-named flow paths. The reference design includes nine reinforced concrete pipe locations (51 total culvert cells) and one reinforced concrete box culvert (culvert with 16 cells).

Gowrie Creek model calibration was based on two stream gauges (Cranley and Oakey) as well as several rainfall gauges.

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek Crossing

Hydrology modelling for Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek has been completed and the proposed rail alignment crosses Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek to the west of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. The rail alignment is proposed to cross the creeks approximately 800m upstream of where Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek meet. The model floodplain widths in a 1% AEP event are around 1.7km at the proposed crossing point, 500m at the Brimblecombe Road crossing of Dry Creek and 800m at the Toowoomba Cecil Plains Road crossing of Westbrook Creek.

The Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek floodplains are well defined with a few minor localised breakouts and small tributary drainage lines. Based on the reference design, in a 1% AEP event, the peak depth is approximately 4.5m in the channel and up to 3m on the floodplain around the proposed rail alignment crossing of Westbrook Creek. The peak depth of water is around 3.5m deep and up to 1m on the floodplain at Dry Creek.

The rail alignment is proposed to cross Dry Creek with a 184m long bridge and Westbrook Creek with a 230m long bridge. Culverts are expected to range between 1.05m and 2.70m in size to maintain the existing flowpaths. Culverts will be spread along the structures to counteract the risk of blockage. The reference design for Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek includes 10 reinforced concrete pipe locations (94 total cells) and two reinforced concrete box culvert locations (13 total cells).

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Community consultation

From September 2018 to September 2019, ARTC engaged with key stakeholders, landowners and the community regarding the development of the reference design and EIS. This engagement centred around the following elements:

  • focused area of investigation
  • alignment development in Millmerran, Millwood and Whetstone
  • Condamine floodplain solution
  • road/rail interface (public road and private crossings)
  • hydrology modelling of catchments across the study area including Gowrie Creek, Westbrook Creek, Pariagara Creek and the Macintyre Brook.
  • social impact assessment.

Engagement activities included letters, phone calls and meetings with directly affected landowners, workshops with key stakeholders, community information sessions, a community survey and community update newsletter. Between December 2018 and February 2019, the B2G project increased its online presence with the launch of an interactive map and social media.

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 in the study area and in nearby communities. This includes potential negative impacts and potential benefits, and how Inland Rail 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.

Key Dates

During October 2019 we will be hosting community information sessions along the B2G alignment to present the proposed reference design and findings from our field studies for noise, vibration and flood modelling methodology.

The project technical experts and engagement professionals will be on hand to answer your questions and record any information you wish to provide in relation to the proposed rail alignment design.

Community Consultative Committees - Inner and Southern Darling Downs

The latest round of Community Consultative Committee (CCCs) meetings were held on 17 and 19 September 2019 for the Inner Darling Downs and Southern Darling Downs. To find out more information about the CCCs or view the agenda and minutes from previous meetings please visit the CCC webpages.

Contact us

You can contact us during business hours on 1800 732 761 or email us at inlandrailqld@artc.com.au.

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/Ql 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.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) progress and investigations

Following acceptance of the ToR in 2018, ARTC has been undertaking investigations for the B2G EIS.

An EIS is a tool the government uses to assess:

  • the current environment in the area of the project
  • potential environmental, economic and social impacts of the project
  • proposals to avoid, minimise, mitigate and/or offset those potential impacts.

The B2G team has been gathering on-site information within the project study area. Numerous environmental and technical investigations, including geotechnical surveys, baseline noise monitoring, Indigenous and European cultural heritage surveys, hydrology studies, traffic counts, and fauna and flora surveys have been carried out. Results of these investigations have informed the development of the EIS and project reference design.

To view upcoming investigation works, you can view our latest notification.

The proposed rail alignment

The information and feedback collected as part of our field investigations and from consultation with the community and stakeholders has been used to develop a reference design.

This reference design includes details such as the proposed rail alignment, public road and rail crossings, and the project footprint.

The design has considered the technical viability, safety, operational restrictions, constructability, environment, and community and property impacts.

Design development will continue and will be assessed as part of the EIS.

You can view the proposed rail alignment on our interactive map.

The reference design will continue to be developed as a result of further investigations, government approvals or during the next phase of the project – detailed design.

We are committed to continuing community engagement and seeking community feedback on the reference design and we will keep you informed of any changes.

You can learn more about the process used for gathering information for the public road crossing design.

Flooding and hydrology

Condamine floodplain crossing

Since the release of the preliminary Condamine floodplain crossing in late 2018, Inland Rail has continued consultation with landowners and key stakeholders to update the flood model and design of the crossing solution.

The flood model has been expanded to incorporate additional local flow paths, in particular within the Back Creek catchment, and has also been validated against the 2013 flood event. We have undertaken further sensitivity testing on the model to determine how inflows from local creeks may impact water levels and velocities in a 1-in-100 (1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood event in order to gain more robust results based on local knowledge. We have also included additional data from the Warwick and Cecil Weir stream gauges, as well as anecdotal data of historic flood events prior to 1921, to improve our flood frequency analysis. These updates have allowed improved understanding of flooding behaviour in the Condamine floodplain but have not resulted in significant changes to the overall model or required considerable updates to the crossing design.

The Condamine floodplain crossing design has been updated to incorporate community feedback. Key changes included:

  • extending the proposed bridge over the North Branch by approximately 250m north
  • moving the proposed Yandilla rail bridge further south and combining with the proposed Grasstree Creek bridge
  • increasing the number of proposed culverts near Yandilla grain silos to ensure the drainage channel to the south of the silos has enough culverts to convey flood water.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution remains within the existing rail corridor, and now comprises:

  • 6 bridges
  • 6.1km total bridge length
  • Approximately 500 culverts (900mm – 2.1m in diameter).

Assessment of the proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution using the updated flood model indicates that in a 1% AEP event, the solution is likely to change flood behaviour at 23 private properties that already experience some degree of flooding. This includes changes in peak water levels of 10-50 mm at six houses. We are continuing to work with landowners to develop mitigation measures to minimise and manage any changes to flood behaviour.

You can view the floodplain crossing design here.

The proposed Condamine floodplain crossing solution is subject to assessment as part of the EIS process and may change as a result of conditions of approval, further investigations, or detailed design.

Gowrie Creek

Hydrology modelling for Gowrie Creek has been completed and the proposed alignment does not cross Gowrie Creek. Rather, it borders the existing 1% AEP floodplain before connecting to the Gowrie to Helidon (G2H) section of Inland Rail at Draper Road.

Flood modelling for the existing Gowrie Creek catchment for a 1% AEP flood event has shown:

  • the peak depth of water is approximately five metres in the Gowrie Creek channel
  • up to around one metre on the floodplain at the proposed rail alignment near the Leesons Road/Draper Road junction
  • the floodplain width varies between 200m and 500m.

Sufficient cross drainage infrastructure is proposed to the north of the Warrego Highway to maintain the natural flow of water of several small existing un-named flow paths. The reference design includes nine reinforced concrete pipe locations (51 total culvert cells) and one reinforced concrete box culvert (culvert with 16 cells).

Gowrie Creek model calibration was based on two stream gauges (Cranley and Oakey) as well as several rainfall gauges.

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek Crossing

Hydrology modelling for Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek has been completed and the proposed rail alignment crosses Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek to the west of Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport. The rail alignment is proposed to cross the creeks approximately 800m upstream of where Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek meet. The model floodplain widths in a 1% AEP event are around 1.7km at the proposed crossing point, 500m at the Brimblecombe Road crossing of Dry Creek and 800m at the Toowoomba Cecil Plains Road crossing of Westbrook Creek.

The Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek floodplains are well defined with a few minor localised breakouts and small tributary drainage lines. Based on the reference design, in a 1% AEP event, the peak depth is approximately 4.5m in the channel and up to 3m on the floodplain around the proposed rail alignment crossing of Westbrook Creek. The peak depth of water is around 3.5m deep and up to 1m on the floodplain at Dry Creek.

The rail alignment is proposed to cross Dry Creek with a 184m long bridge and Westbrook Creek with a 230m long bridge. Culverts are expected to range between 1.05m and 2.70m in size to maintain the existing flowpaths. Culverts will be spread along the structures to counteract the risk of blockage. The reference design for Westbrook Creek and Dry Creek includes 10 reinforced concrete pipe locations (94 total cells) and two reinforced concrete box culvert locations (13 total cells).

Consultation with affected landowners is ongoing.

Community consultation

From September 2018 to September 2019, ARTC engaged with key stakeholders, landowners and the community regarding the development of the reference design and EIS. This engagement centred around the following elements:

  • focused area of investigation
  • alignment development in Millmerran, Millwood and Whetstone
  • Condamine floodplain solution
  • road/rail interface (public road and private crossings)
  • hydrology modelling of catchments across the study area including Gowrie Creek, Westbrook Creek, Pariagara Creek and the Macintyre Brook.
  • social impact assessment.

Engagement activities included letters, phone calls and meetings with directly affected landowners, workshops with key stakeholders, community information sessions, a community survey and community update newsletter. Between December 2018 and February 2019, the B2G project increased its online presence with the launch of an interactive map and social media.

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 in the study area and in nearby communities. This includes potential negative impacts and potential benefits, and how Inland Rail 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.

Key Dates

During October 2019 we will be hosting community information sessions along the B2G alignment to present the proposed reference design and findings from our field studies for noise, vibration and flood modelling methodology.

The project technical experts and engagement professionals will be on hand to answer your questions and record any information you wish to provide in relation to the proposed rail alignment design.

Community Consultative Committees - Inner and Southern Darling Downs

The latest round of Community Consultative Committee (CCCs) meetings were held on 17 and 19 September 2019 for the Inner Darling Downs and Southern Darling Downs. To find out more information about the CCCs or view the agenda and minutes from previous meetings please visit the CCC webpages.

Contact us

You can contact us during business hours on 1800 732 761 or email us at inlandrailqld@artc.com.au.