Will an EIS be completed for K2ARB?

We have submitted an Initial Advice Statement to the Office of the Coordinator General for their consideration of K2ARB as a coordinated project. If the project is declared coordinated, an EIS would be required.

How many trains will run per day between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge once Inland Rail is complete?

There is currently a daily peak of approximately 8 trains per day between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge. Train numbers will rise gradually when Inland Rail commences operations, to an expected peak number of 45 trains per day by 2040. 

How big will the trains be that will travel on Inland Rail?

The trains travelling on Inland Rail will be up to 1,800 metres long. Approximately 40% of each train will be able to be double-stacked. The double-stacked sections of train will be 7.1 metres high. 

What will ARTC do about the noise and vibration generated by Inland Rail?

Noise and vibration may be generated by the project from construction activities and train operations. Noise impact assessments will be undertaken as part of the assessment and approvals process. This will include any required mitigation measures. This will include assessments of any potential impacts on infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals.

Will coal be transported on Inland Rail?

Under the terms of access undertakings with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), ARTC is required to operate an open access rail network allowing customers the opportunity to access train paths according to demand and availability. ARTC cannot determine which freight goods are moved on its network as that is a matter for the freight companies, in accordance with relevant federal and state legislative requirements. Whether coal trains, or any trains, operate in future on Inland Rail is not a matter for ARTC to determine but a matter for the relevant freight companies, including coal mines. 

Once Inland Rail is fully operational from 2025 it will be a matter for the Queensland Government, through Queensland Rail, to determine whether it maintains the existing QR network at the current standard. It will also be a commercial matter for coal train operators as to whether they continue to use the existing QR line via Ipswich and the densely populated inner western suburbs of Brisbane or whether they access Inland Rail.

The Business Case completed for the Inland Rail project includes provision for the transport of coal from mines in the Surat and Clarence-Moreton Basins in southern Queensland.

It should be noted that the majority of freight forecast to be transported on Inland Rail is inter-capital city, non-bulk freight that is destined for domestic markets in Melbourne and Brisbane and immediate surrounds.  Such freight includes whitegoods, beverages, food, grocery items etc.

How will ARTC manage dust generated by coal transport on Inland Rail?

As the operator of Inland Rail, ARTC will require its customers transporting coal to manage their air emissions, including coal dust, in accordance with the Queensland Government’s legislative requirements. Currently, this responsibility is shared between the mine operators and coal transportation companies and includes: 

  • washing coal and sections of coal wagons 
  • profiling, or flattening the coal load within the wagons 
  • applying a veneer to coal loads to prevent dust from being released.
As the operator of the Inland Rail network, ARTC will hold operational agreements that will ensure the requisite regulatory standards and/or industry practice, where that is higher, are implemented and monitored.

What legislative requirements must be adhered to in regard to coal dust impacts?

In Queensland, all transportation companies are required to comply with the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EP Act), Environmental Protection Regulation 1997 (EP Reg) and the Environmental Protection (Air) Policy 2008 (EPP (Air)). This legislation is primarily focused on preventing environmental nuisance at any sensitive receptors, preserving human health, protecting the environment and amenity from dust deposition and related effects.

There are also requirements for managing dust emissions relating to worker health and safety under the Work Place and Health and Safety Act. In addition, the levels set out in the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) must be taken into account. 

If the K2ARB project is declared a Coordinated Project by the Office of the Coordinator General, ARTC will likely be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Effects from coal dust emissions will be assessed in the EIS, including potential mitigation strategies.

Has ARTC allowed for the fact that communities alongside the proposed Inland Rail in Brisbane are expected to grow in the near future?

ARTC has and will continue to undertake a range of activities that accurately describe and detail the current and future land uses within proximity to the rail corridor. This includes those within Priority Development Areas. Noise studies and modelling will gauge the extent of the area, and hence the number of residences, that will be impacted by noise and for which mitigation measures will need to be put into place.

How does this project interact with the Queensland Government’s proposed Salisbury to Beaudesert rail line?

The Queensland Government is progressing work on protecting a rail corridor between Salisbury and Beaudesert. Questions regarding Salisbury to Beaudesert should be directed to the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Will there be more trucks on the road in Acacia Ridge once Inland Rail is complete?

We will carry out traffic modelling to understand any impacts that increased trains may have on the road network.

Why does Inland Rail not continue to the Port of Brisbane?

Inland Rail will be linked to the Port of Brisbane from the day it opens, via the existing rail line to the port. Trains currently run to the port and will continue to do so once Inland Rail is operational. Trains accessing the Port of Brisbane will not be double stacked.

The Australian and Queensland Governments are undertaking a joint study looking at current and future demand as well as possible routes for a dedicated rail freight link to the Port.

Why can’t Inland Rail to go Gladstone instead of Acacia Ridge?

Since 2010, the Inland Rail project scope has been to ascertain the best possible route to ensure a 1,800m long, double-stacked freight train can travel from a freight terminal in Melbourne to a terminal in Brisbane (initially Acacia Ridge and since 2017 also Bromelton). This is because the majority of freight forecast to be transported on Inland rail is inter-capital city, non-bulk freight that is destined for domestic markets in Melbourne and Brisbane and immediate surrounds. Such freight includes whitegoods, beverages, food, grocery items etc.

The natural agricultural catchment areas for exporting through the Port of Gladstone are the Wide Bay and Fitzroy regions. Primary producers in the Darling Downs or northern NSW regions who are expected to use and benefit significantly from Inland Rail would face considerably higher freight costs were they to be expected to rail their produce to Gladstone for distribution to domestic or export markets rather than via a faster, more cost-efficient Inland Rail connection to Brisbane or other domestic markets.

While there is no scope for the project to examine taking the rail line to Gladstone for the reasons outlined above, ultimately whether there is connection of Inland Rail to Gladstone is a matter for the Commonwealth Government.

What are you doing to protect flora and fauna?

Flora and fauna field investigations will form part of the environmental impact assessment that will be undertaken as part of the assessment and approvals process. This impact assessment will consider the potential impact of the project to national, state and local environmentally significant communities and species. This will include any required mitigation measures. The environmental impact assessment will be made available to stakeholders, such as local environmental groups, for review and comment.

What is the benefit to the local community?

The construction and operation of Inland Rail will allow for continued growth and economic development in the Logan and Brisbane areas. Specifically, it will support the ongoing development within the Bromelton State Development Area and create opportunities for bulk freight and logistics operations, future industrial uses and other secondary service-related industries. There will also be a significant investment in Queensland during construction, including approximately 7,000 direct and indirect jobs. A Social Impact Assessment will be conducted as part of our environmental investigations which will examine the projected benefits to the K2ARB area in more detail. Input from the community will be sought in this process.

How can trains get to the Port of Brisbane when the line past Acacia Ridge does not accept double-stacked trains?

The Inland Rail Business Case found that approximately 70% of goods transported on Inland Rail upon its completion in 2025 would be for domestic use. That means that these goods will be distributed on the road network from Acacia Ridge and Bromelton. 

For the goods travelling to the Port of Brisbane, a proportion of these will only be single-stacked (such as coal trains) and can therefore continue straight through the Acacia Ridge facility. Those that are double-stacked will need to be decanted at Acacia Ridge and reloaded onto single-stacked trains.

What is done to compensate residents for loss of property value?

There is no legislative requirement to pay compensation for a loss in value unless land is acquired from a property. There are no private land acquisitions required as part of the K2ARB project at this time.

Is it possible Inland Rail will not proceed?

Inland rail has a Federal Government funding commitment of $9.3b and bipartisan support. Our Business Case has been approved to proceed with the project, taking into account all necessary mitigations as determined during the environmental investigations phase.

Are the crossing loop locations final?

Preliminary investigations have indicated the proposed locations of crossing loops at Forestdale and Flagstone are suitable. These preliminary investigations include enhancement of the existing loop locations of Greenbank and Bromelton. More detailed work will be undertaken as part of the next phase of studies, and investigations will take into account current and planned residential developments.

The ultimate goal for Inland Rail is to be able to move freight between Melbourne to Brisbane in less than 24 hours with 98% reliability. The location and number of crossing loops were designed across the entire Inland Rail network to ensure this target is achievable. 

The location of a crossing loop is determined by considering the various operating requirements of the track, with reference to local constraints. These constraints can include factors such as topographical limitations, environmental considerations and planning restrictions.

How will Inland Rail interact with the Emergency Services?

ARTC operates under its Safety Management System which includes safe operations protocols of the network including incidents. ARTC also has direct contact with emergency services in all states of ARTC operations. Access to and across rail corridors is available via various locations, including if required via rail track. 

ARTC currently operates in excess of 8,500kms of rail, much of it in areas of high population density. Relations and communications with emergency services is a high priority and a matter taken seriously by ARTC rail corridor managers. Across all Inland Rail projects there will be close negotiations with emergency services to ensure that emergency services can access communities in the manner they require and consider necessary and appropriate. 

What is ARTC’s duty of care to trackside communities?

ARTC has a Duty of Care for the communities it operates within. Importantly, this Duty of Care is demonstrated through the ongoing safe operations of the corridor that is Sub-Leased from the Queensland Government. Our operations are required to comply with a range of legislation in Queensland as well as the specific operational rail conditions that are required in both Queensland and Australia for ARTC to remain an accredited railway manager.

Is support available from those suffering emotional difficulty during the environmental investigations?

ARTC acknowledges the uncertainty for landowners and communities while we plan Inland Rail can be stressful. If you are experiencing stress, depression and/or anxiety, please call 1300 986 886 to speak to a local, independent service, to access support either face-to-face or on the telephone.