Have a question about the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge project? Check our list of most frequently asked questions.

In early 2019 we submitted an Initial Advice Statement to the Office of the Coordinator-General seeking the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton project be declared a ‘coordinated project’ under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. A declaration would have required an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be prepared. The Coordinator-General has since decided not to declare the project a ‘coordinated project’.

During the past two years, we have undertaken studies equivalent to an EIS. We presented the preliminary results of the environmental investigations to the community in late 2020.

We will now work with the Department of Transport and Main Roads to determine the approvals pathway for the project. This will also identify if additional investigations are required.

Once the approvals pathway has been confirmed, we will share this information with the community via local media, our website and the project’s electronic newsletter.

We remain committed to working closely and collaboratively with our key stakeholders and local communities involved in the project.

ARTC supports moving more freight onto rail and improving freight rail connectivity for a country as big as Australia.

It’s important to remember that Inland Rail’s primary purpose is to move domestic freight between Brisbane and Melbourne, two of our fastest growing cities.

ARTC is focused on delivering Inland Rail on behalf of the Australian Government. Investing in additional freight rail connectivity to Gladstone is a decision for the Australian and Queensland governments.

We understand some property owners are concerned about the impact Inland Rail operations will have on their property values.

There’s no legislative requirement to pay financial compensation for a loss in value unless land is acquired from a property.

However, the purpose of the environmental assessment currently being undertaken is to determine the potential impact of Inland Rail operations in communities along the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton alignment. If Inland Rail’s found to likely exceed any of the regulatory standards required to be met, we’ll need to recommend mitigation measures to alleviate those impacts.

The crossing loop locations proposed in the reference design have been determined by operational requirements. The ultimate location of loops may vary from the current locations during the primary approvals process, and as we progress through the design development process. 

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

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.

Inland Rail will allow for continued growth and economic development in the Logan and Brisbane areas. It will support ongoing development of the Bromelton State Development Area and create opportunities for bulk freight and logistics operations, future industrial uses and other secondary service-related industries.

There’ll also be a significant investment in Queensland during construction, including approximately 11,800 direct and indirect jobs. A Social Impact Assessment is being conducted as part of our environmental investigations to examine the projected benefits in more detail. Local community input is being considered in this process.

Businesses and local people from Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton Local Government Areas (LGA) were involved in constructing the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail in NSW.

This now operational section of Inland Rail generated work for more than 1,800 people and saw more than $100 million spent with 99 businesses.

Businesses from the Logan and Brisbane LGAs benefitted from their involvement in construction of the Parkes to Narromine section:

  • more than 20 Brisbane LGA businesses were involved during construction
  • more than 70 people were employed from the Brisbane LGA
  • four Logan City LGA businesses were involved during the project’s construction
  • 20 people were employed from the Logan LGA
  • three people were employed from the Scenic Rim LGA.

Future operations

Yes. As part of the environmental approval documents being prepared, we’re considering current and future land uses within proximity to the rail corridor, including within Priority Development Areas.

Currently, approximately eight trains run per day between Kagaru and Acacia Ridge.

The Inland Rail Business Case forecasts an increase in train numbers to an expected peak of 45 trains per day by 2040. However, this forecast doesn’t consider:

  • the impact of intermodal locations in south east Queensland, or
  • the agreement by state and Australian governments that there will be no coal wagons on the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton section of the alignment until construction starts on the Salisbury to Beaudesert line or another time as agreed by governments.

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

However, not all trains will be double-stacked. For example, trains carrying agricultural commodities are generally not containerised and will be pulling hopper wagons.

Traffic and transport

We’re aware traffic impacts are a concern and we’re assessing the potential extent of any traffic impacts during construction.

The assessment of downstream traffic impacts during the operation of Inland Rail is not within the scope of the program. Separately, the Australian Government has announced funding for business cases relating to intermodal terminals in Queensland.

We’ll work with relevant parties to understand the scope of the studies required to support those business cases and determine whether any further investigation is required.

The Queensland Government is working to protect a rail corridor between Salisbury and Beaudesert. They’ve secured $20 million in funds from the Australian Government to finance business cases for a Port of Brisbane Connection and the Salisbury to Beaudesert rail line, as part of an intergovernmental agreement to deliver Inland Rail.

Questions regarding the Salisbury to Beaudesert Rail Corridor Study should be directed to the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

There’s a provision in the intergovernmental agreement to deliver Inland Rail that coal trains won’t run on the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge project alignment until construction of the Salisbury to Beaudesert passenger line commences, which is still a number of years away, or another time as agreed by governments.

Whether or not coal trains, or any trains, operate on Inland Rail in future will be determined following negotiations between freight operators, including coal mines, and ARTC. It will also be a commercial matter for coal train operators as to whether they continue to use the existing Queensland Rail line via Ipswich and the densely populated inner western suburbs of Brisbane or whether they access Inland Rail.

It should be noted, most of the freight forecast to be transported on Inland Rail is inter-capital city, non-bulk freight destined for domestic markets in Melbourne, Brisbane and local surrounding areas. E.g., whitegoods, beverages, food and grocery items.

The environment

Noise and vibration may be generated by the project from construction activities and trains running on the line once operational. ARTC has conducted investigations to understand the current background noise and vibration levels and predict levels once Inland Rail is operational.

Results show a small number of residences located near enhancement work sites may experience noise levels that could potentially need further mitigation and management. We will discuss the results of these studies and potential further works required with residents.

During operation, noise and vibration levels will be monitored to ensure ARTC’s strict noise and vibration criteria are being met.

We’ve carried out investigations to review and document the ecological values and predicted impacts once Inland Rail is operational.

The results of these studies will determine appropriate mitigations, if required, in line with current regulatory requirements for rail enhancement projects.

These will be detailed in the environmental approvals documentation, which will be made available to the community, such as local environmental groups, for review and comment.

As the operator of Inland Rail, ARTC will require its customers to manage their air emissions in accordance with the Queensland Government’s legislative requirements.

Currently, this responsibility is shared between mine operators and transportation companies. As the operator of the Inland Rail network, ARTC will hold operational agreements that will ensure the requisite regulatory standards are implemented and monitored. These include:

  • 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.

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 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 Workplace and Health and Safety Act. In addition, the levels set out in the National Environment Protection Measures (NEPM) must be considered.

ARTC, as the freight network operator, is assessing effects of potential emissions in our ongoing project investigations.

Connecting to Port of Brisbane

Inland Rail will be linked to the Port of Brisbane from the day it opens, via the existing dual-gauge 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 Government and Queensland Government are undertaking a joint study of options and requirements for port / rail connections that will consider current and future demand and the relationship with the Inland Rail project.

The Inland Rail Business Case found that approximately 66% of goods transported on Inland Rail would be for domestic use and not destined for the Port of Brisbane. This means these goods will be distributed on the road network from Acacia Ridge and Bromelton.

Trains carrying goods such as bulk commodities to the Port of Brisbane will only be single-stacked and can go straight through the Acacia Ridge facility. They’ll run on the existing dual-gauge rail connection between Acacia Ridge and the Port of Brisbane.

Health and safety

ARTC has a duty of care for the communities it operates within.

This duty of care is demonstrated through the ongoing safe operations of the corridor that is sub-leased from the Queensland Government. To remain an accredited railway manager, ARTC’s operations are required to comply with a range of legislation in Queensland as well as the specific operational rail conditions required in both Queensland and Australia.

ARTC, as the freight network operator, also conducts environmental investigations to understand the current and predicted operational impacts Inland Rail may have in relation to noise, vibration and air quality.

Prior to and following Inland Rail becoming operational, we may need to review and update mitigation measures in line with current regulatory requirements.

In these uncertain times, it’s understandable some people may feel stressed, anxious or overwhelmed. We recognise some people may need a little extra support during planning and construction of Inland Rail.

The Wellbeing Mental Health Service is a confidential local service run by the Wesley Mission Queensland. It can be accessed face-to-face or on the telephone and is free of charge and independent of Inland Rail.

To access this service, please call 3151 3840 or visit the Wesley Mission Queensland website.

Question not answered?

If you have a question about the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton project that isn’t answered in our frequently asked questions, let us know below.

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