Toowoomba renews push for fast rail link to Brisbane

Richard Dinnen - Queensland Editor |

The Toowoomba Regional Council says it’s speeding up plans for a fast passenger rail service to Brisbane.

The existing 120-kilometre journey takes four hours and is only available twice a week. Mayor Paul Antonio said it doesn’t adequately serve local communities or visitors to the region.

“A fast rail service has been discussed for many years. It’s time to make it a reality.

“The wheels are already in motion, but we need to make sure it happens.

“To ensure it remains at the front of mind for the State and Federal Governments, we’re planning to place signage on the Toowoomba Range to advocate for our needs, much like we did with the Toowoomba Bypass which we were fortunate to secure.

Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio

“We also propose to host a Toowoomba to Brisbane Fast Rail Forum, in collaboration with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, during the next 12 months.”

Federal and state governments have been considering so-called fast rail projects for south-east Queensland for several years.

They would use new generation rolling stock that can travel at up to 140 kilometres per hour, much faster than existing commuter trains, with significant time savings for passengers.

The Queensland Government will consider business cases for three fast rail projects in the south-east, linking Brisbane with the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, and Toowoomba.

Proponents say the plan is to be able to travel by rail anywhere in south-east Queensland within 45 minutes. Mayor Antonio said it’s a bold plan that would benefit the region and the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

“It may seem ambitious to have a fast rail service from Toowoomba to Brisbane. It was also ambitious to dream about hosting the 2032 Olympic Games many years ago, and we’ve seen how that has come to fruition.

“We’re looking for the same result with a fast passenger rail service. We have the Inland Rail coming, we have an internationally capable airport and we’re the gateway to western Queensland.

“Toowoomba is a regional powerhouse in this country and it’s crucial for our region and for all the areas west of us to better connect to Brisbane for our future growth.”