Full steam ahead for regional passenger rail
THE push for a passenger rail service linking Brisbane to the Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba is gathering steam.
The Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba Regional Councils have partnered with Ipswich City Council to form the Ipswich to Toowoomba Passenger Rail Alliance.
Lockyer Valley mayor Tanya Milligan said the alliance was about the region being "the masters of our own destiny".
"It's been really important for us to work collaboratively together as a partnership, build an alliance," Cr Milligan said.
"Because we see the benefits not just for one region, but for all of our three regions together."
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The alliance will also include key industry representatives but Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said who the members would be was yet to be determined.
"We're going to start doing that next week. We'll be talking to people," Cr Antonio said.
"And there's a number of people we should contact but we're not afraid to bring anyone on board."
Work on the business case for the rail link will soon start and is expected to take between 12 to 18 months.
Cr Milligan said the project would "open up a whole new world" for the regions if it was completed.
"For us, it's about accessibility. It's about potential opportunities for business," she said.
But details on the proposal are scarce, including where it would run.
Cr Milligan said the business case would examine potential routes, whether it would integrate with existing rail corridors and the overall costs and benefits to the community.
But Cr Milligan would be drawn on how often she would like to see services run.
"More than what we've got, which we have none," she said.
"You would never ever please everybody, but there is nothing at the moment and I think having those genuine conversations you will arrive at what will be best for the community."
The $15 million dollar business case was funded by the Federal Government in the 2018 budget.