View the proposed new alignment for the 37 kilometre corridor. Some changes have been made to the previously protected corridor.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is planning for the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line – a proposed new 37 kilometre passenger rail line connecting the Sunshine Coast community between Beerwah, Caloundra and Maroochydore to Moreton Bay, Brisbane and beyond.
This new rail line is proposed to tie into the existing North Coast Line, north of Beerwah Station. This would mean that trains operating on the proposed Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line would continue to the Brisbane CBD and beyond, without passengers needing to transfer at Beerwah.
The new rail line is being planned to connect with the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project at key interchange locations to increase public transport opportunities for the growing Sunshine Coast community, as outlined in the Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy. Bus interchanges are proposed for each rail station.
The rail line is proposed to link longer and medium distance trips with local trips provided for by the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project and bus services.
TMR is undertaking a Detailed Business Case for the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line. This builds on planning completed in 2001 by the Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study (CAMCOS). As part of that planning, a corridor (route) was determined and land preserved (protected from development).
The Detailed Business Case includes a review of the preserved corridor to refine the alignment and station locations, a detailed analysis of design, risks, financials, economics, environmental impacts, community impacts and utilities.
Following these investigations, and consultation undertaken in mid-2023, TMR has progressed the rail station designs and has proposed refinements to the rail corridor to meet modern rail design standards, optimise rail operations and minimise impacts on the surrounding areas.
View the proposed new alignment for the 37 kilometre corridor. Some changes have been made to the previously protected corridor.
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View designs for the stations, including platforms, buildings, park 'n' ride/kiss 'n' ride locations and street access for motorists, pedestrians and bike riders.
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Learn about how TMR is planning to introduce new routes and increase services to improve east-west connections between stations, key destinations and surrounding areas.
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Planning is following the Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study (CAMCOS) corridor, which was preserved in 2001. This corridor travels from Beerwah, through Caloundra South (Aura), Pelican Waters, Meridan Plains and Birtinya, towards Maroochydore. Some refinements are proposed to be made to this corridor as a result of planning, engineering and consultation undertaken during the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line business case.
The Southern Sunshine Coast Public Transport Strategy sets out the proposed vision for public transport for the southern Sunshine Coast. Planning for the future network includes a western corridor (the North Coast Rail Line), a centre corridor (Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line), a coastal corridor (Sunshine Coast Public Transport project) and the key connectors (connections between the 3 corridors).
The proposed Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line would provide medium and longer distance trips, including to/from the Sunshine Coast and between the region's economic centres.
The Sunshine Coast Public Transport project would provide local travel (shorter distance trips). The proposed Sunshine Coast Public Transport project would provide an accessible, more sustainable travel option for residents and visitors making intra-regional journeys between Maroochydore and Caloundra. It would help reduce the high reliance on private vehicles for shorter trips, leading to eased congestion on the road network and reduced travel times.
Together, the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line and the Sunshine Coast Public Transport projects would make travelling by public transport to, from and within the region more convenient, affordable and reliable.
The 2 projects will share key transport hubs to make it easy for passengers to transfer between them or connect on to other supporting public transport services.
The detailed business case for the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is expected to be completed in late 2023 and progressed for government consideration in 2024.
All major infrastructure projects are required to go through this planning phase to determine:
This planning will inform project costs, government consideration of funding and timeframes for construction.
Beerwah station is proposed to be upgraded, with new stations proposed at Nirimba (Aura), Caloundra, Aroona, Birtinya, Mountain Creek and Maroochydore as part of the current planning.
The station locations have been carefully planned to ensure the community has easy and convenient access to the new rail line and ensure the new train services are efficient (more stations mean slower train services as the trains need to slow down and speed up at stations).
Station locations are positioned within the preserved CAMCOS corridor where possible. Transport modelling was used to forecast station patronage and travel times. Technical evaluations included assessing the rail geometry with the aim to achieve straight rail track connecting to the stations, future-proofing for longer trains and meeting accessibility requirements. Environmental impacts and ground type were also considered to determine the locations.
Connection with the community was an important consideration for the station locations. Rail stations connected to the community within easy walking and cycling distance can help reduce congestion on the local road network, as many people will have an alternative to driving. Providing access to other connecting public transport modes, like buses, as well as kiss ‘n’ ride and park ‘n’ ride facilities also creates places that are easy and comfortable to move around in.
Investment planning follows the Queensland Treasury Project Assessment Framework. The detailed business case planning considers the following:
(how much it will cost to build) and develop a preliminary design.
TMR is undertaking a detailed business case to determine the requirements of building and operating a new rail line to Maroochydore to inform a government investment decision.
This business case will update previously completed work as part of the 2001 CAMCOS study. It will confirm and provide more detail on various elements of the rail design, rail operation and stabling, construction, land use, environment and waterways, and community to ensure a new rail line could be successfully delivered and operated at this location.
The new rail line would involve construction of:
Specific details about construction methods would be determined in future phases of the project. Once construction impacts are identified, TMR will notify stakeholders and work with people in the community who may be impacted by construction. TMR will notify impacted community members as early as possible of potential impacts and disruptions.
The planning is considering how the rail line interfaces with nearby projects including the Mooloolah River Interchange and Kawana Motorway. The respective project teams are working closely together to determine how these designs would work together to provide safe and efficient road, rail and active travel.
The detailed business case includes an initial environmental assessment and management plan and identifies anticipated environmental approval requirements. Should the project receive funding to get built, it would move into the next stages of detailed planning and delivery with more detailed environmental assessments and engagement with community, interest groups and First Nations People required to inform project development and environmental approval documentation.
Technical studies to inform the detailed business case include flood modelling, geological studies, flora and fauna surveys, as well as initial investigations for water quality, cultural heritage, noise and vibration and air quality.
Some property owners will be impacted by property acquisitions required for the project.
Once the corridor realignments are confirmed and these properties are determined, TMR will liaise directly with those property owners to ensure they are well-informed of the project, in line with TMR's acquisition process.
TMR will engage with the community, including residents, during this planning process. We encourage all interested community members to register for future project updates to receive information as the project progresses. Register on this page in the top right corner.
It is possible that not all stations will be constructed at the same time. Construction staging is being considered as part of the current planning to reduce the level of construction disruptions for the Sunshine Coast community and pressure on industry, particularly considering the volume of infrastructure projects being planned for the Sunshine Coast and for South East Queensland in the coming years.
Active transport infrastructure is an important part of the Direct Sunshine Coast Line project.
The project will provide active transport facilities, such as pedestrian and bicycle rider pathways around stations and along the corridor to connect key communities and centres. In some locations, the facilities are proposed to be located through nearby locations rather than parallel with the rail corridor. This is because of safety, accessibility and environmental sensitivities, as well as constructability challenges.
The Queensland Government will continue to work with Sunshine Coast Council to improve links to public transport infrastructure and support people to get active as part of their journey. This includes bike facilities and secure bicycle and personal mobility device storage.
The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is being planned to Maroochydore with access to the Sunshine Coast Airport connected through an improved network of higher frequency and connector bus routes that will provide convenient connections to major centres and popular destinations.
The protected CAMCOS transport corridor extends to the Sunshine Coast Airport and will continue to be protected to allow for future extension when necessary.
A rail station is not proposed at the University of Sunshine Coast as the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is being planned to generally follow the previously protected CAMCOS corridor to minimise community and environmental impacts.
The University of Sunshine Coast will be connected through a network of higher frequency and connector bus routes to and from stations that will provide convenient connections to major centres and popular destinations.
Park ‘n’ ride facilities are being proposed for all stations except Maroochydore Station. Maroochydore Station is located in the Maroochydore City Centre, which provides for close interchange facilities for bus services, kiss ‘n’ ride and taxi services. An interchange with the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project is also being considered at the Maroochydore station.
All stations, including Maroochydore Station will have accessible parking, as well as active transport connections for bicycles, personal mobility devices and walking. The location and number of park ‘n’ ride facilities is yet to be finalised for all stations.
The Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line is being planned to reduce impacts on the community and environment. The business case is investigating ways to minimise noise impacts by optimising the rail track alignment and design (straightening/reducing curves where possible) and considering noise barrier treatments. Should the project receive funding to be built, further noise assessments will be needed to inform the project detailed design.
The rail line is being designed for train speeds up to 160 km/h, where the rail geometry (curves/straight track and incline/decline changes) and station locations allow. A train’s overall speed and travel time is affected by the number of times it has to slow down, stop at a station, and regain speed.
TMR is engaging with accessibility specialists and groups to ensure accessibility is considered in all stages of planning and design for this project. It is important that access to and at the stations is safe and efficient for everyone. Other important accessibility considerations will include signage and way-finding, active travel connectivity and safe multimodal transport connections.
A network of high frequency and connector bus routes or ‘key connectors’ is being planned to provide convenient connections from stations to major centres and popular destinations, including the University of Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Nambour, Landsborough and Sunshine Coast Airport. These services would link to each other, local services and regional services running further north, south and west. Bus services have also considered those residents and visitors north of Maroochydore. Services are being proposed which connect these northern Sunshine Coast communities to the rail stations.
The Sunshine Coast Public Transport project is also planning to connect to these high frequency and connector routes at major transport hubs. In this way, the benefits of improved infrastructure and services on the coastal and centre corridors can be extended to the broader region.
TMR will consider opportunities to enhance the visual amenity of the project so it complements the natural landscape and characteristics of the Sunshine Coast.
These opportunities may include:
These opportunities will be explored in future stages of the project to inform the design as it matures.
When designing a rail station there are three common types of platforms that are considered:
TMR invited the community to have their say on the Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line project in mid-2023.
The community provided feedback on a wide range of items relating to the project, including station locations and designs, corridor location, active transport and connections with other public transport services (including the Sunshine Coast Public Transport project).
People also shared how they would use the proposed Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line. People told us that they would like to use the rail line to visit family and friends, travel to the beach and key tourism destinations, attend sports games and events in other regions, travel to and from work in Moreton Bay and Brisbane and more. We heard that a safe, fast, reliable and efficient alternative to private vehicle travel would be a welcome addition to the regional transport network within the Sunshine Coast region.
Feedback about the corridor included its proximity to nearby neighbourhoods and homes, connection to other Sunshine Coast locations, such as education and healthcare facilities, preferences to avoid significant environmental areas, and a desire for the rail line to generally remain along the CAMCOS corridor. The community asked how noise and visual amenity were being considered in the design and how local road traffic was being considered around the corridor. The community also provided design suggestions.
Feedback about active transport was focused on support for these facilities being delivered as part of the project, with strong support for high quality active transport facilities to generally follow the rail alignment and connect to stations. Feedback also included the need for e-scooters and mobility scooters to travel on these facilities, along with bike riders and pedestrians, and the need for end-of-trip facilities and storage.
Feedback was also provided on stations. More details on the stations and how the community’s feedback has been incorporated into the business case can be found here. Key statistics about the mid-2023 consultation are available in the consultation summary report.
The Queensland Government is considering all feedback received in the business case stage. To date, key project changes in response to the community’s feedback include:
TMR uses Queensland Treasury's Project Assessment Framework to assess projects at critical stages. From the initial assessment of the service required, through to business case and delivery, a project's progress and quality is assessed via a series of reviews by independent tehcnical experts from across Australia to ensure it meets strategic objectives and achieves value for money. For more information about the process, click here.
The DSC Rail Line project is guided by long-term planning for South East Queensland.
TMR has a blueprint, SEQ Rail Connect, for shaping the rail network to meet the future needs of the growing South East Queensland region. This blueprint outlines how we are preparing the network to be ready for Cross River Rail, which will transform the way our rail network operates and how customers travel by train in SEQ. The DSC Rail Line is identified as a key initiative.
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