The Olympic express

Trains set to run every 2.5 minutes during 2032 Games

By Mitch Gaynor and Sonia Isaacs

A TRAIN could pass through Beerwah every 2.5 minutes as they ferry passengers to and from Brisbane during the Olympics on the new Direct Sunshine Coast Rail Line (DSC), it can be revealed.
There will also be four services per hour each way through the upgraded hinterland station during normal peak hour times following the opening of the $5.5bn DSC in 2032.
Work is set to start on the new rail line in 2026, with a completion date in 2032 ahead of the Games scheduled for July 23 to August 8.
“In event mode, DSC has been designed to cater for up to 12 trains an hour getting people to an event and up to 12 trains an hour getting people from the event,” a Transport and Main Roads Spokesperson said, following questions from GC&M News.
The supercharged services don’t include a timetable for the upgraded Nambour line, which is currently undergoing a $1bn upgrade to add services.
“DSC has been designed to cater for up to four trains an hour travelling to Brisbane in the morning peak and up to four trains an hour to the Sunshine Coast in the afternoon peak period,” the TMR spokesperson said.
“Detailed timetables setting out how many trains will run during peak, off-peak, and event mode will be developed as the project approaches opening.”
The DSC will also require the upgrade of Beerwah station to include three platforms, including a new island platform capable of ferrying 5000 passengers a day.
Two new pedestrian bridges will be built along with a new park ‘n ride, bus interchange and bike facilities.
TMR could not say if or how long Beerwah station would need to be closed for the upgrades.
Sunshine Coast Division 1 Councillor, Jenny Broderick, said the DSC project was “wonderful news for the hinterland”. “It will allow connectivity between the Hinterland and Caloundra, opening up positive and potential opportunities for both sides of the highway.
“However, we can’t stop there. We will also need to be planning for efficient and effective integrated transport solutions for Caloundra to the rest of the Coast. “I’ll be excited to see what that looks like when the time comes. We will need this solution sooner rather than later, with the Olympics only eight years away.”
A Sunshine Coast planning expert said the project was a “great step forward for the coastal plains connectivity to major transport infrastructure”.
But Sunshine Coast University’s Dr Nicholas Stevens, said the ‘devil would be in the detail for the rollout of the project, which is planned to run through the greenfield Beerwah East development and Aura.
“It cuts right through the Beerwah East future development area, which has capacity for up to 20,000 homes,” he said.
“These residents will either have to access the line at Beerwah or Nirimba Station. The question is how will they do that? Current thinking expects them to drive there.
“(DSC) is also a major rail corridor – these are big – it bisects Beerwah East so there will need to some way to allow vehicle crossing north and south in Beerwah East. There is also the question of potential rail noise and buffering through the development. So there is the potential of all the impacts of the rail, but without a station.
“In the shorter term, these kinds of potential impacts are perhaps of greater focus in Aura, lots of people are investing and moving there, and while a rail line is a great asset for them, there will be implications in the current Banya and future Acacia residential areas.
“How this is managed will indeed provide insights for the future management of the corridor in Beerwah East.”