It could be the end of the line for Warwick's inland rail

THE inland rail route through Warwick preferred by Southern Downs Regional Council has been nixed, following a meeting at Scots PGC College yesterday.

Warwick had been considered as a site for the Brisbane to Melbourne line, but other routes, including from Inglewood to Toowoomba via Karara and Leyburn, are now being investigated.

The meeting between politicians and Australian Rail Track Corporation staff was called after Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg tabled a report in Parliament that drew concern to a route between Inglewood and Toowoomba via Milmerran.

ARTC CEO John Fullerton said there were hopes the rail line between Warwick and Gowrie Junction would connect to the main line.

"The proposed Warwick line was 26km longer and more costly than other options, and there were concerns it would have made the route less competitive," Mr Fullerton said.

"While the preferred route of the Southern Downs Council will not go ahead, Warwick will be connected to the inland rail.

ALL ABOARD: Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, Transport Minister Darren Chester, and Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg joined ARTC staff at Scots PGC College to consider the future direction for the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail project.
ALL ABOARD: Member for Maranoa David Littleproud, Transport Minister Darren Chester, and Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg joined ARTC staff at Scots PGC College to consider the future direction for the Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail project. Sophie Lester

"We are now considering other options, including looking at Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba."

Mr Springborg said he was pleased with the ARTC's commitment to greater transparency as the project moved forward.

He said, no matter what, the inland rail would run in the Southern Downs.

"The process has not gone how it should have and I am grateful to (Transport Minister) Darren Chester who has come here to have open and positive discussion," he said.

"This infrastructure is long overdue and will have enormous benefits for the community but we need to have the confidence it is done properly."

Member for Maranoa David Littleproud did not specify when the route would be completed but said he was committed to the project delivery.

"We don't spend $894million on a whim - we are going to do this and we need to get it right," Mr Littleproud said.


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