Rail revolution right on track
IT IS the final stage of the $1.2 billion rail project that is set to change the face of Springfield forever.
The 9.5km rail link from Richlands to two new Springfield stations - Springfield Lakes and Springfield Central - is just over 15 months from opening.
The line is stage two of a rail development that will connect Darra to Springfield Central.
The earliest projected opening of the Springfield link is July 2013, but it will be up and running by the end of next year at the latest.
Springfield Lakes station will be located near Woodcrest College while the showpiece of the development is the double-level $60 million state-of-the-art Springfield Central station, across the road from Orion Shopping Centre.
The shopping centre is on the other side of the road to the station but there will be an underground carriage that will provide ease of access for commuters.
Increased bus services will bring residents from nearby areas to and from the station and 100 all-day car parking spaces provided for those who need to drive to the stations.
Springfield Land Corporation (SLC) marketing and communications director, Naren Sinnathamby, said the rail project was "the development that will change the face of Springfield".
"And I think it will encourage a lot more development to be brought to the area," Mr Sinnathamby said.
"We've had families with us for 20 years who we sold this dream to, so we are so happy to announce this victory for the whole of greater Springfield - and we hope the residents embrace it.
"The kids, students, young people and elderly who don't have access to a car will have full transport facilities through the new rail network that will take them to Brisbane or anywhere they want to go.
"The design of Springfield Central is unique and upmarket and the way it integrates with the town centre was fundamental. Council, government and the SLC all came together to work on the project."
The Greater Springfield area is expected to grow from a current population of 22,000 to 105,000 over the next 30 years so the project is much needed infrastructure.
The train line in its current format will stop at Springfield Central and in future will extend to Ripley Valley and Ipswich and then circle back to the Brisbane CBD.
SLC chairman Maha Sinnathamby said the completed rail project would reduce the traffic congestion on the Centenary Hwy and draw commuters from Springfield and surrounding areas.
It is expected the new rail line will take 2500 cars off the road.
"Nowhere in Australia has a suburban railway of $1.2 billion been undertaken for a very long time," Mr Sinnathamby said.
"What it does show is the huge population explosion that is expected for Springfield and the western corridor. One thing we do here at Springfield is to plan for the next 30 years."
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce president, Ralph Breaden, owns a financial planning business and said the railway line would draw people from far and wide and be a massive boost for business by making it far easier for consumers to access shops and services.