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Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study


The Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study proposed a passenger rail service branching off the North Coast railway line at Beerwah and extending through Caloundra to Maroochydore.


Caboolture, Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore


The proposed rail line will provide a public transport spine for the Sunshine Coast and link the coastal urban area to Brisbane.

North Coast and Wide Bay-Burnett Region - North Coast District

Project info

The Queensland Government proposed a major initiative to investigate an integrated land use and public transportation system for the Caboolture to Sunshine Coast region. The development of an integrated transportation system challenges traditional approaches to urban management and to quality of life enhancements.

The Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study recognises the importance of integrating transport networks and land use distribution.

What was the study about?

The Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study was completed in 2001. The study investigated the feasibility, preferred development, impacts and benefits of a new public transportation corridor between Beerwah and the Sunshine Coast Airport.

In consultation with the local community, the study focused on:

  • developing an integrated land use transport strategy for the Caboolture to Maroochydore area
  • determining the need for a new public transport corridor
  • identifying a preferred route for the corridor
  • identifying the preferred public transport mode (for example, busway, heavy rail, light rail and so on)
  • identifying station locations
  • developing an integrated public transport system
  • undertaking impact assessment studies and identifying environmental management strategies
  • establishing staging options for the development of public transport infrastructure.

What happened during the study?

The study was undertaken in three stages.

Stage one – corridor identification

Stage one gathered baseline data to identify environmental and social constraints and opportunities. These were produced in a map format to illustrate the most significant environmental, engineering and social constraints that needed to be considered when looking at locations for public transport corridors. Along with public consultation they were used as evaluation criteria to assess and finalise the corridor options.

Stage one tasks Outputs
Establish modelling framework
  • Working paper one
  • Working paper two
  • Draft Terms of Reference
  • Evaluation criteria
Define 2050 vision
Select corridor options
Identify constraints and opportunities
Establish evaluation criteria
Procedural risk assessment

Stage two – corridor evaluation

Stage two involved:

  • investigating existing and future travel patterns and alternative mode options
  • investigating economic, transport, environmental, engineering and social issues
  • undertaking a preliminary economic and financial viability study of the public transport within the corridor
  • undertaking an evaluation of the different corridor options
  • narrowing the short-listed corridor options.

In stage two, it was decided that:

  • the preferred transport mode is heavy passenger rail, similar to the current Citytrain network
  • detailed evaluation should be undertaken for the short-listed corridor options.
Stage two tasks Outputs
Analyse demand for options
  • Corridor Assessment Report
  • Issues Papers
  • Preliminary Impact Assessment Study (IAS)
  • Draft Terms of Reference
  • Recommended options

Establish engineering feasibility
Identify rail/bus operations
Evaluate environmental field data
Comparison between options
Develop broad land use transport strategy
Provide basis for community input/evaluation
Nominate shortlisted options
Narrow the corridors
Finalise Corridor Assessment Report (CAR)

Stage three – route assessment

The first part of stage three involved an assessment of options around Caloundra and the identification of a preferred corridor.

The second part of stage three was the preparation of the Impact Assessment Study to examine the alternative options, benefits, environmental impacts, proposed strategies to counter any significant impacts and ways to enhance a beneficial outcome.

 Stage three tasks Outputs 
Seek feedback on Corridor Assessment Report and draft Terms of Reference
  • Impact Assessment Report
  • Land use/transport strategy

Conduct more detailed environmental and heritage survey
Prepare planning layouts
Assess preferred option
Identify mitigation strategies
Prepare Caloundra Option Assessment Report (COAR)
Conduct assessment and choose the preferred Close Caloundra Option
Develop recommendations for land use strategy and implementation
Prepare draft Impact Assessment Study Report
Provide basis for community input/assessment
Finalise IAS Report

What was decided at the end of the study?

The Queensland Government agreed to implement the recommendations from the Caboolture to Maroochydore Study, including the need to protect the preferred future public transport corridor from Beerwah to Maroochydore and on to the Sunshine Coast Airport. Since then, the government has been actively acquiring land for the corridor.

Track upgrading and duplication from Caboolture to Beerburrum was completed in 2009, as was the elimination of the open level crossing at Beerwah, ultimately providing for the branching off of the new line to Caloundra and Maroochydore.


Visit the Caboolture to Maroochydore Corridor Study publications page to download a copy of the study and other associated documents.


Information on the study can be obtained by emailing:

Community info

Community involvement

The local community was engaged in the following ways:

  • formation of five 'district working groups' consisting of community members
  • public displays at local events and shopping centres
  • media releases and advertisements in local print, radio and television media
  • public meetings and meetings with interest groups
  • establishment of a mailing network of interested stakeholders and community-centred locations, including an indigenous network mailing list
  • a freecall information line and study team email address
  • establishment of a project website
  • newsletter distribution.

The Impact Assessment Study and aerial photographs of the study area were on public display for six weeks, up until 21 October 1999.

North Coast Connect Project

Last updated
19 March 2020