Gowrie to Grandchester Rail Corridor Study

We investigated a rail corridor that would help mitigate the constraints on rail operations caused by the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool Range crossings.

The Gowrie to Grandchester Rail Corridor Study, completed in May 2003, was a joint initiative between the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail. The purpose of the study was to identify a rail corridor to relieve the constraints on rail operations caused by the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool Range crossings, to support development in Toowoomba, south-west Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Note: The study corridor currently forms part of the proposed alignment in Queensland for the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project.


  • Contributes to regional growth
  • Contributes to economy

The study found that the impacts associated with construction and operation of the proposed railway can be managed through detailed engineering design.


Technical, environmental and cultural heritage studies were undertaken as part of the project. 

Strategic environmental study

The strategic environmental study considered the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed rail corridor.

Study objectives were to:

  • examine and describe the existing environment in which the corridor is located
  • identify the potential environmental impacts which might occur as a result of the construction and operation of the rail line
  • provide a framework against which the study team can consider the environmental aspects of the proposal in selecting the preferred route.

Cultural heritage study

A cultural heritage study was undertaken in accordance with state legislation, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail practice.

It included the following:

  • a literature review and background research
  • a site reconnaissance under permit from the Environmental Protection Agency
  • consultation with Indigenous groups
  • formulation of recommendations for protection from, or mitigation of, the impact of modification of the landscape on any items and places of cultural significance.

This study concluded that there was little likelihood of impacting on sites other than stone artefact scatters and isolated finds. As part of future detailed design, a Cultural Heritage Management Plan will need to be prepared. The Grandchester railway station and associated infrastructure are of state heritage significance and are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and the Ipswich City Council Local Heritage Register. Construction and operation of a new rail corridor will not impact on this heritage-listed facility and rail access to Grandchester railway station can be maintained.


At the time of the study, extensive public consultation was undertaken to keep key stakeholders and interested community members up-to-date on the progress and outcomes of the study.

Project update

As this rail corridor forms part of the Inland Rail alignment in Queensland, it has been declared a coordinated project by the Coordinator-General requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  ARTC are currently in the process of preparing the EIS.

More information

For further information on coordinated projects, EIS status and process, refer to the Queensland Coordinator-General website.

For information on the Inland Rail, project refer to the ARTC Inland Rail website.