Cross River Rail construction to double with 11 new sites, 500 extra workers

Cross River Rail construction to double with 11 new sites, 500 extra workers

As the demolition of the original Roma Street Transit Centre continues, the new year will see the Cross River Rail construction project more than double in size.

The state government confirmed 11 new worksites would open in 2020, on top of the seven present ones, with 500 new workers ready to start.



Cross River Rail construction to double


The Queensland government had released the latest fly-through animation of the Cross River Rail project.

The first part of tunnelling on the project was expected to start in August, from Woolloongabba towards Boggo Road.

Work would start at the RNA Showgrounds Exhibition Station in April, Cross River Rail Minister Kate Jones said.

She said upgrade work was also set to begin at six stations from Salisbury to Fairfield in Brisbane's inner south, as well as construction on three new Gold Coast stations at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac.

"A worksite has now been established at Boggo Road, the existing site at Woolloongabba is already a hive of activity, demolition at Albert Street in the heart of the CBD is well advanced and work at Roma Street is well and truly under way," Ms Jones said.

The 18 Cross River Rail worksites running in 2020


  • Upgrades at Fairfield, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Moorooka, Rocklea, and Salisbury stations (starting in  June)
  • Exhibition Station, which currently only opens during the Ekka (starting in April)
  • Three new Gold Coast stations - Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac (starting in September)
  • Work on the southern portal - from Woolloongabba to Boggo Road (starting in April)


  • Boggo Road
  • Woolloongabba
  • Albert Street
  • Roma Street
  • Northern Portal (including rail corridor works)
  • Shorncliffe 
  • Mayne Yard

"Regular rail users may have noticed extensive work has also begun in our rail corridors, particularly near Normanby, where the project’s northern tunnel portal will be built.

"Cross River Rail will create 7700 construction jobs throughout south-east Queensland."


Cross River Rail Delivery Authority chief executive Graeme Newton said the project would "really kick up a gear" in 2020.

"We’ll complete demolition at Roma Street and Albert Street, start tunnelling from Woolloongabba to Boggo Road, start work on station upgrades and the new Gold Coast stations, and we will have workers live on the project at as many as 18 sites across the city," he said.

In December, the decision was made to go ahead with the 17,000-seat Brisbane Live entertainment precinct above Roma Street railyards.

Concept designs for the Brisbane Live arena.

Concept designs for the Brisbane Live arena.CREDIT:QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT

The idea to build the arena formed in 2007 but kicked off only when it became part of the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project after years of discussion between AEG Ogden and the government.


Brisbane Live will deliver 450 jobs each year during construction, with 1000 jobs in the peak year, and 600 ongoing jobs when operational.

The end of the Roma Street Transit Centre also started last month with workers taking the precinct apart "piece by piece", starting with Hotel Jen.

However, the project has not been without controversy in recent months, with the CFMEU holding repeated protests outside Parliament in late November and on the streets of Brisbane.

The union was angry the Australian Workers' Union was favoured to negotiate a deal with contractors CPB, and CFMEU state secretary Michael Ravbar sad Mr Newton "couldn't build a cubby house".

Ms Jones insisted she would continue working with the unions, who had been threatening to withdraw support from Labor over concerns with the project.

She also denied union claims that overseas companies had been given contracts, saying all the Cross River Rail contractors had Brisbane offices.

She said Toowoomba-based company Wagner had recently secured a multimillion-dollar contract for concreting in the project.

The Fair Work Commission rejected the union's objections to a wage deal for the Cross River Rail project in November. The new agreement offers workers an annual pay rise of 3.5 per cent, but the union demanded 5 per cent.


Correction: Due to an error in information provided by the minister’s office, an earlier version of this story said 1500 fresh workers would join the present 1000-strong workforce, but later corrected its figures saying 500 new workers would start and take the total to 1500.

- with Lucy Stone