After examining more than 50 possibleoptions, ARTC has concluded the line should follow existing lines fromMelbourne to Albury, Cootamundra, Parkes, Werris Creek and North Star, south ofthe New South Wales/Queensland border near Goondiwindi. From North Star, theline will run a largely new alignment to Inglewood, Toowoomba and Brisbane.

Some sections of the line, including Junee -Stockinbingal and a 75km bypass of Werris Creek, will be finalised in laterstages of the study, which will be completed by the end of the year.

The study suggests the lowest preliminaryestimates for the cost of the project will be $A 2.8-3.6 billion ($US 2.1-2.7billion), largely because of the difficult terrain on the Toowomba - Brisbane section.

Photo: John Hoyle