Cross River Rail leads the way for cleaner, greener infrastructure

Commitment to sustainability on Queensland’s largest infrastructure project has been recognised, with one of its major works packages achieving the highest possible design rating.

Cross River Rail’s Tunnels and Stations works packed was recently received a ‘leading’ infrastructure sustainability design rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council.

A ‘Leading’ rating exceeds the project’s target of an ‘Excellent’ rating, and as the highest possible category in the IS rating scheme, it demonstrates the project is achieving best practice in sustainability.

Just some of the stand-out innovations that have led to the rating being awarded include:

  • Using crushed recycled glass instead of natural quarry sand or gravel for civil works, such as embedding pipes or beneath pavements – a first for any rail project in Queensland and with the potential to see more than 10,000 tonnes of glass reused;
  • Station entrance designs that maximise natural ventilation with open, breezy spaces on surface levels and natural light shafts that permeate underground voids – all of which reduce energy demands for lighting and air conditioning but without compromising passenger comfort;
  • Industry first training programs, including the Motiv8 trade ready program for people from disadvantaged or under-represented groups and the new Certificate III in Rail Infrastructure, contributing to the project’s training legacy.


Render of the future Roma Street station form the perspective of across the street.

The project’s sustainability initiatives are contributing to an 8.3 per cent reduction in energy use from business-as-usual construction and operations to 2050, which is forecast to save over 39,800 tonnes of CO² emissions – the equivalent of removing over 8,500 passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

Cross River Rail Delivery Authority CEO Graeme Newton said while the rating was recognition of the project’s commitment to embrace sustainable and innovative construction solutions, it was also testimony to some uniquely Queensland design thinking.

“Our station entrances work like a series of giant indoor-outdoor rooms,” Mr Newton said.

“They provide shade without shutting light out, they make the most of natural ventilation and they feel open and airy while still providing shelter from unexpected or adverse weather conditions”.

Mr Newton said the stations designs were a great example of how Cross River Rail would not only transform travel, but do so in a sustainable way.

“This project is setting a new standard for major infrastructure delivery, with innovative and best practice designs and construction,” he said.

“This recognition from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council really emphasises how Cross River Rail’s legacy will go beyond the immense public transport benefits, to include improved construction and training outcomes as well.

“Congratulations to the wider Cross River Rail team, especially our major contractors, on this incredible achievement.”