Wagner weighs in on when Inland Rail build begins

JOHN Wagner believes the Inland Rail build will begin this year in what has been hailed a positive statement on the tri-state project that will transform Toowoomba's logistics offerings.

A two-sentence comment in The Courier-Mail has cast new hope on the ambitious project, backed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

"I believe inland rail will be built," Mr Wagner was quoted.

"It will start this year."

The 1730km inland rail project is as yet unfunded but is fast becoming a political football which has earned the support of the Federal Government.

NSW and Victorian governments also support the project.

Upgrade works on existing rail lines have progressed in NSW and Victoria, through which the route runs, but has not been funded under the project banner which has been labelled the most ambitious and costly since the Snowy River scheme.

But the ARTC said the project would not proceed until design was finalised after extensive consultation with impacted landholders, and government funding was secured.