Toowoomba Railway Tunnel Heritage Assessment

The Niche Queensland heritage team were engaged to undertake heritage assessments along the main line railway between Brisbane and Toowoomba, southern Queensland.  The assessments focused on the potential impacts of lowering the floor levels within 11 early railway tunnels and for the construction of two new rail passing loops.

Although the project was restricted to the footprint of the tunnels, their approaches and the passing loops, the heritage considerations were complex owing to nine of the 11 tunnels being entered in the Queensland Heritage Register.

A Statement of Heritage Impact was completed by Niche historical heritage specialist Cameron Harvey to identify significant elements, assess likely impacts and to provide input into the project works design.  This included desktop analysis of the history of the railway line – Queensland’s first main line railway which was built in the 1860s, an assessment of the overall effects of the project on cultural heritage significance, and a summary of the best options available to Queensland Rail for the project to proceed.

The Aboriginal parties collaborated with Niche on the preparation of the assessment report for Queensland Rail

Niche’s senior heritage consultant, Jill Reid, undertook the assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage which included multiple field assessments with representatives of both Aboriginal parties for the project area.  The Aboriginal parties collaborated with Niche on the preparation of the assessment report for Queensland Rail and provided endorsement of the report recommendations.

Follow-up work on the project will include the development of management plans for Aboriginal heritage and advisory services to Queensland Rail on Heritage Act approvals.

Cameron Harvey, Team Leader – Heritage
Mob: 0488 224 036
Email: charvey@niche-eh.com

Jill Reid, Senior Heritage Consultant
Mob: 0488 284 743
Email: jreid@niche-eh.com

Toowoomba Railway Tunnel