Life’s still great in the Sunshine State – even for commuters 30 metres underground

A rented warehouse in Eagle Farm is the unlikely place where part of the future of southeast Queensland’s public transport system is being decided.

Jan 20, 2023, updated Jan 20, 2023
The initial design for the Roma St underground station. (Image: CRR)

The initial design for the Roma St underground station. (Image: CRR)

Architects commissioned by the state’s biggest infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, are designing replicas of the four new underground stations destined to become some of the busiest transit locations in Australia.

And unlike with more established underground rail systems like New York’s 120-year-old subway and London’s Tube (even older at 160 years), the Cross River Rail designers have had a blank canvas on which to project their design ideas.

The outcome is aimed at giving the stations a distinctive Queensland feel, or as much as possible given the difficulties in capturing the essence of the Sunshine State 30 metres beneath ground level.

An artist’s impression of the new Roma St underground train station, part of the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project currently under construction.

Sections of the new platforms and mezzanine levels of the new stations have been built in the Eagle Farm warehouse, revealing a ceiling design meant to evoke a classic Queenslander.

“The stations’ ceiling design is a nod to the classic Queenslander veranda, featuring expressed ‘rafters’ and panel joints, as opposed to the curved profile used by most underground stations across the world,” the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority said in a statement.

“While each of the underground station’s platform and mezzanine levels will be similar, their floors and ceilings will have different colours, each chosen to reflect the area’s surroundings.

“The warehouse where these elements have been constructed is used to see how the materials at each station work together, and to show stakeholders – like Cross River Rail’s accessibility reference group – the design up close.”


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