MORE than $1 billion in funding could be allocated towards the Inland Rail in the upcoming federal budget.
Media outlets including the ABC are reporting the Federal Government will provide more than $1 billion towards starting to build the Melbourne-to-Brisbane rail project.
With the final route expected to be selected by the government-backed Australian Rail Track Corporation before the budget, the stage could be set for an announcement by Treasurer Scott Morrison in May.
The $10 billion project has been heavily lobbied for by Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio and special interest groups, along with certain farmers and landholders.
Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester's office hasn't commented on the speculation. But Mr Chester told The Chronicle in March the government was determined to build the Inland Rail.
"In terms of where the project is at right now, I expect we'll see construction work begin very soon in NSW," he said.
"In terms of final decisions on the route, I think that's a matter of months away rather than years.
"I can't comment on what will or won't be in the budget.''
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.