The Government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia is set to assess the feasibility of a freight and passenger rail line between Canberra and the Port of Eden.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the study will evaluate re-opening the Canberra-Port of Eden link 30 years after the suspension of the Bombala railway service.

The study will also examine extending the line to Canberra Airport, as well as to the Port of Eden, which is currently undergoing major refurbishment.

Berejiklian said: “This rail line could potentially provide a new link from Canberra, as a global gateway for passengers and trade, to the Port of Eden, an emerging cruise destination and home to one of the largest fishing fleets in NSW.

“The project has the potential to connect Queanbeyan and Canberra to the coast, at a location that experts say rivals Sydney Harbour for depth and access.”

“As a government, we have worked hard to put ourselves in the financial position where we can invest heavily in major infrastructure projects that transform the way we live and get around, and I want to ensure that investment extends right to the borders of NSW, not just the borders of metropolitan Sydney.”

The government has also made a commitment of A$1m ($728,865) for the Canberra-Port of Eden rail link feasibility study.

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The evaluation will include a comprehensive engineering study, selecting a preferred route and determining an estimated cost of the construction.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance said: “By linking the line to the Port of Eden, the project has the potential to connect Queanbeyan and Canberra to the coast, at a location that experts say rivals Sydney Harbour for depth and access.”

The 304km-long Bombala line stretches from the Australian Rail Track Corporation / Country Regional Network boundary at Joppa Junction near Goulburn to Queanbeyan and on to Canberra.

Developed between the 1880s and the 1920s, the line was closed completely in 1990 and was then only opened briefly in sections for tourism.