Queensland’s Government is set to invest A$634m ($467m) over the next eight years to fund a new rail signalling system ready for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project.

The new European Train Control System (ETCS) is set to improve rail capacity and safety in the inner city rail network. It would also allow an extra 21 million commuters to move through the central business district (CBD) each year.

Australia’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: "The Palaszczuk Government is investing in this project as an essential first step to deliver Cross River Rail, our top infrastructure priority.

"Subject to final approvals, the new European Train Control System will boost inner-city rail capacity by 20% and allow an extra 12,000 people through the CBD each peak period."

In the next financial year, the government is also planning to invest A$50m ($36.8m) to establish a Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, which will be responsible for final planning and delivery of the project.

"The new European Train Control System will boost inner-city rail capacity by 20%."

The authority will be able to commence early works on the project including environmental impact approvals and scoping of value share opportunities.

Deputy premier and minister for infrastructure Jackie Trad said the updated business case for Cross River Rail would be provided to Infrastructure Australia to make the urgent case for Federal Government funding, upon finalisation.

Trad said: "The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will be able to commence early works on the project, including gaining environmental impact approvals, scoping of value share opportunities and commencing appropriate procurement activities.

"We will consider further contributions to this significant project once our independent infrastructure advisor Building Queensland provides final recommendations and the business case to government."

ETCS will be installed between Milton and Northgate stations and is set to unlock urgently needed rail capacity through Brisbane’s CBD. An extra eight trains every hour will be introduced, which will increase core capacity by 20%.

Expected to be operational from 2021, the delivery of the ETCS project will be managed by Queensland Rail.