Queensland Rail Contract Awarded
The Queensland Government’s $100 million commitment to improve freight capacity on the North Coast rail line has reached a major milestone.
Queensland Rail has awarded a $14.5 million contract to extend eight freight train passing loops between Rockhampton and Townsville.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the works would support 24 jobs, adding to the 199,000 already created by the government since 2015, with CCF QLD Member Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd appointed to complete the civil design and construction, including earthworks and culverts.
“Construction will commence at Gumlu and Guthalungra later this month with passing loops to be extended at Koumala, Mount Ossa and Longford Creek,” Ms Gilbert said.
“This will allow freight trains travelling on the line to increase their length by up to 45%, from 650 metres to 950 metres, in turn increasing the amount of goods freight operators can transport on the line.
“The North Coast line is a vital transport artery for Queensland that supports a wide range of commodities and industries.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project is essential to easing capacity constraints on the line and improving rail as a competitive alternative to road freight.
“Freight plays a critical role in driving out state’s economy and the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment will significantly boost rail freight capacity along this vital north-south freight connection,” Mr Bailey said.
“It will drive jobs and economic growth in Central and North Queensland and I’m extremely pleased to see this important project move from strength to strength.”
Additional passing loops to be extended include Kunawara, Kooltandra and St Lawrence between Mackay and Rockhampton.
The first six of the extended passing loops are expected to go live in 2020, with the final two to be in operation in the first half of 2021.
“This complements the work that is already underway on the signalling design component of the new crossing loop extensions,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“While construction of the passing loop extensions gets underway, the project team are moving forward with the signalling design component of the project, with the proposed preliminary designs currently under review.”