Two projects worth $33.8 million are now underway to enhance the Wide Bay rail network, including a $21.8 million signalling upgrade project in Bundaberg and $12 million to upgrade the Burnett River rail bridge.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said, “With three long distance trains servicing the station – the Spirit of Queensland, Spirit of the Outback, and Tilt Train – and more than 91,000 visitors in 2017, there is no doubt that Bundaberg Station is Queensland’s most popular regional train station.

“We’ll be looking to continue this momentum by making progress on a number of our key investments in the Bundaberg and Wide Bay regions throughout 2018 and 2019.

“Through our $21.8 million project to boost rail reliability and safety in the region, the existing signalling systems at Bundaberg and Bundaberg North – which are designed to ensure safe train movements – will be replaced with a system that is easier to maintain.

“This includes the installation of a new power equipment room near Bundaberg Station, featuring a new generator to provide backup power supply in the event of an unplanned power trip – during severe storms for example.”

Mr Bailey said works have already begun on renewing the rail signalling between the Kolan/Mt Perry and Thabeban Road level crossings as part of this project, and in September 2018, works will begin to upgrade the rail signalling at Walker Street level crossing, which includes installing active pedestrian gates, flashing lights and new track infrastructure at the crossing.

The final leg of the project will begin in 2019, with upgrades to the rail signalling at Hanbury Street level crossing and the installation of a new pedestrian crossing at Perry Street, which Queensland Rail is currently working with local council to finalise.

Mr Bailey said in addition to the signalling project, works were also now underway on the $12 million project to upgrade the Burnett River rail bridge – a critical piece of infrastructure on the North Coast railway line.

“Crews have completed sandblasting, with the bridge piers and structural rehabilitation works currently being painted,” Mr Bailey said.

“The project will reinforce the bridge’s cast iron piers to ensure the 120-year-old structure remains safe and durable well into the future.

“Canstruct was appointed to the project to renew the Burnett River Bridge – in addition to the Kolan and Boyne River bridges later this year – and will source building materials and plant hire from local suppliers wherever possible.”

The Bundaberg resignalling project is expected to be commissioned in August 2019, and the Burnett River bridge upgrade is due for commissioning mid-2018, improving reliability of line.

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