Freight Train

Queensland Rail and Civil Mining & Construction (CMC) have joined forces to optimise freight movement along the North Coast Rail line, between Rockhampton and Townsville, in a $77 million project that will make transporting essential items to regional towns and cities faster.

The North Coast line is the principal regional freight and passenger line running from Nambour to Cairns. So far, seven out of eight freight train passing loops have been commissioned on the line, with the latest round of works at Kunwarara complete.

The project will allow for freight trains as long as 950m to operate on the new extended loops, nearly double the previous capacity and produce 16 times less carbon pollution than road freight for every t/km travelled.

CMC were enlisted to undertake the earthworks, design and construction elements, while Queensland Rail track and signalling teams undertake the tie-in, testing and commissioning works.

Queensland Minister of Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the North Coast line capacity improvement project was supporting 300 jobs and paving the way for the future of sustainable freight transportation across the state.

“As Queensland’s population continues to grow rapidly, projects like this will ensure people can receive the goods they need, when they need them,” Mr Bailey said.

“These works are essential in easing capacity constraints on the line and improving rail as a competitive alternative to road freight, taking pressure off our roads and road users.”

Queensland Rail Head of Regional, Jim Benstead, said the works at Kunwarara involved track works and earthworks in the rail corridor, followed by signal testing on the upgraded equipment.

“The project is also delivering significant safety improvements, with the critical Automatic Train Protection System at the passing loops also being upgraded,” Mr Benstead said.

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