Multi-million dollar rail project to boost export coal capacity

By: Jason Whittaker


Work has begun on a $500 million rail project to expand coal export capacity to enable rail freight carrier QR

Work has begun on a $500 million rail project to expand coal export capacity to enable rail freight carrier QR Limited to meet growing global demand for coal.

The $500 million upgrade of the Jilalan rail yard will lift the capacity of the maintenance and service area by more than 40 percent. According to QR Limited, the project will give a vital boost to the coal supply chain in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

QR Chief Executive Officer Lance Hockridge says the project will result in two new bypass tracks, two provisioning tracks and a wagon maintenance facility. Furthermore, he says there will be provisions for a third bypass track, while modifications will be made to the existing maintenance yard and tracks.

"This is about meeting the future needs of our customers as the massive growth in export demand for coal continues," Hockridge says.

Earth works are currently underway, with bulldozers levelling the QR site. The multi-million dollar project is expected to be completed by December 2009.

A combination of companies will deliver the project, with QR’s Coal Stream Alliance working with Macmahon Holdings, MVM Rail, Connell Wagner and Hatch and Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Hockridge says bulldozers will move more than one million cubic metres of earth – about the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"More than 300 people will be working on the project, the scale of which exceeds anything previously seen in the area, "Hockridge says.

"The upgrade will increase the capacity of the yard from 92 million tonnes per annum to 130."

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