$150 million alliance deal creates 200 new jobs

QR forms alliance with Westinghouse Rail Systems to streamline coal transportation in Queensland

By Samantha Freestone

Two new projects in Goonyella and Blackwater worth $150 million annually are the result of an alliance between Queensland Rail and Westinghouse Rail Systems.

The "alliance" will be managed by Queensland Rail (QR) and is aimed at streamlining the transportation of coal throughout the state.

The deal sees an alliance created between QR and Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia, and the collaboration of QR Network, Ansaldo STS and United Group.

Minister for Transport John Mickel announced the move on September 1 after visiting QR’s Mackay control room to view details of the venture that has followed alliance agreements between the two coal networks.

The project is worth $150 million per annum annually for five years and will create 200 new jobs for Queensland workers in the two towns.
"This is about bringing together the best of the private sector with QF industry knowledge," Mickel says
"It is about using QR’s resources and harnessing industry capability.

"QR has signed agreements with three companies (namely) Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia, Ansalso STS and the United Group to form two program alliances for rail projects which will have major benefits for coal transport in Queensland," Mickel says.

Previously such collaborations had been managed on a "project-by project" basis; this new agreement a first, QR's Mike Carter says.

"Signalling is a critical element for the enhancement of the coal rail network, providing the means to safely and efficiently manage train operations on the QR network," he says.

"Without it, we would not be able to optimise the potential capacity of the system.

"The signalling projects over the next five years in the coal network will have the potential value of around $150 million a year."
It is the largest coal-based infrastructure program QF has ever undertaken.

The deal is the result of pressure for the corporation to deliver within "tight time frames" coupled with a shortage of skilled workers and resources.
Carter says the challenge can be met by the alliance group of QR Network with Westinghouse Rail Systems Australia and with the collaboration of QR Network, Ansalso STS and United Group.

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