QR signs deal to extend market reach


QR signs multi-million dollar deal to lease nine new locomotives to extend its reach into the general freight market

Queensland Rail has signed a multi-million dollar deal to lease nine new locomotives to extend its reach into the general freight market.

QR says the $45 million five year deal to use Downer EDI’s locomotives gives it a competitive advantage in the market for rail linehaul services by allowing the company to expand customer service and take advantage of growth opportunities.

Executive General Manager Ken Lewsey says the first of the nine GT46 Ace locomotives will begin service later this month, with final delivery planned by mid next year.

"The leasing agreement is another sign of QR’s sharper customer focus, commitment to the national intermodal market and plans to leverage market growth opportunities," Lewsey says.

"The national general (non-bulk) freight market is forecast to double between 2000 and 2020 and we expect rail to capture an increasing share of this market with QR Intermodal at the forefront of this modal shift."

Lewsey says the locomotives will allow QR to increase reliability on its Cairns to Perth services as well as reduce fuel and maintenance costs.

The rail operator hopes the deal with augment its capital investment program, which includes 18 new locomotives and 488 wagons for its planned Forrestfield terminal upgrade in Perth.

"It is also consistent with our strategy of offering reliable cost effective linehaul train services through the use of new fit-for-purpose equipment and terminals," Lewsey says.

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