QR orders a dozen more container locomotives

QR adds another 12 locomotives to intermodal fleet to boost coverage of the national general freight market

Another 12 locomotives will be added to Queensland Rail’s intermodal fleet, which the government-owned rail operator says demonstrates its commitment to the national general freight market.

The first of the Aci locomotives from the United Group will be delivered by July, with all 12 expected to be in operation by December at a cost of $70 million.

The deal comes a week after it announced a $45 million, five-year leasing contract with Downer EDI for nine new locos.

QR Executive General Manager Freight Ken Lewsey says it demonstrates a determination to "build a strong position" in a national general freight market worth more than $1 billion per year.

"The market is forecast to double between 2000 and 2020 as product is shifted from road to rail and with our new fleet we aim to leverage off that growth and expand our market share," he says.

"The benefits of new rollingstock include improved reliability, availability and increased haulage capacity, which is good news for customers. It also allows for reduced fuel and maintenance costs, which enhances the competitiveness of our service offering."

He says the state-of-the-art AC traction systems installed in the new 6000 class locomotives deliver greater haulage capability and efficiencies.

The 134 tonne models have 3,250kW available for traction, meaning two of the locomotives can deliver the power of three of the older models.

"This is a big advantage in the difficult terrain on some parts of the network," Lewsey says.

Improved braking systems also reduce stopping distances by up to 30-40 percent compared with the current fleet.

QR is planning more investments to meet growing demand for its freight services, Lewsey says, including the purchase of new wagons to complement the delivery of the new locomotives.

QR Intermodal offers four services on the eastern seaboard between Cairns and Melbourne, six services from Melbourne to Adelaide and two services from Melbourne to Perth.

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