QR wins $100m rail maintenance contract

QR wins contract worth up to $100 million to provide maintenance services for Australia's interstate rail network

National transport and logistics company QR has won a contract worth up to $100 million to provide maintenance services for Australia’s interstate rail network.

In an eight-year deal, QR will provide rail grinding services to the Australian Rail Track Corporation ARTC), which manages interstate, standard gauge track and NSW freight lines including the Hunter Valley coal chain.

This is the largest external contract won by QR’s services business and increases its share of the national rail grinding market to 70 percent from 40 percent two years ago.

It also continues the expansion of QR Services which secured new business in Western Australia and Tasmania last year.

QR Services has a workforce of more than 5,000 and offers design, procurement, construction, maintenance and management services.

"Winning this contract in the open market is testament to our expertise, experience, technical excellence and leading edge technology but is not at the expense of our ability to service the Queensland rail network," QR Chief Executive Lance Hockridge says.

QR will grind around 3,000km of ARTC’s 10,000km network each year from Brisbane to Kalgoorlie, with approximately half of the work to be carried out in the Hunter Valley.

Last year QR Services won $20 million contracts to deliver rail grinding services for WestNet Rail in Western Australia and replace rail and sleepers in Tasmania for the Tasmanian Government.

Rail grinding extends the life of tracks and trains by using powerful machines to return tracks to their original shape, reducing vibration, fuel usage and wear and tear.

As QR’s Queensland network is predominantly narrow gauge, the rail grinding will be carried out by a dedicated Newcastle-based team using a new Loram machine imported from the United States.

The new machinery is more efficient and fully automated, predicting the best method to improve the track while removing the minimal amount of metal, and cutting grinding time by 75 percent.

Rail grinding work is expected to start in June.

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