Track duplication boosts Gladstone coal chain


$49 million duplication of rail track in the Bowen Basin will deliver more coal to port, Government says

A $49 million duplication of rail track in the Bowen Basin will deliver more coal to port, the State Government says.

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan officially opened the 7km of line east of Duaring today, which she says shows the State Government is meeting its commitment to expand the coal network "even as plans for privatising of the coal network continue".

The Government announced earlier this year it would sell Queensland Rail’s coal haulage business to fund Budget shortfalls.

"The Bligh Government is delivering the rail expansions along the Blackwater System to meet Queensland's growing export demand," Nolan says.

About 200km of track has been duplicated on the Blackwater network since 2006, increasing rail capacity to the Port of Gladstone.

Nolan says the Government has delivered eight of the 12 planned duplications outlined in QR Network's COALRail Infrastructure Program, resulting in about 80 percent of the Blackwater System being duplicated.

"The Blackwater System carries more than 50 million tonnes per annum which translates to about $10 billion in export revenue for the Queensland coal industry," she says.

Another duplication project is due to start construction between Rocklands and Kabra, west of Rockhampton, in 2010, west of Rockhampton.

This Blackwater upgrades follow the completion of track for the Jilalan Rail Yard in the Goonyella System in central Queensland. The $500 million project includes major track work and improved maintenance and provisioning facilities, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Nolan says the expansion of the Jilalan Yard would enable the coal industry to increase exports by more than $3 billion a year.

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