Toowoomba rail upgrade work commences


Project to enable movement of bigger shipping containers via rail

Toowoomba rail upgrade work commences
The $48 million rail upgrade project is now underway

 

Major rail upgrade works along the Toowoomba Range are now underway.

The $48 million project involves increasing the height of 11 rail tunnels on the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool Ranges to enable the transport of containerised freight by rail from the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Regions directly to the Port of Brisbane.

InterlinkSQ CEO Michelle Reynolds says the funding announcement is a "catalyst towards a reinvention of the rail freight industry" in the region.

"The tunnel upgrade forms an important building block in the future of rail freight, and most importantly, demonstrates the state government’s commitment to the creation and protection of jobs for our state," Reynolds says.

Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey says the project can potentially reduce the number of heavy vehicles required to transport freight from South West Queensland to the port, "improving safety and reducing the impact on our roads".

"The first tunnels will be lowered during a major track closure in April," Bailey says.

"The lowering of 11 rail tunnel floors on the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool ranges will create the clearance necessary to transport 9’6" high cube freight shipping containers via rail, increasingly being used to export goods.

"This project is a huge vote of confidence in the future growth of agriculture in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Regions, which currently produces around a third of Queensland’s agricultural output and is a major area for cotton.

"The Palaszczuk government is committed to ensuring rail is a more attractive and viable option for those industries who wish to use larger containers to get their goods to the Port of Brisbane for export, and to helping improve the overall competitiveness of our agricultural sector in this region.

"We are committed to supporting economic and jobs growth in regional Queensland communities and this project will ensure farmers are supported, with the freight options in place to transport their goods to market now and into the future."

Work is expected to be completed in 12 months.

 

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