Jun 19, 2020

Northern rail upgrade works on track

Northern rail upgrade works  on track

The first phase of a $100 million rail upgrade project between Rockhampton and Townsville is complete.

Crews from Civil Mining & Construction this month commissioned the first of eight train passing loop upgrades in a project expected to support 300 jobs during construction.

CMC has been undertaking the earthworks, design and construction for the project on behalf of the State Government.

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the extended loops would be able to carry freight trains up to 950m in length – an increase of 45 per cent on the current 650m limit.

“By increasing the capacity of our rail, it’ll help lower the cost of rail freight to our port for our primary producers and exporters,” Mr Harper said.

“It’s why we’re investing in this upgrade and investing in a $193 million upgrade of the port channel, $40 million Berth 4 upgrade and $48 million intermodal facility.”

With the first loop finished, crews are set to focus their attention on the next loop at Gumlu, with work scheduled for August.

It’s expected that four of the extended passing loops will go live in 2020, with the final four to be in operation in the second half of 2021, weather permitting.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the project would also deliver significant safety improvements, with the critical Automatic Train Protection system at the extended loops also to be upgraded.