Queensland Rail (now a public company registered as QR) has released a draft plan to maximise growth potential on the Mount Isa Townsville rail corridor.
QR Network, the company’s infrastructure business, has released the draft Mount Isa System Rail Infrastructure Master Plan at the Queensland Resources Council’s North West Minerals Province workshop in Townsville.
QR Network executive general manager Mike Carter said feedback is now being sought from industry stakeholders as the next step in developing long-term planning to meet the corridor’s capacity requirements.
“QR Network will host a Mount Isa Master Planning forum in Townsville on 26th August to work through the draft plan and further develop a coordinated approach to meeting a range of growth scenarios,” he said.
“The rail corridor plays a pivotal role in helping move exports from the minerals province along the supply chain to port. This minerals rich region is experiencing increased demand and must plan now for the increased growth.”
The province possesses some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, lead-zinc-silver and phosphate rock and substantial deposits of other minerals.
“Our draft Master Plan includes possible operational and infrastructure solutions for the supply chain. We have based these on various increased traffic flow scenarios which could result from possible increased port capacity or new mining projects.”
Carter said about five million tonnes per annum of rail freight was currently hauled on the line.
In 2005, QR initiated a five-year $232 million investment program on the corridor to maintain performance improvements on the line.
QR Network aims to reduce transit times between Stuart and Mount Isa and is commencing detailed design for the installation of remote driver activated passing loops.
The Queensland Government has provided a 2008-09 budget allocation of $107 million over four years towards the work.