A seven kilometre track duplication will boost capacity to carry coal in the Blackwater system in central Queensland, according to Queensland Rail (QR).
The duplication from Westwood to Wycarbah is the sixth duplication completed by QR in the Blackwater System within the last two years.
QR Chief Executive Officer Lance Hockridge said the $32m duplication was the final in a series of duplications included in the 2006 Coal Rail Infrastructure Master Plan which would allow a 30% increase in coal haulage in the Blackwater System.
“This is an important milestone in QR Network’s current $1.3 billion capital investment program,” he said.
“With the demand for Queensland coal continuing to increase, this duplication in conjunction with other infrastructure works, will meet the required future rail capacity and performance of the Blackwater System.
“It comes hot on the heals of the commissioning of the Callemondah 3rd Rail Spur ensuring QR’s commitment to industry and also signals the completion of the first phase of our capital investment in the Blackwater System totalling $330 million.”
Additional infrastructure projects and duplications in the system beyond the first series of six are in planning stages or already under construction.
These include duplications between Stanwell and Wycarbah and between Grantleigh and Tunnel.
Hockridge said the impact on coal haulage capacity would be significant as a result of the upgrades on the system.
“In 2005/2006, our coal exports via the Gladstone ports were 45.6 MTPA and we expect that in 2010 the upgrades to the Blackwater/Moura System will allow port exports to increase to 76 MTPA,” he said.
“Thanks to our dedicated team of QR staff and contractors, we have not only completed these projects along the Blackwater System, but all have been completed within budget and within the planned timeframes.”
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