National transport and logistics company QR has won a contract worth up to $100 million to provide maintenance services for Australia’s interstate rail network.
In an eight year deal, QR will provide rail grinding services to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), which manages interstate, standard gauge track and NSW freight lines including the Hunter Valley coal chain.
The deal is the largest external contract won by QR’s services business and, according to the company, increases its share of the national rail grinding market to 70% from 40% two years ago.
QR Services has a workforce of more than 5,000 and offers design, procurement, construction, maintenance and management services.
QR will grind approximately 3,000 km of ARTC’s 10,000 km network each year from Brisbane to Kalgoorlie, with approximately half of the work to be carried out in the Hunter Valley.
Last year QR Services won $20 million contracts to deliver rail grinding services for WestNet Rail in Western Australia and replace rail and sleepers in Tasmania for the Tasmanian Government.
Rail grinding extends the life of tracks and trains by using powerful machines to return tracks to their original shape, reducing vibration, fuel usage and wear and tear.
As QR’s Queensland network is predominantly narrow gauge, the rail grinding will be carried out by a dedicated Newcastle-based team using a new Loram machine imported from the United States.
The new machinery is more efficient and fully automated, predicting the best method to improve the track while removing the minimal amount of metal, and cutting grinding time by 75%.
Rail grinding work is expected to start in June.