Rail innovation for Goonyella Coal Upgrade

Innovation enhances Goonyella Coal Upgrade

UPGRADES to the rail capacity infrastructure of one of central Queensland’s major coal systems, Goonyella, has been completed in response to increases in production volumes forecast for the next five years and beyond as the district’s coal industry continues to experience significant growth.

As part of this upgrade, Siemens was contracted to provide a complete points operating solution at the Dalrymple Bay coal terminal which is the primary coal port for the Queensland Rail (QR) Goonyella coal system located about 30 km south of Mackay.

Points operating equipment is used to safely change the lie of railway turnouts to allow trains to change tracks. Traditionally, points operating equipment is located in the spaces between railway sleepers, which hinders the use of automated track tamping machines and ultimately results in long term maintenance and reliability problems.

As Dwayne Allan, Siemens Transportation Engineering Manager explained, Siemens worked with Queensland Rail (QR) to introduce a new points operating system called One Trough (S 700 VA) which eradicates this problem.

“We designed the point operating technology specifically to suit the needs of the Australian railway market and, being a local innovation, it is a highly cost-effective solution for our customers,” Allan said.

“The units utilised for the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) project use conventional claw locking systems as the primary locking system.

An engineered surface finish was added to the locking system to provide superior maintenance benefits over the traditional system.”

The One Trough Points Operating System (S 700 VA) is a complete in-sleeper points operating system whereby all equipment is installed into hollow sleepers (also called troughs) in place of normal sleepers.

The troughs provide secure housing of the points operating equipment and incorporate the points machine as an integral component, enabling the use of high production tamping machines through the turnout area and providing improved maintenance benefits and enhanced stability.

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