A number of major Queensland rail projects with a total value of $305 million are set to deliver more than a thousand regional rail jobs across the State.
The major rail projects include the North Coast line upgrades, West Moreton bridge upgrades, Toowoomba Range rail tunnels and slope stabilisation works, and the Bundaberg rail re-signalling project.
“Our rail network is an essential part of the freight supply chain, supporting regional growth and trade through our ports, which in turn means jobs.
“We need to keep investing in our rail network so it’s safe and efficient for freight and passengers,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.
The North Coast line upgrade will deliver a total of up to 580 jobs and works will comprise of the following:
- $100 expansion of eight train passing loops between Townsville and Rockhampton, enabling freight trains to increase in size by about 45 per cent - from 650 metres to 950 metres - and will create 300 jobs
- $46 million for 16 new rail bridges between Townsville and Cairns, creating up to 150 jobs
- $40 million for four rail bridges to be replaced between Gympie and Gladstone, which will create up to 130 jobs
The West Moreton bridge upgrades will comprise of a $28 million project that will replace 18 old timber bridges between Rosewood and Chinchilla which will be delivered over two years and support up to 200 jobs.
The Toowoomba rail tunnels and slope stabilisation works, on the other hand, will support a total of up to 230 jobs and will include:
- $77 million to lower 11 heritage rail tunnels to allow larger shipping containers to be transported from the region to the Port of Brisbane by train. Works are expected to be completed by early 2020 and will create up to 100 jobs
- $37 million for a slope stabilisation project that will improve drainage and stability along the line, with upgrades to culverts and embankments near Spring Bluff. Works are due to be completed by early 2020 and will support 130 jobs
Lastly, the Bundaberg rail re-signalling project is set to create about 150 jobs and will include a $21.8 million package of works that will replace Bundaberg’s rail signalling system with a more modern and reliable system. The project will also include upgrading seven level crossings at Hanbury Street, Perry Street, Maynard Road, Thabeban Road, Walker Street, Bourbong Street and Verdant Siding Road. These works are anticipated to be completed in late September 2019.
Queensland’s rail projects are part of the State Government’s $23 billion investment for roads and transport infrastructure for over four years and it is expected to create 23,500 jobs, with about 13,500 jobs to go to regional Queensland.
“We’ve created a pipeline of projects that will support Queensland construction and other related jobs well into the next decade.
“This state was built on the back of our roads and rail lines and we’ll continue to invest in them to support our growing population and the communities that rely on them,” Minister Bailey said.
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