Work has commenced on the Queensland Government’s $48 million rail upgrade project along the Toowoomba Range.
This project will involve increasing the height of 11 rail tunnels on the Toowoomba as well as Little Liverpool Ranges. The upgrade will enable containerised freight to be transported by rail from the Darling Downs and South West Queensland directly to the Port of Brisbane.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said: “This vital project will not only help support the growth and prosperity of Queensland’s agricultural sector, it will also provide a welcome boost to the local construction company.”
He added: “Foundation and preparation works have commenced with further preparation works to be undertaken during a scheduled track closure of the western rail line at the end of February. The first tunnels will be lowered during a major track closure in April.”
By lowering the 11 rail tunnel floors, clearance that is necessary for the rail transport of 9’6” high cube freight containers will be created and it will increase the use of rail to export goods.
“This project has the potential to help reduce the quantity of heavy vehicles required to transport freight on the highway from South West Queensland to the Port, improving safety and reducing the impact on our roads,” Mr Bailey said.
According to Mr Bailey, Queensland Rail will continue to work with BMD Constructions – after the detailed design and investigation works – for the construction of this project.
“BMD Constructions, which has local offices in Toowoomba, and design partners WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, have completed the detailed design for the project, and Queensland Rail will continue to work with BMD Constructions during the construction phase.
“Now that construction has started, we anticipate the work will take approximately 12 months to complete,” the Minister said.
This project is going to lower 11 heritage listed railway tunnels which includes two on the Little Liverpool range at Laidley as well as nine on the Toowoomba Range.
Construction of this project is expected to support up to 100 local jobs.
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Source: Queensland Government