Investment to stack odds in favour of Isa rail uptick
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced in parliament that three more projects had been approved to bolster freight movement between North Queensland’s largest port and the minerals province.
A business case is to be finalised this year on the potential to run double-stacked trains from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville.
The State Government is also investing in further works to improve flood resilience on the line and a project to replace ageing rail equipment like sleepers and ballast.
The $50 million package is on top of $6 million in works already underway to bolster flood resilience between Cloncurry and Hughenden, highlighted when Mr Bailey visited the region last week.
He also reported during that visit that $20 million of the State Government’s $80 million, four-year plan to encourage freight operators to use the rail line had been accessed.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart described the package announced today as a $50 million vote of confidence in the region.
“As part of driving better flood resilience, Queensland Rail will start geotechnical and survey work this month, to pave the way for the installation of new bridges and the replacement of culverts with spans and new piers,” Mr Stewart said.
“Those works will significantly increase capacity on waterway openings and provide protection to embankments to better withstand flood events.”
Port of Townsville chief executive officer Ranee Crosby welcomed the investment announcement.
“Townsville Port is Australia’s largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertiliser, with significant growth opportunities from the North West Minerals Province, one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions,” she said.
“These investments into the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line, such as enabling double-stacking of containers on rail, will offer customers greater flexibility in transporting freight to the Port, improving efficiency and helping drive down supply chain costs.”
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