Upgrade in train for critical freight route
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said also that $20 million had been accessed from the State Government’s $80 million, four-year incentive scheme, encouraging freight operators and the resource industry to use the rail line.
The $6 million upgrade will take place along roughly 320km of the line, starting just west of Hughenden and continuing right through to near Cloncurry.
The works include bridge abutment and scour repairs in nearby drains and creeks, stonework including gabion flood protection to embankments, and further drainage and cleaning works as required.
About 10 workers from each of three regional Queensland businesses – Morton’s Earthmoving, Townsville Earthmoving and Schwartz Excavations – will be involved in the project.
Work is expected to take place along the line until October, and follows major repairs last year to the line, which saw a 400-strong Queensland Rail taskforce rebuild the line following unprecedented monsoonal weather.
Mr Bailey said in addition to investing in more resilient rail infrastructure, the Palaszczuk Government was also encouraging more freight line usage through its incentive scheme.
“Since we introduced the scheme, more than four billion gross tonne kilometres of eligible freight has moved along line to the Port of Townsville,” he said.
“This is an increase of more than one million in tonnage from the year prior to the scheme being introduced.”
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the incentive scheme would help exports at a time when the State needed them the most.
“QRC’s own recovery strategy pointed to the Mount Isa rail line as a key economic corridor for regional jobs and contributor to the billions of dollars in royalty taxes paid to government from our resource exports,” Mr Macfarlane said.
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