Workers complete $49m rail upgrade
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said crews had been working on the last sections of track between Hughenden and Julia Creek over the past eight months.
“In an impressive feat, the team has replaced almost 66,500 steel sleepers with new concrete sleepers, which significantly improves the resilience of this important freight route,” he said.
“In collaboration with Townsville-based contractor Lyons Machine Hire, the taskforce of 60 workers also delivered a brand-new bed of ballast for the sleepers to lay on, to further bolster track reliability.
“Given the land beneath this section of track is mostly black soil plains, these concrete sleepers will provide a heavier track structure, delivering a more reliable network for freight and passenger services.”
Mr Bailey said crews used water trucks to keep the track cool and prevent buckles throughout the project.
“It’s an outstanding effort by all involved, and I’m pleased to see this phase of works now complete, as part of Queensland Rail’s ongoing $344 million investment in the line over the next five financial years,” he said.
“This project marks the halfway mark of Queensland Rail’s wider mission to eliminate steel sleepers on the Mount Isa line which has been ongoing since 2016.
“All steel sleepers between Townsville and Cloncurry have been replaced with concrete sleepers.
“Crews will now turn their focus to upgrading the remaining Cloncurry to Mount Isa section of the line.”
Mr Bailey said further Mount Isa line upgrades would commence in the coming months.
“The Mount Isa line runs along some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, lead, zinc, silver and phosphate rock. The Queensland Government is committed to supporting supply chains and investing in the line to ensure continued safety, reliability, and uptake in rail freight.”
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