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    Transport/Main Roads
    The Honourable Stephen Bredhauer

    Australias Biggest Rail Investment

    Transport/Main Roads
    The Honourable Stephen Bredhauer

    Wednesday, December 30, 1998

    Australias Biggest Rail Investment

    Australias largest rail investment programme was announced today by the Premier, Peter Beattie and the Transport Minister, Steve Bredhauer.

    The Premier said Queensland Rail would upgrade the track between Rockhampton and Townsville at a cost of $240 million considerably increasing QRs freight capacity and reliability.

    He joined with Mr Bredhauer and Queensland Rail Chief Executive Vince ORourke for the announcement at Rockhampton and Townsville Stations.

    Mr Beattie said the project, providing 1200 jobs, would start in mid-1999 and be finished by the end of 2002.

    As well, there will be significant spin-off economic benefits to regional communities from this major investment. Mr. Beattie said.

    Transport and Main Roads Minister Steve Bredhauer said the upgrade would be the largest track upgrade under way in Australia next year and followed on from Queensland Rails Mainline Upgrade completed in 1997.

    Further, this brings to more than $1.2 billion dollars the amount committed to upgrade of the North Coast Line since 1989. Mr. Bredhauer said.

    All this money has been allocated when Labor has been in power. he said.

    This upgrade will greatly benefit QRs general freight business, allowing more 100km/h running of trains. The rail service will be more reliable and heavier axle loads will be possible.

    The track between Rockhampton and Townsville will be relayed with concrete sleepers along with 60kg/m rail and heavy-duty turnouts as well. he said.

    Mr Bredhauer said two contracts for new concrete sleepers already had been awarded.

    Austrak Pty Ltd and Rocla Pty Ltd would provide almost 1.5 million sleepers and 310 turnouts. Most of the sleepers would be used on the Rockhampton-Townsville upgrade.

    These contracts will provide significant employment in the major provincial cities of Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay. Mr. Bredhauer said.

    He said Queensland Rail was confident of attracting more business as a result of the track upgrade.

    It is essential that QRs infrastructure be improved, given the competitive nature of the transport industry.

    The North Coast line is a vital part of QRs operations and serves some of Queenslands biggest regional centres. Mr. Bredhauer said.