Double the solutions to double freight capacity

Published Tuesday, 27 August, 2013 at 06:00 AM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

The Newman Government will invest $17 million to make larger train tunnels through the Toowoomba Range and Lockyer Valley.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said lowering the floors of 11 tunnels – including nine heritage listed tunnels – would be a boost for the agricultural industry allowing larger hi cube containers to operate between the Darling Downs and Port of Brisbane.

“If we are going to meet our future growth in freight we need to make sensible decisions now to improve the capacity on our train network,” Mr Emerson said.

“This will be a challenging engineering task because the tunnels along the western and south western rail corridors must retain their historic qualities.

“We’ve already taken steps to build two additional passing loops on the range to allow more services for cotton and grain and this will now allow even more freight capacity.”

The use of the larger 9’6” hi cube containers had grown significantly in recent years, replacing the standard 8’6” containers.

Mr Emerson said geotechnical work is currently underway with work due to start in early 2014.

“The amount of grain and cotton through the Port of Brisbane increased by 50 per cent last year,” he said.

“By addressing the height constraints for agricultural freight we will be able to provide capacity improvements needed for future growth.

“These two projects will mean more farmers can get crops off the road and on to rail and start to address the transportation needs of farmers across south-west Queensland well into the future.”

[ENDS] 27 August 2013

Media contact: Stephanie Shield 0418 186 625