Breathing new life into Rocky Railyards with first tenants announced

Published Thursday, 01 June, 2023 at 11:00 AM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Digital Services
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Onsite at the Rocky Railyards
Onsite at the Rocky Railyards
  • The first two new tenants at the rejuvenated Rockhampton railyards precinct have been announced. 
  • Queensland-based manufacturing company CQ Fibreglass Direct will be the first tenant
  • Queensland Rail will be the second long term tenant, establishing a hub for a research centre into hydrogen-powered locomotives, bringing more jobs to on the site. 

The Palaszczuk Government has reached an exciting milestone in rejuvenating the historic Rockhampton Railyards, with the announcement of the two major tenants for the site — local manufacturer, CQ Fibreglass Direct, and Queensland Rail.

CQ Fibreglass will take up residence in one of the largest sheds in the Railyards' Industrial Precinct. They will be the first new tenant since the Queensland Government acquired the site in May 2022.

An agreement has also been reached to welcome Queensland Rail back to the site later this year, bringing more jobs to the site and establishing a hub for a research centre into hydrogen-powered locomotives. 

The $3.5 million research and development project will establish a research centre into the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power in collaboration with the Central Queensland University Centre for Railway Engineering.

Quotes attributable to Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke

“This is great news for the Rocky CBD, with the revitalised railyards bringing more jobs back into the heart of the city.

"CQ Fibreglass are a great local company and it’s fantastic to see them announced as the first new tenant at the site. 

"Work will continue on remediating the site to prepare for more new tenancies to be announced throughout 2023, and in to 2024.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga

"Over the years the railyards have aged and we recognised they needed some care and attention.

“The Palaszczuk government has a solid plan for the precinct and we are now investing in the site's future to provide opportunities to expand the rail, manufacturing and maintenance industries across the region.

“I’m particularly pleased to see Queensland Rail announced today as the second new tenant, with hydrogen power poised to assist the rail industry in Queensland and reduce our emissions too.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Rail Manufacturing and Regional Roads Bruce Saunders

“The Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to the rail sector is a game changer for the state, creating jobs, investing in local manufacturing, and providing world-class infrastructure and transport for commuters.

“The rejuvenation of the Rocky railyards will help to create and support good local jobs.

“I’m very proud to be part of a government that delivers long term benefits for families right across Queensland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey

"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with CQ Fibreglass, and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is continuing commercial negotiations with several other exciting expressions of interests.

“Queensland Rail’s hydrogen trial is an ideal addition to the railyards, with findings from the trial being used to better our rail industry here in Queensland. 

"In line with the State Government’s 2050 target of zero net emissions, the trial will deliver data on the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power and explore options for the development of a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels in the future.

Quotes attributable to CQ Fibreglass Co-director Steven Trevor:

"The opportunity to work out of the Rockhampton Railyards is a big step forward and our tenancy will support the local economy through business growth and job prospects.

“The Rockhampton Railyards is a perfect fit for CQ Fibreglass, and this long-term tenancy agreement will allow us room to grow and advance our capabilities to supply new industries including rail, public transport and renewable energy.

“This agreement means we can significantly expand our manufacturing capacity, upskill our staff and bring new jobs to Rockhampton – it will open doors for us to explore different technologies and further opportunities both locally and abroad."

Quotes attributable to Queensland Rail Acting Head of Regional Scott Cornish:

"The Rockhampton Railyards tenancy agreement with TMR will support the development of emerging technologies.

"The railyards will be our platform to trial the replacement of diesel-powered locomotives with hydrogen battery-powered locomotives including engineering and design, mechanical fit outs, testing and commissioning to be undertaken here.

“This research will deliver data on the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power and explore options for the development of a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels in the future."

Quotes attributable to Central Queensland University Director, Centre for Railway Engineering Professor Colin Cole:

“CQU currently provides research and consulting services to almost all railways and to several consulting companies in the area of whole train trip simulations of train operations determining in-train forces, fuel usage and running times.

“More recently this work has included emphasis on energy use and whole trip energy balance calculations have been provided to several major railways for purposes of evaluating decarbonization options.

“This work has included early research considerations in evaluating battery and hydrogen repowering options as they may apply to Australian and Queensland needs. 

“It’s very exciting to be able to continue this work with Queensland Rail in helping deliver a practical solution supported by theoretical research.”

Additional planning activities for rejuvenation of the Railyards are well progressed, with remediation activities for the existing infrastructure are now underway. Two precincts make up the site – the Industrial Precinct and Heritage Precinct.

The Industrial Precinct offers new business and economic opportunities, and a new master plan is being created for the Heritage Precinct to diversify the use of the site and breathe new life into this historic area.

The master plan will focus on activating the site for community and recreational use, and will preserve and celebrate its rich rail history, including the historic Roundhouse.

A heritage consultant has been engaged to prepare the master plan which will be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders.

The Rockhampton Railyards will also form part of the supply chain for the Government's Queensland Train Manufacturing Program.

Further information will be made available as planning progresses, and new tenancy agreements are reached.

For more information on the Rockhampton Railyards rejuvenation, visit

Media contact:  Lesley Major – 0419 288 284