JOBS: Rail construction jobs are headed to Central Queensland. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
JOBS: Rail construction jobs are headed to Central Queensland. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

JOBS: Major rail projects headed to CQ

A NUMBER of rail projects have been announced in regional Queensland worth about $305 million with more than 1000 jobs up for grabs.

The largest investment — the $100 million North Coast line upgrade between Townsville and Rockhampton — started construction in July and will support more than 300 construction jobs.

Work is also underway to replace 20 timber bridges between Gympie and Cairns, an $86 million project that will support a further 280 jobs — 130 of which are between Gladstone and Gympie.

This month, work wraps up on a $21 million project to modernise Bundaberg’s rail signalling system and upgrade seven level crossings.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the projects demonstrated the economic importance of Queensland Rail’s upgrade program.

“Our rail network is an essential part of the freight supply chain, supporting regional growth and trade through our ports, which in turn means jobs,” Mr Bailey said.

“We need to keep investing in our rail network so it’s safe and efficient for freight and passengers.

“Queensland is a big state and rail has been part of our history for more than 150 years, so there is a massive opportunity in terms of the jobs needed to keep upgrading and maintaining that large network.”

Central Queensland projects:

  • $100 million — expansion of eight train passing loops between Townsville and Rockhampton, enabling freight trains to increase in size by about 45 per cent — from 650 metres to 950 metres. (300 jobs)
  • $40 million — four rail bridges to be replaced between Gympie and Gladstone. (130 jobs)

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