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Sunday, January 29, 2012

QR National upgrades Blackwater Coal System

Sunday, 29 Jan 2012

QR National is on track to double the electric capacity of the rail system connecting coal mines west of Rockhampton to the export terminals at Gladstone.

The rail freight provider said that it has commissioned the first of four new electrical feeder stations in the Blackwater coal system as part of its major AUD 195 million electrification upgrade project.

One of the largest upgrades since the initial electrification of the Central Queensland Coal Network in the 1980s, the project will allow more new high-capacity electric trains to operate on the Blackwater network.

Construction and commissioning of the AUD 55 million feeder station at Raglan, 60 kilometres south of Rockhampton, is the first to be completed and will be followed by new electrical feeder stations at Wycarbah, Duaringa and Bluff in Central Queensland.

Commissioning of these remaining three feeder stations will follow progressively over the coming months, with the entire electrification project on track for completion in June 2012, six months ahead of schedule.

Mr Michael Carter executive vice president of QR National Network said that the company has delivered the Raglan works under budget, despite the construction challenges posed by Queensland’s wet weather last year.

He added that “The hard work of our project delivery team means we remain on track to complete the Blackwater Power Project by the middle of the year, at which time the entire system will be electrified by Powerlink and the extra capacity will take effect.”

The Blackwater Power Project is designed to cater for the growing coal export demand in the region.

Completed works at Raglan include the establishment of the feeder and connecting stations, as well as track sectioning cabins at Bajool and Mount Larcom.

The upgrades will see 33 all-electric locomotives in operation upon completion in 2012.


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