As Australia’s largest rail freight company, QR National transported more than 240 million tonne of fright, including coal, iron ore and other minerals, in 2010/11 alone. Further development to improve the track and rail service will be undertaken in 2013, with announcements in late December that QR National took a major step to finalise the plans for rail infrastructure in Australia, supporting the next wave of growth particularly n the Queensland resources sector.
QR National has approached customers to work together to determine growth plans and line them up with purposed port expansions. A commencement of the $900 million Wiggins Island Rail Project, a recent undertaking to identify faults and develop the rail infrastructure required in the region has opened along with the $1.1 billion Goonyella to Abbot Point Expansion in Central Queensland.
Executive Vice President of QR National Network, Mike Carter, stated that the RFP process was an “example of the new QR National working closely with industry as a critical enabler of world-class export infrastructure growth.”
This RFP, or Request for Proposal, is focused on the rail transport requirements for the areas of Goonyella, Newlands, Blackwater and Moura coal systems.
Servicing the three major coal export ports of Hay Point, Abbot Point and Gladstone, all of which are undertaking varying degrees of expansion, require a close relationship between the Rail and Coal industries.
“While QR National in government ownership had worked with its customers on long-term master planning for rail infrastructure, this process is in addition to that and provides a more structured approach for near-term requirements that will ultimately lead to faster and more efficient project development for the supply chain,” Mr Carter said.
“The RFP process will enable us to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of the supply chain from mine to port to the benefit of multiple partners.”
QR National is mid-way through a substantial investment program in new rail infrastructure to leverage the growth opportunity presented by Australia’s resources boom.
“Collectively, QR National’s committed expansions to the Central Queensland coal network will add more than 70 million tonnes of extra capacity by 2015. This equates to a significant 20 percent uplift in capacity to 300 million tonnes per annum,” he said.