Monday 20th May, 2019

$1m for Yeppoon branch line

Photo: RailGallery.com.au

The Queensland Government has pledged another $946,000 to help reinstate a disused section of rail on the Yeppoon branch line, to connect the Rockhampton JBS Abattoir to the rail network.

Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the project, now with $5 million in total investment, would deliver supply chain improvements for the area’s important beef production industry, by doubling the size of the rail siding at the abattoir.

“By restoring this 1.9-kilometre section of the Yeppoon branch line, we’re providing the local beef industry with a direct rail connection to the JBS Abattoir, which is safer, more efficient and more reliable than road-freight options that can wear down local roads,” O’Rourke said.

Beef processing is considered Queensland’s largest manufacturing industry, employing roughly 118,000 and generating a little under $5 billion annually.

Minister for transport and main roads Mark Bailey said a team from Queensland Rail had already completed remediation of two of the four timber rail bridges on the section of rail in question, a task which required replacing 16 steel girders and bridge piers.

“The third and fourth timber bridges on the disused section of line have been demolished and removed, to be replaced with more durable concrete culverts sourced locally from Rockhampton,” Bailey said.

“Installation of the culverts will happen in May, after which trackwork along the 1.9-kilometre section of the line can begin. This will include replacing and resurfacing the full length of track, which will take more than 2,700 sleepers and 700 square metres of ballast. Finally, the rail siding at the abattoir will be reinstated.”

The abattoir’s rail siding, once reinstated and doubled through the project, will allow a full train of cattle to offload at once.

“This is a significant improvement from the previous challenges of only being able to offload half a train at a time, which was costly and time consuming,” Bailey said.

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