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Aurizon upgrading Central Queensland fleet

Photo: Aurizon

A $180 million investment in 40 high-tech track machines and specialised wagons will underpin ever-increasing coal tonnages for Queensland’s coal miners, Aurizon says.

Aurizon on Thursday, May 22, unveiled one of the new 62 metre, 193 tonne track machines at a ceremony at Sarina attended by 60 local employees.

The machines maintain rail sleepers and rock ballast across 2,670km of rail track, maintaining the infrastructure to handle 25,000 train services per year.

“Track construction and maintenance, like Aurizon, has been transformed in recent times,” Aurizon boss Lance Hockridge said.

“We are now more productive, more innovative, using world leading technology and most importantly we are safer.

“These massive machines operate on the $5 billion asset which is the Central Queensland Coal Network, the supply chain that links more than 40 mines with state’s export ports.”

Aurizon’s Central Queensland Coal Network carried 214 million tonnes in 2013/14, an all-time high.

“This investment in new track machines is fundamental to driving even higher tonnage throughput for our customers, while improving safety and reliability across the network,” Hockridge explained

“The upgrade of our mechanised fleet means the Central Queensland Coal Network, critical to the state’s coal sector, will remain in the best possible condition.”

Hockridge paid tribute to the team of employees who operated the machine.

“Our employees that operate these machines are at the ‘heart of our business’, they are the quiet achievers, day-in and day-out, looking after the Central Queensland Coal Network,” he said.

“These are the people that will use these machines to get the network up and running quicker following natural disasters and will ensure it remains a world class asset carrying out more productive and efficient maintenance practices.”

While thanking those employees, however, Hockridge did hint that the new machines made work on the rail track far more efficient.

“Ultimately the arrival of these new machines mean we will be able to do more quality work in far less time,” Hockridge said, “something that is critical as we continue to transform.”

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