AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Beattie sets timetable for missing link rail development

<p>The finalisation of a preferred route for the Surat Basin Railway would be locked down by November this year, Queensland premier Peter Beattie said as he awarded a consortium an exclusive mandate to build the railway.</p> <p>The Government was satisfied that the proposed 207-km railway linking Wandoan and Banana met public-private-partnership value for money criteria, Mr Beattie said yesterday (Wednesday, July 11).</p> <p>The railway proposal, should it proceed, would involve construction of a 207-km link between Wandoan and Banana and upgrades to the existing rail infrastructure from Toowoomba to Wandoan and Banana to Gladstone. </p> <p>Queensland Rail would retain ownership of the rail infrastructure from Wandoan to Toowoomba and from Banana to Gladstone.</p> <p>The state would retain ownership of the new rail corridor between Wandoan and Banana. </p> <p>&#8220Once constructed, the railway will be an open access line with sufficient capacity to meet demand from coal and other freight users well into the future,&#8221 Mr Beattie said. </p> <p>&#8220Today’s decision will enable the consortium to develop the project through to financial close.&#8221 </p> <p>The consortium comprises the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor Dawson Valley Railway Pty Ltd Industry Funds Management Queensland Rail and miners Xstrata Coal and Anglo Coal.</p> <p>Key milestones which the consortium must meet under the mandate include:</p> <p>&#8226 The awarding of preliminary engineering and environmental consultancies by the end of this month</p> <p>&#8226 Finalisation of a preferred route by November 2007</p> <p>&#8226 Submission to the coordinator-general by December 2008 of an environmental impact statement</p> <p>&#8226 Completion of a business case, including a financial model by September 2009</p> <p>&#8226 Agreement with the state on the principles for a development agreement and</p> <p>&#8226 Achievement of financial close by June 2010. </p> <br />