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First tenants for Rockhampton Railyards

Rockhampton Railyards tenants

The rejuvenation of Queensland’s historic Rockhampton Railyards has taken a further step forward with the announcement of the two major tenants for the site — local manufacturer CQ Fibreglass Direct, and Queensland Rail.

CQ Fibreglass will take up residence in one of the largest sheds in the site’s Industrial Precinct. It will be the first new tenant since the Queensland Government acquired the site in May 2022.

An agreement has also been reached to welcome Queensland Rail back to the site later this year, bringing more jobs to the site and establishing a hub for a research centre into hydrogen-powered locomotives.

The $3.5 million research and development project will establish a research centre into the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power in collaboration with the Central Queensland University Centre for Railway Engineering.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the railyards had aged over the years and it was recognised that they needed some care and attention.

“The State Government has a solid plan for the precinct and we are now investing in the site’s future to provide opportunities to expand the rail, manufacturing and maintenance industries across the region,” he said.

“I’m particularly pleased to see Queensland Rail announced as the second new tenant, with hydrogen power poised to assist the rail industry in Queensland and reduce our emissions too.”

Transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said findings from the QR trial would be used to better the rail industry here in Queensland.

“In line with the State Government’s 2050 target of zero net emissions, the trial will deliver data on the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power and explore options for the development of a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels in the future,” he said.

CQ Fibreglass co-director Steven Trevor said the opportunity to work out of the Rockhampton Railyards was a big step forward and the tenancy would support the local economy through business growth and job prospects.

“The Rockhampton Railyards is a perfect fit for CQ Fibreglass, and this long-term tenancy agreement will allow us room to grow and advance our capabilities to supply new industries including rail, public transport and renewable energy,” he said.

“This agreement means we can significantly expand our manufacturing capacity, upskill our staff and bring new jobs to Rockhampton – it will open doors for us to explore different technologies and further opportunities both locally and abroad.”

Queensland Rail acting head of regional Scott Cornish said the tenancy agreement would support the development of emerging technologies.

“This research will deliver data on the viability of replacing diesel locomotives with hydrogen power and explore options for the development of a safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable alternative to diesel fuels in the future,” he said.

Central Queensland University Director, Centre for Railway Engineering, Professor Colin Cole, said CQU currently provided research and consulting services to almost all railways and to several consulting companies in the area of whole train trip simulations of train operations determining in-train forces, fuel usage and running times.

“More recently this work has included emphasis on energy use and whole trip energy balance calculations have been provided to several major railways for purposes of evaluating decarbonization options,” he said.

“This work has included early research considerations in evaluating battery and hydrogen repowering options as they may apply to Australian and Queensland needs.

“It’s very exciting to be able to continue this work with Queensland Rail in helping deliver a practical solution supported by theoretical research.”

Additional planning activities for rejuvenation of the Railyards are well progressed, with remediation activities for the existing infrastructure are now underway. Two precincts make up the site – the Industrial Precinct and Heritage Precinct.

The Industrial Precinct offers new business and economic opportunities, and a new master plan is being created for the Heritage Precinct to diversify the use of the site and breathe new life into this historic area.

The master plan will focus on activating the site for community and recreational use, and will preserve and celebrate its rich rail history, including the historic roundhouse.

A heritage consultant has been engaged to prepare the master plan which will be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders.

The Rockhampton Railyards will also form part of the supply chain for the Government’s Queensland Train Manufacturing Program.

Further information will be made available as planning progresses, and new tenancy agreements are reached.

For more information on the Rockhampton Railyards rejuvenation, visit