QR to build line for new coal export contract

<p>QR has won a $200m contract to build a rail line from Blackwater to Rolleston to service MIM’s new thermal coal mine in central Queensland.</p> <p>The 100-km rail line will link the Rolleston mine to an existing rail link to the port of Gladstone.</p> <p>It is the first rail contract put out to open tender since national competition laws were introduced. </p> <p>Four major rail operators were shortlisted for the contract, including Pacific National and Freight Australia.</p> <p>A consortium involving QR, Abigroup and John Holland was selected to design, finance and construct the rail line.</p> <p>The mine is set to open late next year and QR will start hauling 6m tonnes a year of coal from Rolleston to Gladstone when the mine opens late next year. </p> <p>MIM plans to ramp up production to 8m tonnes a year in 2006&#4707.</p> <p>MIM said on Thursday (March 6) that it would proceed with the Rolleston development after a 17-month feasibility study.</p> <p>A MIM spokesman said trial shipments of 250,000 tonnes were conducted with power companies in South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, which have expressed interest in purchasing Rolleston thermal coal. </p> <br />

Work starts on Victoria’s regional fast rail project

<p>Victorian premier Steve Bracks turned the first sod on the Ballarat line last week to mark the beginning of work on the state’s $550m regional fast rail project.</p> <p>The project is expected to deliver faster and more frequent rail services between Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and the Latrobe Valley, with 29 new trains travelling at speeds of up to 160km&#47h.</p> <p>All four lines are now being tested to determine the condition of track foundations and where new or upgraded track will be needed.</p> <p>Contractors are also set to begin laying fibre optic cable for the new signalling system.</p> <p>Mr Brack said the project would be built "on time and on budget by mid 2005".</p> <p>But Victorian opposition leader Robert Doyle said costs could blow out to $1bn.</p> <p>The turning of the first sod does not signal the start of work, Mr Doyle said.</p> <p>The Thiess-ALSTOM consortium will upgrade the Ballarat and Geelong lines, while a joint venture between John Holland and Transfield will upgrade the Bendigo and Latrobe Valley lines.</p> <p>The fast rail project is the centrepiece of the State Government’s $3.5bn Linking Victoria transport strategy.</p> <br />

Leighton has record order book.

<p>A number of major rail construction contracts has helped Leighton Holdings end the financial year with a record $8.4bn order book.</p> <p>Awarding of other major projects in the next few months should push work in hand to $9.5bn.</p> <p>Leighton Holdings subsidiary Thiess was part of the consortium chosen to construct the Epping-Chatswood segment of the Parramatta Rail line in Sydney. Thiess’ share of this work is estimated at $430m.</p> <p>Thiess was also part of the group awarded two of the design and construct packages of the Victorian Regional Fast Rail project. </p> <p>Another Leighton subsidiary John Holland was part of the joint venture which won the other two. </p> <p>Combined this work should add around $300m to the coffers.</p> <p>Another division, Leighton Contractors will be paid $300m over three years to build Melbourne’s Spencer Street Station.</p> <p>The company will also be part of the consortium winning the $1.5bn Western Sydney Orbital project. </p> <p>Two bidders have been shortlisted and each contains a Leighton Holdings subsidiary.</p> <br />

Regional rail contracts awarded

<p>Victoria’s four regional fast rail construction contracts have been tied up by two consortia.</p> <p>Thiess-Alstom secured the Ballarat and Geelong corridors and the John Holland and Transfield joint venture was the successful tenderer for Latrobe Valley and Ballarat.</p> <p>Unsuccessful bidders include Leighton Contractors, BLM Construction &#8211 made up of Baulderstone Hornibrook, Bilfinger Berger and Lockheed Martin Australia &#8211 and Downer EDI.</p> <p>The consortia will upgrade more than 500 km of track and improve signalling. </p> <p>Work will begin by November 1 and be completed by mid 2005.</p> <p>In total the project, including the introduction of new trains on these routes, is costing the Victorian Government $550m.</p> <p>Over 5,000 jobs are expected to flow from the work.</p> <br />

ADrail safety accredited in NT

<p>ADrail has achieved rail safety accreditation in the Northern Territory allowing it to own railway infrastructure and operate rollingstock for the duration of construction on the Alice Springs-Darwin railway.</p> <p>ADrail is the design and construction team of the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium. It consists of Brown &#38 Root Engineering, Barclay Mowlem, John Holland and Macmahon.</p> <p>Accreditation is required under the Northern Territory’s Rail Safety Act.</p> <p>Infrastructure minister Kon Vatskalis said accreditation ensures ADrail has a sound rail safety management plan. The plan will be audited regularly by the territory’s rail safety regulator.</p> <br />