Two projects – a signalling upgrade and a bridge upgrade – are underway on the Wide Bay network to enhance service reliability to Bundaberg, which houses Queensland’s most visited regional station.
The $21.8 million signalling upgrade project Bundaberg and Bundaberg North will involve the replacement of the existing systems with one that is reportedly more advanced and easier to maintain.
Works are also to include the installation of a new power equipment room near Bundaberg, which will be fitted with a new generator for a back-up power supply in case of unplanned power trips.
Works on upgrading the rail signalling have begun between the level crossings at Kolan/Mt Perry Road and Thabeban Road. Further works at the Walker Street level crossing will begin in September, while upgrades to the rail signalling systems at Hanbury Street level crossing will begin next year. Level crossings will also be fitted with active pedestrian gates and flashing lights for better safety.
Alongside the signalling upgrade, Burnett River Rail Bridge at Bundaberg on the North Coast line is to receive a $12 million upgrade.
“Crews have completed sandblasting, with the bridge piers and structural rehabilitation works currently being painted,” Queensland’s transport minister Mark Bailey said.
“The project will reinforce the bridge’s cast iron piers to ensure the 120-year-old structure remains safe and durable well into the future.”
The signalling upgrade project is expected to be complete by August 2019, while the bridge works will be finished later this year.
Bailey said the two projects would maintain the reliability of the rail network around Bundaberg, which has long been the most visited regional station in the state.
“With three long distance trains servicing the station – the Spirit of Queensland, Spirit of the Outback, and Tilt Train – and more than 91,000 visitors in 2017, there is no doubt that Bundaberg station is Queensland’s most popular regional train station,” he said.
“We’ll be looking to continue this momentum by making progress on a number of our key investments in the Bundaberg and Wide Bay regions throughout 2018 and 2019.”