Qube container. Photo: Qube

Qube purchases four Australian-made locomotives

Qube has awarded the contract to build four locomotives to UGL, part of the CIMIC Group.

The four locomotives will be built in Newcastle at UGL’s workshops there, said UGL’s managing director Jason Spears.

“These contracts extend our light rail capability alongside our Adelaide heavy rail presence and commence our relationship with Qube Logistics. UGL has a strong reputation for quality and safety and we look forward to exhibiting that through these manufacturing, maintenance and operations contracts.”

Qube has recently signed extensions to its freight rail logistics business. Late last year, the company announced that it had signed contracts with Shell Australia and Bluescope Steel. In its Half Year results announcement, Qube indicated that it would spend $73 million on new rollingstock and infrastructure to support the Bluescope contract.

Additionally, its Moorebank Logistics Park began rail operations with a major warehouse for retailer Target.

Further agreements for tenants at other sections of the Park are in the final stages of being negotiated.

According to UGL, its base in Newcastle was key to the purchase by Qube.

“UGL’s long history of manufacturing is key to our success in Newcastle. We’re proud that UGL has had a presence in in NSW for more than 120 years, including a strong presence in Newcastle.”

The news follows the announcement that UGL, along with Transit Systems and John Holland will operate the Adelaide tram network from July 2020.

UAE Etihad Rail awards locomotives contract to a US-based company

The United Arab Emirates’ national rail operator Etihad Rail has signed a contract to procure 38 locomotives from a US-based Progress Rail Locomotive, a Caterpillar company.

Etihad Rail became operational in 2016, and the company’s current fleet of seven locomotives will be expanded sixfold, bringing the total number of locomotives in 45.

Etihad Rail contracted Progress Rail, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel-electric locomotives, to design, manufacture, test, and ship 38 EMD locomotives especially designed to withstand the high temperatures and humidity of the Gulf region.

The expansion will increase the network’s annual capacity to more than 60 million tonnes, compared to the current annual capacity of approximately 7.2 million tonnes.

H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed said the cutting-edge fleet of locomotives will raise the bar in the transportation system and logistics services in the country.

“We are moving forward in completing all the necessary components for this national project that contributes to the UAE’s progress and enhances the country’s prestigious global position,” he said.

The locomotive fleet will be equipped with a state-of-the-art air filtration system that filters sand from the air intake and pulse cleaning systems, ensuring effective operations while passing through desert areas throughout the country.

The locomotives feature powerful motors and will be supported by advanced emission reduction technology, reducing carbon emissions by 70-80 per cent and they are designed to haul a 100-wagon train, which can replace 5,600 on-road truck trips per day.

The agreement increases the fleet of Etihad Rail to 45 heavy 4,500 HP locomotives, which are among the most powerful locomotives in the region.

The signing of the contract follows the awarding of all civil works contracts for Stage Two of the national railway network, the launch of construction works of Package A of Stage Two, and the award of a contract to build a series of freight facilities for the rail network, underlining the company’s performance to complete one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the country.