QR National Network Services employees Mick Scott (left), Barry Fahey and Graeme ‘Skeeta’ Frew working on the Missing Link.
QR National Network Services employees Mick Scott (left), Barry Fahey and Graeme ‘Skeeta’ Frew working on the Missing Link. Contributed

QR GAP expansion stays on track

QR NATIONAL is steaming ahead with its Goonyella to Abbot Point (GAP) expansion project.

It recently achieved a new round of milestones during a Newlands system shutdown.

The successful eight-day shutdown was an important step towards delivering the $1.1 billion project on time and on budget for customers, according to QR National Network Services CEO Michael Carter.

During the work, 10 kilometres of new track was laid, including 14,500 sleepers, 22,000sq m of stone ballast and 17,000 tonnes of earth formation materials.

"This is a major achievement for the project. We have delivered a major round of works, involving hundreds of personnel completing more than 21,000 hours of work, with no injuries and no impact on capacity," Mr Carter said.

"Over 10 teams from different parts of the business, using a range of skills from track laying to signalling, collaborated to work safely and complete works on time.

"This brings us one step closer to completing the GAP expansion for our customers, with trains on target to start running in January 2012."

The upgrades to the Newlands system will enable trains to travel at a more consistent and higher speed, and ultimately expedite coal delivery.

Project works strengthened the track formation and drainage, with new track installed at Sheep Station Creek over the new bridge.

At the Pring rail yard, two new sections of track were commissioned and two other sections were extended for use by the new larger trains QR National will run on the Northern Missing Link from early next year.

"Our focus has now turned to completing the track laying on the Northern Missing Link," Mr Carter said.

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