Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey
$33.8 Million Investment For Queensland’s Most Popular Regional Railway Station
Victor P Taffa
Two projects worth $33.8 Million are now underway to enhance the Wide Bay rail network, as new patronage figures reveal Bundaberg was the most popular regional station across Queensland Rail’s long distance network for the tenth year in a row.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said a number of upgrade programs are now up and running off the back of the major investment, including a $21.8 Million signalling upgrade project in Bundaberg, and $12 Million to upgrade the Burnett River rail bridge.
“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 railway station.” Minister Bailey 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.”
“Through our $21.8 million project to boost rail reliability and safety in the region, the existing signalling systems at Bundaberg and Bundaberg North which are designed to ensure safe train movements will be replaced with a system that is easier to maintain.”
“This includes the installation of a new power equipment room near Bundaberg station, featuring a new generator to provide back-up power supply in the event of an unplanned power trip, during severe storms for example.” Minister Bailey said.
“Works have already commenced on renewing the rail signalling between the Kolan/Mt. Perry and Thabeban Rd level crossings as part of this project, and in September, works will begin to upgrade the rail signalling at Walker Street level crossing, which includes installing active pedestrian gates, flashing lights and new track infrastructure at the crossing.”
“Final leg of the project will commence next year, with upgrades to the rail signalling at Hanbury Street level crossing and the installation of a new pedestrian crossing at Perry Street, which Queensland Rail is currently working with local council to finalise.”
Minister Bailey said in addition to the signalling project, works were also now underway on the $12 million project to upgrade the Burnett River rail bridge a critical piece of infrastructure on the North Coast railway line.
“Crews have completed sandblasting, with the bridge piers and structural rehabilitation works currently being painted.” Minister Bailey said.
“Project will reinforce the bridge’s cast iron piers to ensure the 120-year-old structure remains safe and durable well into the future.”
“Canstruct was appointed to the project to renew the Burnett River Bridge, in addition to the Kolan and Boyne River bridges later this year and will source building materials and plant hire from local suppliers wherever possible.” Minister Bailey said.
Bundaberg resignalling project is expected to be commissioned in August 2019, and the Burnett River bridge upgrade is due for commissioning mid-2018, improving reliability of line.