The additional 37 locomotives and over 900 wagons returned to service reflects most of the 3551s and several coal sets being pulled out of storage for a big Queensland coal upswing in late 2017.
Coal has signed new 10-year contracts with Baralaba Coal (2.0-million tonnes for the Moura system), MACH Energy (8-million tonnes for the Hunter system) and Q Coal's Byerwen Mine (10-million tonnes for the Newlands system). The Byerwen Mine will increase tonnages on the Newlands System by more than 25% and will require several additional coal sets. Word is the 20-ish Stuart based 4000s used on the Mt Isa line will be transferred to Callemondah's sizeable 4000 fleet, and Callemondah 4100s will be sent to Pring to make the Newlands Line 100% 4100s.
Bulk reported a $22.5-million drop in revenue due to the cessation of the daily Mt Isa freighter and poor grain harvests in Queensland and NSW. It also reported the end of the Mt Isa freighter resulted in savings of $12.2-million through the closure of the Hughenden crew depot, the Mt Isa container depot and reduced rollingstock to maintain (close to two hundred PCZY/PCZYL container wagons plus fuel tankers). Most of the wagons stored due to the suspension of the service are now being returned to service for a new yet to be announced contract on the Mt Isa line. Bulk reported it has signed a 10-year contract to continue hauling limestone to Fisherman's Landing for Cement Australia, commenced a 7.4-year contract with MMG for the Dugald River Mine on the Mt Isa line and executed a 2+2 year contract extension with QR covering haulage of northern infrastructure trains and the Inlander.