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QR National has awarded a second major contract, worth $56 million, for the Wiggins Island rail project that will service the first stage of the Wiggins Island coal export terminal being built in Gladstone.
Leighton Contractors will do the civil works to allow track duplication between Rocklands and Stanwell near Rockhampton. It is one of six key worksites for one of Australia's biggest rail infrastructure projects.
QR National recently awarded the first contract, worth $76 million, to Abigroup for the civil works for the loop near Gladstone, where coal trains will be unloaded before the coal is moved by conveyor belt to the Wiggins Island terminal in Gladstone Harbour.
QR National network executive vice-president Michael Carter said the awarding of the two contracts was a big step forward for the rail project, which was on target to begin operating in mid-2014.
"The signing of this new contract will enable Leighton to begin construction this month," Mr Carter said.
"This segment involves 18km of track duplication between Rocklands and Stanwell on the Blackwater rail system as well as the construction of three rail bridges at Burnett Highway, Four Mile Creek and Neerkol Creek."
When complete, the rail project will support stage one of the terminal, which will have a capacity to export 27 million tonnes of coal a year.
"As part of Stage 1 of the project the entire Blackwater rail system will be duplicated, enabling longer coal trains of up to 1.7km and more frequent services," Mr Carter said.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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