$100 million boost delivers for regional rail network (Ministerial statement)


  • A major project is now complete while another nears completion on Queensland Rail's Regional rail network.
  • The program of works bolsters the safety and efficiency of the vital 1,400-kilometre freight and passenger corridor.
  • The upgrades have delivered eight rail passing loops between Rockhampton and Townsville, and three bridges replaced between Bundaberg and Gladstone.

Link to vision of passing loops and timber bridges projects

Queensland Rail's North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project has hit another milestone with overtaking lanes installed while major works on the Berajondo Timber Bridge Replacement Project saw upgrades to three concrete bridges. 

Eight rail passing loops have been delivered between Rockhampton and Townsville enabling freight trains as along as 950 metres to operate on the line, which is nearly double the previous capacity of 650 metres.

The upgrades allow trains to pass each other more often in large sections of the North Coast line on Queensland Rail's Regional network. 

With a single freight container holding up to 50,000 cans of food, more essential items can get to regional towns and cities faster.

Over 4.3 million tonnes of freight are estimated to have moved on the North Coast Line in 2022-23 with containerised freight accounting for around two-thirds of volumes moved in over 3400 trains per year.

Both projects were completed by both Queensland Rail employees and contractors including Martinus Rail,  Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd for the North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project and Arcadis and DTi for the Berajondo Timber Bridge Replacement Project.

Quotes attributable to the Transport and Main Roads Minister Bart Mellish:

“Improving our regional rail network is a priority and these works provide further inventive to get freight onto rail.

“It's great to see these important regional rail upgrades which stretch from Bundaberg through to Townsville completed on the North Coast line.

“These works also help ensure the safety and efficiency of the vital 1,400-kilometre freight and passenger corridor for future years."

“We are extremely grateful for the hard work put in by our employees and contractors, with more than 350 jobs supported across both projects over the last five years."

Quotes attributable to Queensland Rail Head of Regional Scott Cornish:

“We are focussed on providing our customers with a safe and reliable rail network.

“Freight operators have already jumped onboard using longer freight trains along the line, taking pressure of our roads and road users.

“We will continue to improve our infrastructure through future-proofing initiatives like these."

Quotes attributable to Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah:

“As Australia's largest private rail freight operator, Pacific National relies on the North Coast Line to rail millions of tonnes of fresh and refrigerated food, supermarket items, household and retail goods, manufactured products, and building and construction materials around the state.

“These improvements ensure we can continue to move essential groceries and produce by rail up the spine of Queensland's rail freight network for our customers, supporting the state's economy."

Location of passing loops:

•           Kunwarara

•           Kooltandra

•           St Lawrence

•           Koumala

•           Mount Ossa

•           Longford Creek

•           Guthalungra

•           Gumlu


Location of the timber bridges:

•           North Berajondo

•           Central Berajondo

•           South Berajondo


​Media contact: James Kleeman – 0466 620 176

For more details, accredited journalists can contact Queensland Rail's media team on:

Phone: 0459 226 970
Email: media@qr.com.au