A $28 million project to replace 18 timber rail bridges with more durable structures between Rosewood and Chinchilla is now complete, with final works at Dalby completed last week.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the project had supported 200 jobs over the past two years, in addition to improving the safety and reliability of the western rail line.
"Over the last two years, Queensland Rail has been eliminating ageing timber rail bridges on the western line – some of which were more than 100 years old – and replacing them with stronger, more reliable, low maintenance steel structures," Mr Bailey said.
"This involved the replacement of a combined 830 metres of combined bridge length at 18 locations across Rosewood, Grandchester, Laidley, Helidon, Murphy's Creek, Toowoomba, Dalby and Warra.
"During a scheduled closure of the line from 11 - 15 October, the project team successfully removed and replaced the final timber bridge at Dalby, marking the completion of this major investment in the western line.
"This was the 18th and final timber bridge to be replaced between Rosewood and Chinchilla as part of the project, with the new steel structures set to significantly reduce the time required for bridge maintenance moving forward.
"The new structures show great innovation through the use of untreated steel girders, which serve as a cost-effective alternative to concrete.
"With the steel sourced from One Steel and local companies used for crane hire and labour, it's fantastic to see this investment not only bolster the strength of the rail line, but also support the local jobs and businesses along the way."
Mr Bailey said the project would bolster reliability for the thousands of trains that use the western line each year.
"The western line, spanning from Brisbane to Charleville, is a major freight artery for the Darling Downs and South West Queensland regions, transporting about 7,000 freight and passenger trains each and every year," he said.
"It's fantastic to see the West Moreton timber bridge replacement project reach the finish line.
"This major investment has modernised our infrastructure on the line and will ensure the ongoing safety and reliability of the West Moreton rail system."
Approximate locations of upgraded bridges:
• 2.5km NE of Dalby
• 9km NW of Toowoomba
• 28km SE of Chinchilla (7km NW of Warra)
• 10km SE of Laidley
• 2km W of Forest Hill
• 4km SE of Helidon
• 1km SE of Helidon (three bridges)
• 2km SE of Murphys Creek
• 3.5km E of Murphys Creek
• 1.5km SW of Rosewood
• 5km SW of Rosewood
• 1km SE of Grandchester
• 1.5km NW of Laidley
• 9.5km SE of Warra