North Coast Line Capacity Improvement project

Project overview

Queensland Rail is undertaking works to extend eight rail passing loops between Rockhampton and Townsville. The extension works will allow the passing of freight services on what is otherwise a single track. The loops being extended along the line are located at:

  • Kunwarara
  • Kooltandra
  • St Lawrence
  • Koumala
  • Mount Ossa
  • Longford Creek
  • Guthalungra, and
  • Gumlu.

Upon completion of the project in late-2022, freight trains up to 950 metres long will be able to use the network, which is a 45 percent increase from the current maximum length of 650 metres. This project will provide a vital increase in capacity for freight transport in Queensland, which will benefit the local economy. It will also support over 300 local construction jobs for communities along the rail corridor, and enable freight operators to run longer trains and carry more goods along the North Coast line.

What is involved?

The North Coast Line Capacity Improvement project began in July 2019 and will be completed by late-2022. Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd is undertaking the earthworks, design and construction on behalf of Queensland Rail.

Works will generally be undertaken during the day, but some 24-hour works will occur to coincide with closures of the line, to minimise the impact on freight customers and passenger services.

The works involve excavation of the rail corridor and will include the use of heavy machinery, resulting in increased noise, dust, light levels and construction traffic. These works will also include the modification of existing signalling systems to make sure the extended loops operate safely.

Project progress

So far, works completed include civil and commissioning works at Guthalungra, Gumlu, Kooltandra, St Lawrence and Longford Creek. These five passing loops are now operational.

The remaining passing loops are currently under construction and scheduled to be commissioned by:

  • Koumala - August 2021
  • Mount Ossa - April 2022
  • Kunwarara - June 2022.
These scheduled dates may be subject to change due to weather conditions and operational requirements.

Keeping you informed

Queensland Rail is committed to keeping stakeholders and the community informed about the North Coast Line Capacity Improvement project.

For more information, please phone 13 16 17 (between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday) or email


Work notices

  • Works notice – Longford Creek (March 2020)  PDF
  • Works notice – Mount Ossa (February to June 2020)  PDF
  • Works notice – Koumala (October 2019)  PDF
  • Works notice – St Lawrence (October 2019)  PDF
  • Works notice – Kooltandra (September 2019)  PDF
  • Works notice – Kunwarara (September 2019)  PDF
  • Works notice – Gumlu (July & August 2019)  PDF
  • Works notice – Guthalungra (July & August 2019)  PDF