Australia’s largest rail freight company, the 147-year-old QR National, enters a new era from 1 December with the adoption of the new name of Aurizon.
Shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of adopting the name ‘Aurizon’ at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Brisbane on 21 November.
Aurizon is a combination of Australia and Horizon. It conveys the geographical scope of the company’s expanding operations, as well as the extraordinary growth opportunities on the horizon.
The name change is effective from 1 December. The company’s logo and corporate colours remain unchanged to preserve brand equity.
Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge welcomed shareholder approval of Aurizon saying it was important the company move beyond its’ past.
“The business of the company is moving forward rapidly. It makes sense that we take a new name forward with us that embraces our future,” he said.
“We’re a very different company than when we went to IPO in 2010. This is our chance to take a major distinguishing step as we transform and grow.
“We recognise this company’s proud heritage will always be in Queensland. That cannot change and nor will the engineering and operational excellence that has been honed by its employees over more than 140 years.”
Mr Hockridge said the time was right to change the name to Aurizon, with “QR National” serving it well in the transition period since the Initial Public Offering in November 2010.
“With so many exciting opportunities ahead, we want our customers, shareholders and other stakeholders to be clear on who we are and where we’re headed,” he said.
“Since the IPO, confusion has continued to reign between QR National and Queensland Rail on a number of fronts – ownership, operations and service provision.
"That’s been the constant feedback from our staff in daily dealings with customers and others in the community.
“Our employees are energetic and engaged with the future of this business. Aurizon befits this future and our aspirations for growth and excellence.
“Aurizon also enables a better representation of our national operations, including a rapidly growing iron ore business in Western Australia and a growing coal haulage business in NSW.”
The company’s ASX code (ticker) will become AZJ. It is expected the ASX will make the change with the AZJ ticker on the ASX platform in the week commencing 3 December.
Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2011/12, Aurizon transported more than 250 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. The company also operates and manages the 2,670 kilometre Central Queensland Coal Network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone. Previously known as QR National, Aurizon has more than 147 years of rail freight industry experience.