Aurizon marked an historic milestone last week, running the longest train ever through its Central Queensland Coal Network (CQCN).
The 2.3 kilometre train had 136 wagons and carried 11,000 tonnes of coal through the Blackwater rail system to the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET).
The “bedding” coal is being used to establish the stockpiles at WICET as it gears up for its first shipments of export coal.
“We’re moving more tonnes, on larger trains, from mine to port as we drive improved efficiency across the coal supply chain,” according to Mike Franczak, Executive Vice President of Aurizon Operations.
“This is an excellent outcome for customers, our supply chain partners and the Queensland coal industry generally.
“We have achieved this through innovative operational improvements in Queensland over recent years, including lifting payloads, improving locomotive reliability and better on-time performance. Quite simply, we are getting smarter about the way we use our existing assets.
“The drive to improve train payloads at Aurizon draws on the very best available technology and innovation in the areas of train marshalling, train handling and track/train dynamics. This ensures that as we improve capacity and productivity, we are also reducing in-train forces, making for a safer, more energy-efficient mode of transportation.
“The successful maiden run of this record-breaking coal train is a positive sign of things to come when we commence railings to WICET in earnest next month,” Mr Franczak said.
The average Aurizon train on the CQCN has around 100 wagons and a pay load of about 8,500 tonnes of coal.