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Our work with our supply chain partners to minimise coal dust by utilising a combination of veneering, improved wagon loading practices and monitoring systems, has resulted in a reduction of coal dust by up to 85%*. 

(*Source: Connell Hatch Final Report, Evaluation of fugitive dust emissions from coal trains)

We actively assess and implement dust management practices and customised these to suit the particular needs of each of the rail systems where we operate.

In Queensland, we have led the development of two Coal Dust Management Plans for Queensland Rail's South West System and Aurizon's Central Queensland Coal Network. The plans provide a thorough analysis, supported by scientific evidence, of the impacts associated with coal dust in addition to identifying leading practices to managing and reducing these impacts.

The Central Queensland Coal Dust Management Plan (CDMP) was first published in 2010 and it is timely now for Aurizon Network to review this document. A draft document is available to view here - Central Queensland Coast Dust Management Plan 2019 - for consultation

A large proportion of the CDMP outlines actions associated with installation of veneering stations and infrastructure associated with monitoring coal dust lift from wagons, which was achieved some 4-5 years ago. It is important that the document reflects the current operating environment and is easily interpretable.

Engagement and consultation with the CQCN coal supply chain is an essential component of the review to ensure the document appropriately reflects the collective contribution to effective coal dust management. Please submit your feedback on the revised CDMP by 18 October 2019 via

Once agreed, the visual presentation of the amended CDMP will be improved and the document finalised and provided to the Department of Environment & Science (DES) prior to publication.

In the Hunter Valley, we continue to work with our coal supply chain partners to identify further opportunities to reduce coal dust as part of the Hunter Rail Corridor Users and Operators Group. We are also an industry representative on the Lower Hunter Reference Group (LHR Group).

We have made improvements based on scientific studies, including a wind tunnel testing report on Hunter Valley coal types. Interim data released by the LHR Group also shows coal dust levels well below the NSW EPA acceptable level of deposited dust.

For more information on coal dust management, download the coal dust fact sheet and watch the coal dust video. 

Case Study - Coal Wagon Design

We have worked continuously to address the management of coal loss from wagons by improving its design. The design includes features that reduce coal loss during loading, unloading, and transit as illustrated on the right.

We also have introduced design features that reduce coal hang up on wagons allowing coal to be shed from the wagon at the loading and unloading points.

We will continue to invest in ongoing research and development of innovative design solutions for coal wagons to minimise coal loss in transit.