In September 2012, Aurizon commissioned the $195 million Blackwater Power System Strengthening Project, which nearly doubled the electric capacity on the Blackwater rail system that connects mines west of Rockhampton to coal loading ports at Gladstone.
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The project involved the 27-month construction and commissioning of four electrical feeder stations and associated infrastructure at Bluff, Wycarbah, Duaringa and Raglan between Blackwater and Mount Larcom. This project was part of Aurizon’s commitment to expanding the haulage capacity for our customers and represents the largest electrical upgrade on the network since initial electrification in the 1980s.
The electrification of the Blackwater line boosts coal export capacity by approximately nine million tonnes per year, enabling the system to deliver up to 85 million tonnes of coal per annum. The increased electrical capacity of the system allows more new high-capacity electric trains to operate on the Blackwater network.