QR hauls record freight



QUEENSLAND RAIL (QR) hauled a record amount of freight in 2004/05, with Gladstone contributing a large amount.

QR's coal and freight division carried more than 176 million tonnes of freight during the financial year, an increase of more than eight per cent on the previous year.

A QR spokesperson said the amount Gladstone handled amounted to nearly 44 million tonnes (mt).

"With the export coal railed to Gladstone Port for 2004/05 nearly 44,000,000 tonnes, it's a fantastic contribution to the overall haulage and we expect this to continue and increase with the coal boom,'' the QR spokesperson said.

Central Queensland Ports Authority (CQPA) corporate relations general manager Peter O'Sullivan said of the total coal transported through to Gladstone Port facilities, 39.6mt went through the RG Tanna Coal Terminal.

A total of 3.9mt went through the Barney Point Coal Terminal and about 200,000 tonnes of woodchip was railed into Gladstone Port Central.

The 2004/05 year was QR's ninth consecutive year of record growth in coal tonnages and QR CEO Bob Scheuber said the result was largely driven by the continuing strong demand from the export market for Queensland coal.

Although the rail industry is challenged with national competition and needs a truly national rail market, the export market continues to grow.

Queensland is the world's largest exporter of seaborne coal, the majority of which is transported through Gladstone ports, and increases are expected in coming years because major new markets have emerged in China and India and continuing strong demand from traditional customers such as Japan.



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