The Wiggins Island Rail Project (WIRP) in Central Queensland is one of the largest rail expansions in Australia, and RPS is appointed to provide planning services and advise on environmental issues for a major part of the scheme.
The Blackwater Rail System is the largest by track kilometres of client QR Network’s four coal systems, comprising 985km of bi-directional track that connects the Bowen Basin coal region to the Port of Gladstone.
The Wiggins Island Rail Project will see the duplication of a number of sections within the Blackwater rail network to facilitate a 30% boost in coal exports from the southern end of the Bowen Basin. Once completed, the entire Blackwater System will be duplicated, supporting an initial 27 million tonnes per annum throughput of coal to Gladstone’s Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
RPS has been working on the Blackwater Rail System for more than seven years, completing environmental assessment and management documentation for track duplication and track modification projects and conducting environmental audits during project construction. In Stage One, RPS planners, ecologists, and soil science specialists prepared the environmental and planning documents to satisfy QR Network’s internal planning procedures, and obtained environmental planning approvals for the Blackwater System Expansion. We have subsequently been appointed to further environment and planning projects in the Central Queensland coal systems.
First railings of the Wiggins Island Rail Project are expected in mid-2014, with the entire project scheduled to reach completion in March 2015.