Ipswich to be home to next QR fleet
IPSWICH will be the home of QR's new 200-strong fleet of city trains once plans for a new service centre are given the go-ahead.
The Queensland Times revealed 12 months ago that a site at Wulkuraka had been earmarked as a potential base for the new fleet and can now confirm the project will proceed once the city council approves a development application.
A detailed announcement on the depot is expected within the next few months.
The facility will be owned by QR, but the maintenance on the City Train's new additions will be outsourced to a third party.
The Ada St site will employ 200 staff to perform the maintenance on the City Train's next generation.
If approved, the site will take two years to construct.
The announcement comes a week after the Queensland Times revealed QR had failed to carry out a plan to move 400 staff to Ipswich ahead of the Icon Ipswich development.
A Queensland Rail spokesman said the Wulkuraka Service Centre was still in the feasibility stage.
"Queensland Rail is working closely with Ipswich City Council and undertaking further studies and impact assessments to determine the suitability of the proposed site at Wulkuraka," the spokesman said.
Ipswich West MP Sean Choat was briefed on the project's status.
"It's a new facility and it will be operated by a third party under contract with QR," he said.
"We love the idea of people living and working locally."
Mr Choat will assemble a community consultation group in the coming months.
Public transport advocacy group Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow said the service centre would add to Ipswich's railway heritage.
Mr Dow said the new fleet would replace the aging EMU City Trains.
He expects the now 30-year-old fleet to stay in operation for only another 10 years, but not for much more than that.
The new generation trains are yet to be built, with a QR spokesman saying they are yet to award a tender.