New QR workshop may offer 150 jobs

QUEENSLAND Rail could bring a “significant” number of jobs to Ipswich if a new passenger maintenance facility was to be built in Wulkuraka.

The government owned company owns land at Wulkuraka, but planning is currently in very preliminary stages and other sites outside of Ipswich are being looked at.

But should it get the green light and pass council and environmental hurdles, Ipswich West MP Wayne Wendt said it could bring about 150 jobs to the city.

Queensland Rail chief operations officer Kevin Wright said a new maintenance facility was needed as QR looks to increase the size of the City network train fleet by purchasing up to 200 new passenger trains.

He said expanding the QR fleet means additional maintenance facilities will need to be built, and possible sites like Wulkuraka are being considered.

“Ipswich has a long and proud rail history and the Wulkuraka site means we could establish a modern new facility in the same region where our rail workshops began back in the 1860s,” Mr Wright said in a statement.

“A facility of this kind in Ipswich would provide a boost to the region through employment opportunities and ongoing investment from associated industries.”

QR owns land on Ada St, Wulkuraka, which is close to the train station and an industrial area.

The site is currently used as a staging area for maintenance works but could be suitable for a new facility.

Mr Wright said the proposal was in its early stages and Queensland Rail was committed to consulting extensively with the local community before any decision was made.

“We are currently working with the Ipswich City Council through a development application process to assess whether Wulkuraka is a suitable location for the facility,” he said.

“We will only start building the facility if a development application is approved by Ipswich City Council and site assessments prove it to be the best option,” he said.

“The site is currently owned by Queensland Rail and is zoned for industrial use.”

A QR spokesperson said: “we would expect that a significant number of direct and indirect jobs would be created.”

Mr Wendt said that if there were no impacts on residents and it passed environmental and council guidelines, it would a good jobs generator for the city.

“It has the potential for 150 jobs, but it has to pass a number of hurdles first,” Mr Wendt said.

 

PROUD HERITAGE

  • The very first train to run in Queensland steamed from Ipswich to Bigges Camp, now Grandchester, more than 145 years ago.
  • When Ipswich’s famous Workshops Rail Museum was a working site only, more than 200 steam locomotives were constructed here.
  • During its peak in WWII, over 3000 people worked on the site, making it the state’s largest employer at that time.
  • It is now the oldest continually operating railway workshops in Australia.


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