The depot will cater for the increasing number of employees and provide modern operational facilities for its growing NSW business, QR National chief executive and managing director Lance Hockridge said.
“The QR National story is a story of growth and New South Wales is a great example,” he said.
“Employees at our NSW coal operations have jumped from 60 to 150 in the last 12 months, with more than 30 of those joining in the last 12 weeks alone, and this will grow further to an expected 180 by the end of November as recruitment continues.”
He said QR National’s workforce in NSW would increase even further as QR National continued to win more business in the Hunter Valley.
“We’re investing close to $150 million in 19 new 5020-class locomotives to support that new business, including three new major contracts in the Hunter Valley. Just last month I saw progress on those new locos first-hand at UGL’s workshop in Sydney,” he said.
“As well as investing in new locomotives, QR National is buying almost 600 new wagons. The first of these have already been delivered to the Hunter and the first of the locomotives is due this quarter, with the entire order of locomotives and wagons due to enter service over the next two years.
“With new contracts being won in the Hunter Valley, we need new people to drive new trains. Our fleet of coal trains there will have more than doubled by January.’’
Since June last year QR National Coal has won three major contracts in NSW, which will take its volumes to approximately 37 million tonnes by the end of financial year 2012 compared to 19Mtpa at June 30, 2010.
QR National Coal Manager in NSW David Down said the majority of employees are from the local area.
“QR National is supporting regional growth and local communities. A national recruitment drive attracted more than 2500 applications for these new positions, which shows we’ve become an industry leader and an employer of choice,” he said.
“We’ve increased not only the number of qualified train drivers for our Hunter operations, but also the number of trainees who will help us meet demand going forward.”