The first of the C44 Aci locomotives are expected in July with all 12 due by December.
“The market is forecast to double between 2000 and 2020 as product is shifted from road to rail, and with our new fleet we aim to leverage off that growth and expand our market share,” Queensland Rail freight division general manager Ken Lewsey said.
The new 134-tonne locomotives have 3250 kilowatts of power, with Lewsey saying two of them could deliver the power of three of the older locomotives.
He said the benefits included increased haulage capacity and reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
This purchase came a few weeks after a $45 million, five-year leasing deal with Downer EDI for nine new locomotives, according to Lewsey, and he added the general freight market is worth more than $1 billion a year.
The company annually transports over 160 million tonnes of coal and has a 2000km rail grid comprising five systems: Newlands, Goonyella, Moura, Blackwater and Western.