Blackwater railway system

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Blackwater System, Queensland
TypeHeavy Rail (Coal)
LocaleQueensland, Australia
TerminiCallemondah (Gladstone)
Gregory Mine
Opened1967 (Kinrola branch)
Line length1,111 km (690 mi)
Track gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) Narrow gauge
Electrification25 kV 50 Hz AC OHLE
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map
0 North Coast Line
0 Rocklands
0 Bruce Hwy
1 Burnett Hwy
8 Gracemere
23 Stanwell
25 Stanwell Power Station
37 Wycarbah
45 Westwood 156m
46 Westwood
76 Tunnel 162m
93 Dawson River
103 Duaringa
141 Dingo
168 Capricorn Hwy
169 Bluff
180 Boonal 208m
189 Blackwater
12 Koorilgah
41 Laleham
192 Sagitarrius
0 Capricorn Hwy
12 Curragh
195 Rangal
9 Boorgoon
14 Kinrolla
106 Rolleston
202 Burngrove, Central West System to Emerald
0 Capricorn Hwy
10 Crew
16 Mackenzie River
23 Mackenzie
13 Ensham
36 Fairhill
52 Yan Yan
13 Gordonstone Kestral Mine)
62 To Oaky Creek & Goonyella System
66 Gregory

Distance in km. Distance shown from beginning of branch line.

Two eastbound trains run parallel on a bidirectionally signalled duplicated section of the Central West line
Coal being loaded by front end loaders, Blackwater line

The Blackwater railway system is located in Central Queensland and services the coal mining area of the Bowen Basin. It carries coal, as well as products, to other destinations by way of connections to the North Coast Line at Rocklands and the Goonyella Line via Gregory coal mine to Oaky Creek. Together with the Moura line the two railway systems are known as the Capricornia Coal Chain.[1]

The Blackwater system is narrow gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) and electrified using 25 kV 50 Hz. The system is used by both electric and diesel locomotives.

The Blackwater system has the largest route length of the four coal systems and carries the second highest tonnages on the QR network, after the Goonyella system. It is located in Central Queensland, and services the Bowen Basin. Coal is carried to the two export terminals at the Port of Gladstone; RG Tanna Coal Terminal, and Barney Point Coal Terminal. The Blackwater system also services a number of domestic users including Gladstone Power Station, Stanwell Power Station, and QCL Fisherman’s Landing.[2]

The Blackwater Coal Chain services 15 mines, operated by BMA, Xstrata, Rio Tinto, Curragh, Ensham, Felix, and Jellinbah. Haulage is expected to progressively increase in the Blackwater system as haulage contracts, combined with enquiries from coal companies for additional haulage capacity (domestic and export), exceeds 80 Mpta by 2008–09.[2]

The Blackwater system consists of 994 km of track, of which approximately 160 km is duplicated. 823 km of track is electrified. Callemondah and Bluff yards are used to provision train services. The system is operated from the Rockhampton Control Centre utilising two safe working systems - Remote Control Signalling (RCS) and Direct Traffic Control (DTC).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Blackwater coal system" (PDF). QR National Coal. October 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b Network Systems[permanent dead link]. QR National. Retrieved on 13 May 2012.

External links[edit]