Coal trains to move further from Jondaryan

9 October 2012

The New Hope Group has announced an interim plan to build a half rail loop at its Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility, which will see coal trains moved at least a kilometre further away from the township.

The New Hope Group is still committed to completely moving the Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility about eight kilometres from the town of Jondaryan, as part of the mine’s future planning. 

The cost of this major relocation project is in excess of $62 million and as such, is only possible if continuation of the New Acland operation is granted beyond the mine’s current life of 2017. 

“Despite the fact that the Jondaryan Rail Loading Facility consistently meets strict Environmental Conditions in relation to noise and dust, the New Hope Group acknowledges that the community has concerns over the facility,” a New Hope Group spokesperson said.

“As a result, the New Hope Group has, as an interim measure, lodged an application with the Toowoomba Regional Council to construct a half rail loop at Jondaryan.

“This is an interim measure aimed at lessening the impact of the rail loading facility on the Jondaryan community and is set to benefit residents.

“As well as trains being further from the town, this interim plan would remove the requirement for trains to uncouple at the siding, thereby removing the need for shunting close to Jondaryan township.

“It will also remove the requirement for trains to park at Muldu siding and eliminate delays in relocating trains from Oakey to Jondaryan siding by providing a parking bay for waiting trains.

“Currently waiting trains must park at Oakey until the siding and track are free.

“Most importantly, there will be no additional tonnage transported through Jondaryan under this proposal.

“The amount of coal handled through Jondaryan siding will be unchanged, as coal output from New Acland cannot exceed the existing permit issued under the Sustainable Planning Act.

“The average amount of coal loaded onto trains and trucks per day at New Acland varies slightly from day to day, but typically is around 13,500 tonnes per day,” the spokesperson said.

 “We have made a commitment to the people of Jondaryan to move the rail loading facility away from the town at the earliest opportunity if the life of the current mine is able to be continued.”

The spokesperson said construction could start on the rail loop as soon as the Development Approval was processed by Toowoomba Regional Council.