Aurizon is proactively working with the livestock industry to improve livestock freight capabilities to meet demand, and optimise the use scheduled services.
Aurizon’s key account manager for livestock, Sean Mowen, said they are encouraged by the interest from the beef industry and stakeholders regarding increased demand in cattle to be moved by rail.
“Aurizon has run 86 cattle train services from Winton, Longreach and Clermont in central western Queensland and 80 services from Cloncurry and Julia Creek in the north west,” Mr Mowen said.
“So far this year, Aurizon has run 12 cattle train services from Quilpie in South West Queensland.
“And yesterday it was great to see the turn out for the first livestock service from Quilpie into Oakey Beef in 23 years.
“We are working with producers to provide a flexible service during the drought conditions, where producers are able to book a minimum of one deck of 22 head of cattle on a service.
“This year we re-commenced services to Thomas Borthwicks, Mackay for the first time in ten years.”
So far, seven services have delived transporting cattle from north west Queensland.
Livestock manager for Thomas Borthwicks, Malcolm Kinman, said the cattle received were from the Julia Creek, Richmond and Julia Creek districts.
“The last time we received cattle by rail was 2008, so the rail head just had to be re-inspected with minor repairs carried out,” Mr Kinman said.
“It really was a break-through in consultation with Aurizon, and for producers wanting to use this service.
“It means those north western producers don’t have consign on road trains and decouple at Simla, at the top of the Eton Range.”