An innovative “containerised” design to move cattle has been brought online progressively through the year.
Rather than dedicated cattle wagons, the newer design means that the crates can be used on any flatbed wagon that can carry shipping containers.
As well, the older timber wagons are being replaced with a corrosion-resistant steel alloy with galvanised and polyurethane coatings, which a Transport and Main Roads spokesman said would ensure a long operational life.
The Queensland government is putting 321 of the crates into service.
Paroo shire mayor, Lindsay Godfrey gave the design the thumbs up, saying it was an advantage to be able to adapt to a variety of different freight uses.
“There was some concern that you couldn’t see what was happening inside unless you were at the top looking in, but a lot of effort has been put into this,” he said.
The floor of the crates are covered in rubber non-slip self-cleaning matting designed specifically for cattle to improve their condition during transport.
They were introduced into service in central Queensland in March, in south west Queensland in May and to north west Queensland in June.
The spokesman said the staged rollout ensured a smooth transition and matched with industry demand.
Cattle trains run from March to November each year in line with industry demands, with peak trips during the cooler months.