Australia’s Queensland Government has announced that the Sunshine Coast rail line, the longest line on the Queensland Rail City network, is being equipped with new signalling technology to enhance track safety.

The $43m project will involve 60 workers for the installation of European Train Control System (ETCS) level one technology between Caboolture and Gympie North.

This will subsequently follow the major construction work on stage one of the jointly funded $550m Sunshine Coast Rail Duplication project, which will take place in the next 12 months.

The Queensland Rail project includes the installation of 43 new equipment cubicles over 120km of track and upgrading of 130 signal equipment cubicles.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said: “Lead contractor Rail Control Systems Australia has more than 30 people working on this project out of Cooroy and they’re employing electrical apprentices who receive on the job experience in railway signalling control systems. RCSA has also brought on local subcontractors based here on the Sunshine Coast at Landsborough and Pelican Waters. Across the whole project, more than 60 jobs are being supported, including in trades such as electrical, signalling, engineering and traffic control.”

He noted that the project is supporting local jobs and preparing the North Coast rail line up for improved services between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane ahead of Cross River Rail’s opening in 2025.

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Bailey added: “Installing ETCS technology on the line means we’ll be able to put the newer NGR class trains into services up to Gympie. Integrating ETCS and Automatic Train Protection (ATP) systems along the line is also an important step in preparing for track duplication between Beerburrum and Landsborough.”

After completing the installation along the line and onboard trains, the new infrastructure will offer engineering control to ensure that trains are halted before the red signal.

Under the Cross River Rail project, a new signalling system is also being deployed across segments of the inner-city network, using ETCS level two technology.

The installation will take place in numerous stages starting with the Shorncliffe line, where work has already started.