State buys Rockhampton railyards to create rail supply chain manufacturing jobs in Central Qld

The Queensland Government has completed the purchase of the Rockhampton railyards from Aurizon in a major step towards creating more rail supply chain manufacturing jobs in Central Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said planning had begun to determine the best use of the railyards for the Rockhampton community, industry and Queensland Rail.

Although the Rockhampton railyards are an icon, they have been relatively unused for years. With a plan to create more rail supply chain manufacturing jobs here in Rockhampton to support train manufacturing in Maryborough the State government has said the final uses of the site would be determined after consultation with industry.

Possible uses of the site include as a centre of research into hydrogen-powered rail locos and as a major rail supply chain hub. Research into hydrogen-powered trains allows for exciting possibilities with hydrogen’s use as a potential fuel offering a cleaner, greener power source.

Tourism and Main Roads is working with partners in the tertiary sector to potentially locate a hydrogen research initiative at the railyards.

The precinct will also be a major rail supply chain hub for Australia, with an Expression of Interest to launch in the coming weeks, inviting businesses with a unique opportunity to establish themselves at the railyards.

The State government has advised that any revitalisation work done in the precinct will be done with full respect to the history of this area – including the Heritage Listed sections.

The $7.1 billion investment in Queensland rail manufacturing and Queensland jobs, aims to create jobs across Queensland and in Rockhampton with the Rockhampton Railyards having an important role in the delivery of building trains in Maryborough.

“It’s going to create hundreds of jobs all over Queensland – but particularly here in Rocky.”

Assistant Train Manufacturing Minister Bruce Saunders praised the announcement.

Information on the Rockhampton Railyard Expression of Interest will be released to the public in the coming weeks.

To register to receive updates, please call 1800 271 176 or email

History of the Railyards

The original workshops were established in the late 1870s with one of the first buildings built in 1877, being the partial roundhouse with seven stalls.

The site was further expanded in 1912 with the Rockhampton Roundhouse, the only full large circle roundhouse in Queensland, and one of two remaining in Australia.

The site’s main purpose has always been as an operational railway workshop maintaining and repairing railway rolling stock.

The Rockhampton rail workshop site was part of the $15 billion worth of assets sales by the Queensland Government in 2010. Aurizon purchased the Rockhampton rail yard after it was floated by the government but sold it in 2017, cutting 180 local jobs.

The Aurizon site has been closed since June 2018 when work ceased at the site.

In October 2020, the State government announced it had entered negotiations to buy the old Aurizon workshops so the city could become part of the supply chain for rail manufacturing.

In February 2021, Rockhampton Regional Council approved variations to the planning scheme for the 31ha site allowing for a “mix of uses which will make a valuable addition to the employment and community fabric of the region”.

Split into three (3) precincts, the site includes:

Precinct 1 – Roundhouse which is the oldest part of the railyards containing the majority of the heritage buildings on the site, including the roundhouse building.

Precinct 2 – Railyards which includes existing structures, buildings and parking layout.

Precinct 3 – Industry services which includes a range of supporting uses to complement the railyards precinct.

15/10/2020 ABC news –

1/3/2021 Courier Mail (subscribers) –

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