Generic coal train.

AUSTRALIA: On May 27 QR ran the first of an estimated 17 000 trains it will operate from Felix Resources' new Moolarben coal mine to the Port of Newcastle during an 11½ year haulage contract worth A$870m.

QRNational Coal is spending A$190m on locomotives and wagons to support the contract, which covers the movement of up to 12 million tonnes of coal a year from the mine in the Upper Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Further long-term contracts with Hunter Valley Energy Coal coming into force in 2011-12 will give QRNational a 30% share of the Hunter Valley market.