ON TRACK: A Gemco staff member at the Perth maintenance facility which is similar to what the Gladstone facility will look like.
ON TRACK: A Gemco staff member at the Perth maintenance facility which is similar to what the Gladstone facility will look like. Contributed

Train maintenance business on track to open shop

A LACK of service in the rollingstock maintenance industry has inspired national business GemcoRail to open an operation in Gladstone.

The facility will be located at Barney Point and adjoined to the existing railway, in a similar manner to a racecourse pit stop.

Executive general manager of rail Geoff Thorn said GemcoRail was a leading independent provider of rolling stock maintenance.

Key customers for its Western Australian operation include mining companies BHP and Rio Tinto and Aurizon.

"This specific site will initially focus specifically on wheel maintenance,” Mr Thorn said.

"You can imagine one of the major components of rollingstock is the wheels that actually turn on the rail.

"That's one of the major components of ware and maintenance on rollingstock.”

Once the facility is fully operational services will include: scheduled maintenance of rollingstock, repairs, overhaul and modifications.

In-field servicing support will be implemented as demand requires.

The facility will employ more than 50 permanent positions and will have a number of apprentices and traineeships.

GemcoRail is owned by Engenco.

Engenco CEO Kevin Pallas said one of the drawcards for Gladstone was its skilled population.

"The area is probably underprovided in terms of maintenance activities,” Mr Pallas said.

"There's growth potential. Customers have been asking us if we would establish a facility and there was enough demand for us to decide to invest.”

Mr Pallas said the company covered most of the rail network in Australia but this was the first full-service site in Queensland.

"If your train needs servicing you want to be able to go on the track to take it to the service station,” he said.

"This site lends itself to being able to do that.”

Construction on Young St is underway.

The business is expected to begin operations by the end of this year and be fully operational by February.