MARYBOROUGH'S Downer EDI rail will maintain 200 wagons on Queensland's trains after a multi-million contract was awarded by the State Government.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad toured the Maryborough facility yesterday and met with workers, some second- and third-generation Downer employees.
The new Queensland Rail contract will result in $1.6 million spent each year for five years, supporting 25 local jobs.
Ms Trad said the Maryborough venture would oversee inspections, repairs and ongoing maintenance for Queensland Rail's wagons that transport vital rail infrastructure items such as sleepers and ballasts.
"Today's announcement will generate local jobs in the Maryborough community and will be a great boost for the local economy," she said.
"Wagons transport key rail infrastructure and it's critical they are maintained to ensure the viability of our state's rail tracks."
Shadowing the Acting Premier, Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders welcomed the announcement and said it would make Maryborough a key rail centre for Queensland.
"The Maryborough Maintenance Centre is not only an important part of the local economy, but also generates $80 million a year for the Queensland economy," he said.
"This new contract recognises the incredible transformation Downer has undertaken to become a leading maintenance facility for our state."
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell joined the delegation touring Downer's depot.
He said the factory had been a key part of the Fraser Coast's history and the contract was a sign of confidence in the workers' experience.
"It's had hundreds and generations of really skilled work people," he said.
"I think it's a huge vote of confidence in the skill set of the workforce and the leadership of Downer."
Downer is working on maintaining passenger trains, overhauling bogies and installing sanding systems.
"Downer is upgrading the Bundaberg and Rockhampton Tilt Trains as part of a mid-life overhaul of two trains, including upgrades to key mechanical, electrical and control components, and internal refurbishments," Ms Trad said.
"These trains ... bring thousands of people to the regions each year, creating jobs and growing local economies."