Aurizon to cancel project and cut rail fleet

Aurizon to cancel project and cut rail fleetAurizon freight and coal haulage operator will take a punch of almost $200 million as it reduces the size of its rail fleet and cancels a major Queensland project.

The company which was earlier known as QR National is reducing its locomotive fleet by 28 per cent and cutting down the number of wagons by 12 per cent in an effort to bring down fuel and maintenance costs.

In July, Aurizon launched a second voluntary redundancy program in a bid to save $230 million by 2015.

Aurizon's slimming down will appear as an asset impairment expense of $130 million to $150 million in its accounts for the first half of the 2013/14 financial year.

The company will also acquire $47 million impairment on current changes to several projects, including Glencore Xstrata's decision to stop the Wandoan project because of weakening thermal coal prices.

Aurizon had proposed a 210 kilometre Surat Basin rail corridor from the Wandoan mine in a joint venture with the Swiss multinational.

However Lance Hockridge, the company's chief executive told reporters on Monday, "There are not any job losses that are related to that."

More than 2,000 employees have left the company since it was privatised by the former Queensland Labor government in 2010. Aurizon shares dropped two cents to $4.68.

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