Queensland Rail - Electronic Weighing and Billing System

Queensland Rail

Electronic Weighing and Billing System

Australian based Queensland Rail transports around 90 million tones of coal every year between 30 coal mines and export ports on the central Queensland coast. In the past, the tracking of individual consignments has been difficult, resulting in lost information and delayed billing.

Since coal transport is a major revenue source for Queensland Rail, a project was undertaken to automatically measure train loading and transfer the information to regional offices and the corporate billing systems.

Why MacroView and VRT?

Queensland Rail decided to include MacroView with this project for a number of reasons:

  • MacroView is an established product designed specifically for real-time applications.
  • The required functionality was achieved entirely using its graphical development tools.
  • MacroView offered a standard graphical operator interface, instead of text screens.
  • MacroView's open systems architecture gave the most flexible communications options.
  • MacroView is fully supported from Vector's Brisbane office and can range from modem support to at-call on-site support.


The investment that Queensland Rail has made will result in a number of very significant benefits:

  • The billing information is expected to be in Brisbane within 20 minutes of the weighing, and will be at the mine before the train even reaches the port. This will reduce the length of the invoicing period from weeks to days result in estimated cost savings of $1M /annum.
  • No more lost train reports! The report is archived at two independent locations before being sent to the Mainframe in Brisbane.
  • There is a greater ability to monitor the remote weigh-bridge sites through the use of system status information. Automatic configuration download from the Central Management System has also been provided.
  • The reporting, trending and alarming information available in Rockhampton can be used to monitor operators and equipment.

System Features

The core of the system is located in the Rockhampton office. This central management MacroView system collects the wagon loading data and weight reports from outlying MacroView systems at 30 mine sites in the state of Queensland.

The Rockhampton system contains:

  • Two Pentium PCs running MacroView, one is used as a back-up and for engineering purposes.
  • All alarms and trend history from the remote sites.
  • Remote login and configuration ability for all sites.
  • An SNA connection between the Master MacroView and Queensland Rail's IBM corporate mainframe in Brisbane.

The MacroView system at each mine site consists of:

  • An industrial PC installed with MacroView.
  • MacroView interface to the 'moving train' weigh-bridge controllers.
  • An Allen-Bradley PLC and driver for digital I/O.
  • Modem connections between the site and Master.