Aurizon flags 480 job cuts

Rail operator warns up to 480 employees could lose their jobs as part of Qld restructure.

Rail operator Aurizon (AZJ) has flagged up to 480 workers could lose their job cuts as part of a restructure of its heavy maintenance operations in Queensland.

The company says around 480 staff across its facilities at South Townsville and Redbank, southwest of Brisbane, will be affected by the overhaul.

However, it says some staff will be redeployed or offered retraining.

The first job cuts are expected to come from both facilities in June, with further staff reductions to be carried out progressively up to 2017.

Aurizon plans to end passenger-related maintenance contracts for Queensland Rail at both facilities, as the contracts expire, in an effort to reduce costs.

The company is looking to centralise heavy maintenance and component overhaul work at its Rockhampton facility, because of its proximity to Central Queensland coal mines.

Aurizon currently employs 450 staff at Redbank and 115 at Townsville.

It said staff will be given time to seek other job opportunities or training.

"Aurizon wants to provide as much time as possible for people to seek opportunities for relocation, retraining or to apply for other roles in the company in the event that its proposals are implemented," the company said in a statement.

"All apprentices, trainees and graduates employed at affected locations will have training periods honoured."