BREAKING: For the first time in 23 years a train laden with cattle this morning will stop at Oakey Abattoir.
About 100 special guests including mayors from the Darling Downs and the south-west Queensland will greet the train.
When the train approaches, about 450 workers from the plant will put down their tools and march out to watch the historic event.
The chief executive officer of NH Foods - parent company of Oakey Beef Exports - Takea Kudo, is expected to make an announcement regarding the start date for a $60 million expansion at the abattoir.
That project will see staff numbers increase to 1500 within three years and capacity will jump to 600,000 head each year.
The company was not previously able to expand unless more cattle from western Queensland could be sourced.
Cattle producers had been excluded from using the rail service, but a $2.5 million upgrade to the rail sidings at Oakey, Mitchell and Morven - plus a change to services contracts - meant cattle could be delivered to the abattoir.
The historic train arriving today will bring 880 bullocks and cows from south-west and western Queensland to the abattoir.
Previously cattle could only be loaded at Quilpie.
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has estimated the upgrade could create more than 4300 jobs and deliver about $1.3 billion in economic activity within the region.
Oakey Beef Exports processes animals for both the domestic and booming Asian market.
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