Trucking industry steps in after rail washout and derailment

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi


East-west and north-south lines cut after heavy rain as cyclone halts north Queensland services

Trucking industry steps in after rail washout and derailment
Rail services have taken a battering

 

Bad weather and derailments are affecting intermodal services in three states and territories.

Trucking companies are picking up freight that was left stranded on the east-west rail line due to heavy rainfall.

The Tarcoola-Perth line has been cut since last Thursday.

Both Linfox and Toll Group have increased their road services to help deliver freight.

Linfox spokesman Gary Max says it’s still unknown how many customers have been affected.

"We are doing as much as we can to provide road services to help people as quickly as possible," Max says.

"That’s the whole point of a multi-modal service so that we’re able to help out our customers by road."

Toll Group spokesman Christopher Whitefield says the company is talking to customers case by case.

"Some are taking the option of road, air and coastal," Whitefield says.

"We are talking to our customers about the best way around it."

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) spokesman Bas Bolyn is anticipating the line would reopen by Friday.

"It’s a pretty remote location and water levels were pretty high for the first couple of days so there’s still sections of roads closed," Bolyn says.

"At the moment we are working towards Friday but there are a few variables at play like the ability to remove the wagons as best as we can.

"How efficient we are depends on site access however we are working as hard as we can."

Meanwhile, Cyclone Ita has affected Toll’s north Queensland services, with the rail network closed as was its Cairns depot.

And a derailment at Pine Creek in the Northern Territory affected freight to Darwin on Friday.

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