Freight transport resumes after Queensland derailment


Queensland Rail works to accommodate freight movements along the temporary track

Freight transport resumes after Queensland derailment
Additional freight movements expected to be completed before EOFY

 

Freight movement on the Mount Isa line in northern Queensland has resumed after rail crew built an 800-metre deviation around a derailment site near Julia Creek.

A 26-carriage train carrying more than 800,000 litres of sulphuric acid fell off the tracks on December 27 shutting down freight and passenger services and raising environmental concerns for the region.

It took around 50 Queensland Rail (QR) crew workers five days to construct the temporary deviation track, which was opened to freight trains on Tuesday.

Transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the communities in the north-west rely on the Mount Isa line for passenger and freight services therefore "constructing this deviation and resuming trains as quickly and safely as possible has been one of our highest priorities".

QR is now working with freight companies to accommodate additional freight movements where possible.

QR regional general manager Michael Mitchell says the site originally proved challenging due to wet weather conditions but the crew was able to gain access to the rail corridor after building temporary access roads between the highway and the track using rock and road base.

"We recognise the importance of the Mount Isa line to the local economy, particularly in shipping freight to the Port of Townsville, and remain confident we can complete any additional freight movements before the end of the financial year," Mitchell says.

Mitchell praised the local suppliers saying they were "extremely supportive" in helping QR source local material where possible "including safety fencing and plant equipment, lighting, ballast from Julia Creek and Barabon and rocks and road base from a local quarry".

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