AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Bootu product held up by Adelaide-Darwin line closure

<p>Flooding in the Northern Territory this week has stripped Freightlink of up to 9,000 tonnes of manganese ore haulage, but the Adelaide-Darwin rail operator is confident it will catch up quickly.</p> <p>Heavy rains since the weekend caused two sections of the rail line between Katherine and Darwin to shift in the ensuing floodwaters, forcing Freightlink to terminate its northbound services at Katherine.</p> <p>While container freight is being transported about 250 km by road from Katherine into Darwin, the movement of bulk freight has been suspended until the line re-opens.</p> <p>Freightlink chief executive John Fullerton told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> this morning (Wednesday, March 7) that the interim road bridging arrangements were working particularly well given the amount of rain that had fallen in the Darwin area.</p> <p>Freightlink’s large terminal at Katherine was coping well with the volumes and non-priority goods waiting at the terminal would be put on the next service from Adelaide, which is expected to arrive on Friday.</p> <p>Mr Fullerton expected the line would be re-opened and services returned to normal by Friday.</p> <p>&#8220There’s every chance it will be trafficable tomorrow but, just in case there are a few issues on site, we’re saying Friday at this stage,&#8221 Mr Fullerton said.</p> <p>The rain also disrupted production at the Bootu Creek mine, 900 km south of Darwin.</p> <p>But having its bulk services out of action had allowed Freightlink to speed up the process of repairing the track, Mr Fullerton said.</p> <p>&#8220We’re used some of the Bootu wagons to help with the ballasting, to run the crushed stone and help to fix the track,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>It was unclear when the Bootu Creek services would re-commence and how long it would take to catch up on the estimated 9,000 tonnes of lost volume.</p> <p>Freightlink operates four weekly services from Bootu to Darwin, each carrying about 3,000 tonnes of manganese ore.</p> <p>Mr Fullerton said that three services had been cancelled because of the flooding.</p> <br />