Monday 21st Oct, 2019

Mt Isa line crews focused on final 55km

Photo: Queensland Rail

A 55-kilometre stretch of track remains damaged on the Mt Isa rail line, with crews expected to complete repair works between late-April and mid-May.

Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy on April 6 provided the latest update on the line, which was heavily impacted by rains and floodwaters earlier this year.

Easy said most of the repairs between Richmond and Nonda in the east, and Quarrels and Tibarri in the west had been completed in the past week, reopening these sections to maintenance and ballast trains.

He said recovery efforts were now honing in on the final 55 kilometre section of damaged track, between Nonda and Quarrels. Work will include the construction of a rail deviation at Nelia.

“Our crews have now recovered approximately 245 of the 300 kilometres of damaged track and are focused on the final closure zone,” he said. “Only minor resurfacing work is required on neighbouring sections from Richmond and Nonda in the east and Quarrels and Tibarri in the west.”

Easy noted the final section of track would be the most challenging to repair, given it was the most heavily damaged.

The deviation at Nelia will allow freight and passenger trains to travel around the site where a freight train was inundated in the floodwaters. Environmental remediation works will take place while the deviation is in use.

“Pacific National has now been able to remove all 81 wagons and are continuing works to remove their locomotive,” Easy reported. “Due to remaining wet and unstable ground conditions on site, purpose-built matts have supported two cranes throughout the removal of wagons and locos off the tracks.

“With just one sixth of works remaining, we are confident that we will be able to reopen the entirety of the Mount Isa line between late-April and mid-May 2019 as planned.”

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