Queensland Rail crews and contractors have worked around the clock to reopen the North Coast rail line, following heavy rainfall that caused severe track washouts between Glen Geddes and Kunwarara, north of Rockhampton.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said a taskforce of 50 people had worked as safely and quickly as possible to repair the line in less than a week, despite challenging weather conditions.
“I am extremely thankful for the hard work of all involved to get the line back up and running, re-establishing this important freight and passenger connection,” he said.
“The North Coast line is the spine of the state’s rail network – in addition to the Spirit of Queensland passenger service, it also carries a range of freight products including containerised and industrial freight, minerals, livestock and bulk commodities including sugar and grain.
“Queensland Rail led the recovery works with help from local contractors including Rhomberg Rail and Schwarz Excavations from Gracemere, Hopkins Brothers from Rockhampton and JWB Construction from Gladstone – all brought onboard to help fast-track the reopening.”
Over six days, crews had worked to repair the rail infrastructure, 18 washouts and scouring, which included track resurfacing works and significant ballast replacement.
“As part of the recovery, 2000 tonnes of ballast was laid and more than 150 metres of access roads were constructed to gain access to the sites, using several tonnes of flood rock materials sourced locally,” Bailey said.
“In preparation for any similar weather event in future, crews were also able to stockpile flood rock materials in the corridor for future use.
“Yesterday, the track was declared fit for service with the first train carrying containerised freight operating at 6:00pm.
“Spirit of Queensland services, which have been replaced by road coaches in the impacted section of the line during repairs, will resume normal operation.”