Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Queensland Rail release statement regarding cyclone Kirrily

Queensland Rail’s Head of Regional Scott Cornish spoke about the companies number one priority being the safety of its customers and staff, and as Cyclone Kirrily nears the coastline, it has been required to close sections of its regional rail network.

Currently, the North Coast line from Rockhampton to Cairns and the Mount Isa and Central West lines are closed.

Due to the impacts of the cyclone, where possible and where it is safe to do so, Spirit of Queensland, Tilt Train and freight services are continuing to operate between Brisbane and Rockhampton only.

“We will continue to keep the community updated on any further restrictions put in place,” Cornish said.

“We know how important our rail network is to connecting communities, and ensuring people can receive the goods they need, so when we are required to shut sections of the network, our focus turns to recovering and reopening as safely and quickly as possible.

“As part of our normal operational planning, and to assist with recovery efforts, our crews have strategically placed ballast trains at secure locations across the network and ensured depots are stocked with all necessary rail supplies in Mackay, Proserpine and Townsville.

“We have been working closely with freight operators to ensure critical freight has already been moved, with remaining trains stowed at safe locations across the network,” he said.

Following record volumes of rainfall in the wake of ex-tropical cyclone Jasper, Queensland Rail crews were able to reopen the North Coast line in less than a week with 3,000 cubic metres of ballast, tonnes of road base and flood rock materials used for the repairs.

“We remain ready for recovery once cyclone Kirrily passes,” he said.

“We will continue to keep both our passengers and freight customers informed as the situation progresses, and we would like to thank them for their understanding.”

Customers booked on a Queensland Rail service in the affected areas are encouraged to visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or call Queensland Rail Travel on 1800 803 009.