Freight Rail, Heavy Haul, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

South West line reopens for grain season

Grain is moving again along the South West rail line between Toobeah and Goondiwindi, with the line reopening to rail traffic following a grain train derailment on 23 May.

Queensland Rail Head of Regional Scott Cornish said he was pleased to see the line reopen for the remainder of the grain season.

“We are extremely thankful for the hard work of the Queensland Rail and Watco crews involved in safely getting the line back up and running in under three weeks, re-establishing this important freight connection,” Cornish said.

“Following the derailment, Watco crews first worked on clearing the grain spillage using vacuum trucks before craning out the derailed wagons and transporting them by road to Warwick.

“Once the track was cleared, Queensland Rail crews commenced major track repairs including ballast and sleeper replacements, track alignment and track resurfacing works.”

As part of the recovery, 233 metres of rail and 140 sleepers were replaced, and 406 tonnes of ballast was used.

“I’d like to thank neighbouring residents, freight partners and the community for their ongoing patience and assistance as crews worked to restore these services,” Cornish said.

He said that while thankfully no one was seriously injured at the time of the derailment, it served as an important reminder for motorists to remain alert at level crossings, and always look and listen for trains coming in both directions.

“Trains can’t stop quickly, and it can take up to two kilometres to stop a freight train.

“Please keep safety front of mind when travelling around the rail corridor.”