AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Train network impacted by storms

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Rail services throughout many parts of Queensland have been disrupted this week as the result of the heavy rains and storms generated by the offshore Tropical Cyclone Oscar. </span> <p>Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said South East Queensland train passengers would experience disruptions over the next few days as a result of storm damage to the rail network.</p><p>“The damage was widespread with the major disruption in the Brisbane CBD where scaffolding from a building site in Fortitude Valley damaged the four tracks and overhead line between Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills stations.</p><p>“Repair crews and scaffolding contractors are working around the clock, but at this stage Queensland Rail isn’t expecting repairs to be finished before Wednesday morning, affecting all services tomorrow,” Mr Emerson said.&nbsp</p><p>“No services will be operating to Central, Fortitude Valley or Bowen Hills stations before Wednesday morning at this stage and even then it will be limited by only two of four tracks being open.”</p><p>Mr Emerson said up to 40,000 passengers usually used Central, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills stations during peak times.</p><p>“There are unlikely to be sufficient buses available in Brisbane to handle the load if all regular train commuters make the journey to the city at the same time tomorrow,” he said.</p><p>Services travelling to the city on the Cleveland, Beenleigh and Ipswich lines will terminate at Roma Street while services from the northern lines will terminate at Albion or Roma Street, via the Exhibition loop.</p><p>The Gold Coast line was also affected, with power line damage at Ormeau meaning no trains operated between Varsity Lakes and Beenleigh.</p><p>Sunshine Coast line services are being replaced by buses, but these are unable to access some of the stations and Gympie North is cut off.</p><p>By Wednesday morning Central, Fortitude Valley and Bowen Hills stations were open, following earlier closures, however, not all platforms were operational. Services were running on all City network lines at reduced frequency.</p><p>QR’s long distance services including the Rockhampton and Cairns Tilt Trains, The Sunlander, Spirit of the Outback and the Westlander were all cancelled until at least Friday 1 February. However, The Westlander service between Townsville and Mt Isa was able to continue operating.</p><p>There was some damage to rail lines in the Queensland coalfields. <em>The Australian </em>reported rail operator and track owner Aurizon as saying it had closed down the Blackwater and Moura lines that feed the Gladstone coal port and was unable to give any estimate of how long before these lines would be reopened.</p><p>&quotThe Blackwater and Moura systems remain closed,&quot an Aurizon spokeswoman said. &quotAurizon is working with all members of the supply chain on recovery efforts.&quot</p>