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The first freight trains successfully operated on the Mount Isa Line today (Monday 29 April), marking the reopening of the 1,000 kilometre route after 12-weeks of unprecedented flood repairs.
The first train departed Cloncurry at approximately 1.10am and will make its way into Townsville Port this evening.
A further two trains departed Stuart and Partington in the early hours of this morning, travelling to Cloncurry and Mount Isa respectively.
The trains carried a mix of products including containerised freight and minerals.
Queensland Rail's CEO Nick Easy said it was fantastic to see such an important supply chain back up and running, connecting industry and communities between Townsville and Mount Isa once again.
"It's been a long 12-weeks leading up to this day, with our dedicated 400-person strong taskforce working tirelessly to restore the line as quickly as possible, racking up more than 160,000 hours of work in the process," Mr Easy said.
"In addition to repair works to recover the line between Cloncurry and Hughenden, the line's closure enabled extensive maintenance and remediation across the entire corridor, reducing the duration of freight run times between Mount Isa and Townsville by 50 minutes.
"We're extremely thankful for the hard work of all involved in the line's recovery and remediation, enabling the line to reopen to rail traffic today with the first train carrying freight and zinc departing Cloncurry at approximately 1.10am, and due to arrive into the Port of Townsville this evening.
"This is a fantastic result for the North West region of our state, which is not only reconnected by rail from today, but will also benefit from the improved efficiencies along the line."
With the resumption of trains along the full length of the Mount Isa line from today, Mr Easy said Queensland Rail urged local motorists to remain vigilant at level crossings, and to always obey the safety signs and signals.
"With the line's closure over the last 12-weeks, local motorists may have become accustomed to reduced or no rail traffic at their local level crossings. However, with the full length of the line reopening today, we're asking all motorists to be aware of their surroundings around railways and at level crossings, and always obey the signs and signals in place for their safety."
The Inlander passenger service, which runs between Townsville and Mount Isa twice per week, is expected to resume from 11 May 2019.