Mount Isa line recovery update


An update from Queensland Rail Head of Regional Jim Benstead:

Recovery works are underway on the Mount Isa line following the derailment of a third-party freight train between Nonda and Nelia (east of Cloncurry) last Thursday.

All wagons have been moved from the site, allowing repair works to get underway along a nine-kilometre stretch of track damaged by the derailment.

Crews are now focussed on replacing approximately 4,500 concrete sleepers and completely rebuilding a section of track, working as quickly as possible without compromising safety. 

This is a mammoth-task and the remote location requires complex planning and logistics with sourcing and deploying the required machinery, materials and resources.

We're bringing crews and equipment in from all around Queensland to assist, including special track machinery from Maryborough and Roma and sleepers from Malbon.

We've stood up a taskforce of more than 100 Queensland Rail staff and contractors to help with the recovery, and already onsite we have all concrete sleepers and more than 10 pieces of machinery including excavators, bobcats and loaders, required for the resleepering works.

Inlander customers travelling between Townsville and Mount Isa will continue to be conveyed by road coaches.

We are continuing to keep our freight operators and customers up to date as recovery efforts progress.

Investigations into the cause of the derailment are continuing by Queensland Rail and relevant authorities.

Further updates will be shared with community and stakeholders when available.

At this stage, the line is expected to remain closed this week, while recovery works are undertaken.



  • Approximately 4,500 concrete sleepers being replaced across 9 kilometres of track
  • 2.7 kilometres of track being fully replaced
  • Taskforce of more than 100, including Queensland Rail staff and contractors has been stood up
  • Mount Isa line staff have travelled from Townsville, Charters Towers, Hughendon, Richmond, Cloncurry and Mount Isa
  • Resleepering staff are travelling from Rockhampton, Maryborough, Barcaldine, Toowoomba and Brisbane

For further details contact Queensland Rail Corporate Affairs on:

Phone: 07 3072 2180