Progress forging ahead on Mount Isa line recovery, with repairs now complete Oorindi to Tibarri


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The flood recovery of the Mount Isa rail line is continuing as planned, with track repairs now complete between Oorindi and Tibarri.

Queensland Rail's CEO Nick Easy said more than 400 employees and contractors were continuing to focus on the remaining damaged section from Tibarri to Richmond, including building a rail deviation around a flood impacted Pacific National train at Nelia.

"Our workers camps at Richmond and Julia Creek are now fully operational and our 400-strong workgroup is surging ahead from east and west, working toward each other in their recovery efforts," Mr Easy said.

"From the eastern end of the closure, crews continue to undertake track resurfacing and ballast works between Richmond and Nonda, the final step before this 70-kilometre section is also complete.

"Between Nonda and Nelia, formation repairs and track slews continue, and up to 18,000 tonnes of materials such as ballast and rail continue to be delivered in preparation for the track recovery works.

"From the western side of the closure, welding and plating track panels has now commenced between Tibarri and Gilliat, and major bridge works, formation and culvert reconstruction is complete across 6 individual sites between Gilliat and Julia Creek.

"Track is being reinstated back on the Julia Creek bridge and preparations are being made for ballast trains to come through this section to facilitate further repairs.

"As of 20 March, work to repair damage sustained to the Yorkshire Road level crossing in Julia Creek was completed.

"Further along between Quarrells and Nelia, we're planning around forecasted wet weather, with geotechnical engineers onsite today undertaking extensive tests of compacted layers of soil and arranging key works to be accelerated where possible to avoid being delayed by rain.

"Some of these key works include embankment reconstruction and culvert repairs."

With increased movements on the Mount Isa line by ballast and maintenance vehicles, Queensland Rail asks that local road users please stay alert and pay attention to signs and signals at level crossings at all times.

"We are continuing to work closely with our freight operators and their customers on options to restore services through this section and opportunities for freight to be loaded on and off trains at both Richmond and Hughenden.

Mr Easy said the recovery of the flood impacted Pacific National train at Nelia was also progressing well, along with the deviation around the train.

"Pacific National's progress at the derailment site has been very positive, with all 81 wagons on track to be removed from the site in the coming week.

"Work to build a 1.2 kilometre rail deviation around the Pacific National train is well underway, with formation works now complete.

"Over the coming weeks, more than 1700 sleepers and 4000 tonnes of ballast are expected to arrive on site to lay the track on the deviation, which will allow us to resume trains through this area in the event the recovery of the Pacific National train site takes longer than the remainder of the line."

For further details contact Queensland Rail Corporate Affairs on:

Phone: 07 3072 2180