A Statement from Queensland Rail's CEO Nick Easy:
Late this afternoon (Thursday, 7 February), aerial inspections of flooding impacts to the Mount Isa Line by Queensland Rail identified a stowed freight train at Nelia had been significantly impacted by rising flood waters.
The train had been stowed at the location since 31 January, as a precaution, due to heavy rainfall on the Mount Isa Line.
The train consists of one locomotive and 80 wagons which were storing a mixture of products including zinc, lead and copper anode.
The aerial inspection showed the wagons at varying angles, with some on their side. It is understood that some product has spilled into flood waters.
Due to flood waters continuing to rise and heavy rainfall, Queensland Rail crews are unable to physically access the site.
Upon identifying the impacted train, Queensland Rail immediately reported the issue to emergency services, Department of Environment and Science and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, and has stood up a local incident coordination team.
Queensland Rail will work closely with the different agencies to understand impacts and respond to the incident, and will continue to keep the local community updated.
While Queensland Rail understands all other locomotives are safe and accounted for, further aerial inspections will be undertaken as soon as is safe to do so to confirm this.
This is an unprecedented flooding event and Nelia is a high point in the area which has previously provided safe flood-free stowing for trains in flood events.
Dropbox link to aerial images of site and a nearby Queensland Rail weather station:
For further details contact Queensland Rail Media:
0459 226 970 or firstname.lastname@example.org