Mount Isa system

​The Mount Isa line consists of over 1,000km of track which extends from Stuart (near Townsville) to Mount Isa and includes the Phosphate Hill branch. The line services a number of communities along the line for the conveyance of:

  • minerals concentrates
  • fertiliser
  • acid
  • fuel
  • refined metals​
  • cattle
  • general freight
  • passenger transport.

The line is the critical link from the North West minerals province to the Port of Townsville where the majority of bulk products are exported.

The system

The Mount Isa line is of particular national interest as it runs along some of the world’s largest deposits of copper, lead, zinc, silver and phosphate rock. The region surrounding the Mount Isa line produces 75% of Queensland’s non-coal mineral output. As a result of strong international demand for commodities, exploration in the North West Minerals Province has increased significantly in recent years.​

The Inlander long distance passenger service runs between Townsville and Mount Isa.


Mount Isa Rail Line Infrastructure Master Plan

Queensland Rail released the Mount Isa Line Rail Infrastructure Master Plan 2012. We have undertaken significant analysis to develop potential growth scenarios and to provide a broad vision of the rail infrastructure required to underpin the forecast growth. 

Queensland Rail will continue to deliver capacity enhancements for future projects provided that contracted tonnages are:

  1. Sufficient to justify the necessary capital investment on commercial terms
  2. Adequate notice is given from the time of contracting capacity to deliver the required enhancements.

Rail operators, mining companies and/or processors are encouraged to engage with Queensland Rail at the earliest possible opportunity.

Information pack

The Mount Isa system information pack contains a general overview of the system, including climate information, a description of the railway and track, as well as infrastructure and rollingstock operational constraints.


To apply for access on the Mount Isa system, please see the Access page.​