Regional rail network reopened following track repairs
QUEENSLAND Rail has reopened the regional network for customers from Brisbane to Cairns following the completion of track repairs from Cyclone Ita.
Queensland Rail Regional Manager Supply Chain North Michael Mitchell said crews have worked tremendously to reopen the network after it was closed Townsville to Cairns, including the Kuranda Scenic Range on Friday 11 April and the line between Cairns and Mackay on Sunday 13 April.
"In total we had more than 100 staff, mainly track workers out at a number of locations between Cairns to Mackay to repair approximately 1,500 metres of track, replace around 700 sleepers and 2500 tonnes of ballast," Mr Mitchell said.
"The type of damage we experienced was track washouts from floodwaters ranging from ten to a few hundred metres and scouring.
"One of our worst hit areas along the network was between Bowen and Thoopara, south of Proserpine with 15 locations of washouts along approximately 78 kilometres of track.
"We activated our recovery plan in the early stages to safeguard our network including securing boom gates and checking level crossing protection and in the response stage had ballast wagons loaded to help rebuild sections of track and track machines to carry out resurfacing works.
"We are proud of the work our crews have done to reopen the network from Cairns to Kuranda on Wednesday 16 April, Cairns to Townsville early Saturday (19 April), allowing the return of freight services, and now from Townsville to Mackay yesterday.
"With the reopening of our regional network our long distance services the Spirit of Queensland and Sunlander have been able to resume travelling direct to Cairns, which is important for our customers especially during Easter and the school holidays."
While tracks have been declared safe and open for service all trains will travel at reduced speeds through areas that were affected as a precaution.
"Safety is our number one priority and we thank all our customers for their patience and understanding during this time while we worked to get the network back up and running."
Customers wanting long distance train information should visit www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au or phone Queensland Rail Travel on 1800 (TRAINS) 872 467.