Queensland’s Western and South Western train lines have all been repaired and reopened after heavy rain caused severe flooding which damaged tracks, forcing parts of the rail network to close for weeks.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey thanked crews who worked quickly and safely to repair more than 4,000 metres of track.
“When wild weather lashed the state late last year, there was some significant damage to the train lines including partly damaged or washed away tracks,” Mr Bailey said.
“Thanks to the efforts of 75 workers, the Western, West Moreton and South Western lines have now reopened to passenger and freight services.
“More than 1140 tonnes of large rock and 2,500 tonnes of ballast has been laid under the track, to restore vital rail infrastructure and enable services to operate safely.
“The large rock was used to help improve the flood resilience of the line in the event of large weather events.”
Queensland Rail’s Acting Head of Regional Wayne Prosser said the floods caused trees to fall onto tracks, washouts and scouring which closed sections of track at multiple locations including Rosewood to Toowoomba, Jondaryan to Miles and Wyreema to Warwick.
Goondiwindi to Thallon and Dalby to Meandarra were the final sections to reopen in January as crews had to wait for water to recede to inspect and repair the damage.
“The Goondiwindi region experienced the heaviest downpour with the section to Carrington suffering significant washouts hundreds of metres long and up to one metre deep,” Mr Prosser said.
“The Meandarra branch closed mainly due to water overtopping bridges, including at Condamine where the river rose 1500mm above rail height and built-up debris caused alignment issues which have now been fixed.”
Queensland Rail teams coordinated heavy machinery such as excavators, tip trucks, loaders, track resurfacing consists and road trains to support ground staff and engaged the assistance of local earth moving companies.
Mr Bailey thanked staff, customers and freight operators for their patience while the recovery worked were undertaken.
“Services on the lines have now resumed on the Western systems, with crews continuing with clean up works in the rail corridors over the next few weeks.”
Mr Bailey said flooding in the Wide Bay region over the weekend had seen the North Coast line close temporarily.
“Due to the flooding experienced north of Gympie over the weekend, the North Coast line was temporarily closed between Tamaree and Maryborough West,” he said.
“About 300 metres of track was in need of repair following the extreme rainfall and crews worked swiftly to ensure services were back up and running as soon as possible.
“Thankfully, the North Coast line was reopened this morning and scheduled services will resume from this afternoon.”
Queensland Rail will continue to monitor the rail systems through 43 weather stations.