Water preventing Qld Rail from full inspection of flood damage on Flinders line

Sally Gall
By Sally Gall
Updated February 4 2020 - 7:28am, first published 6:20am
The Pacific National train after it had been set back from the damaged section of line at Prairie Creek. Picture - Jane McNamara.

Queensland Rail crews inspecting sections of the Townsville-Mount Isa line have so far identified that repairs at Prairie Creek and Emu Creek will be needed following line damage caused by flooding last month.

Queensland Rail's head of regional Jim Benstead said a more detailed assessment of the damage would have to wait until the water receded.

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With more rain predicted and two metres of water still flowing at Emu Creek, this means the line between Mount Isa and Townsville remains closed for the foreseeable future.

It was at the edge of the Prairie Creek rail bridge that the operator of a fully-loaded Pacific National train halted early on the morning of January 26, after identifying the track had been compromised by flood waters.

Train services have been able to resume on the Phosphate Hill branch line between Mount Isa and Phosphate Hill.

Mr Benstead said Queensland Rail would continue to keep stakeholders, freight partners, and the community updated as it knew more.

"This current weather event has acted differently to that of last year with the majority of rain falling in locations not historically identified to be an issue," he said.

An Aurizon spokeswoman said the company was working with its customers on alternative transport solutions while the rail infrastructure was unavailable.

Sally Gall

Sally Gall

Senior journalist - Queensland Country Life/North Queensland Register

Based at Blackall, CW Qld, where I've raised a family, run Merino sheep and beef cattle, and helped develop a region - its history, tourism, education and communications.

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