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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Trains resume on Mount Isa line

    Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Trains resume on Mount Isa line

    Trains have now resumed on the Mount Isa line, after Queensland Rail crews worked around the clock to construct an 800 metre deviation around a derailment site near Julia Creek.

    Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said around 50 Queensland Rail staff had worked a total 4,500 hours over the past five days to build the temporary track, which involved laying more than 4,000 tonnes of rock, 2,000 tonnes of road base, 1,000 sleepers, 1.6 kilometres of rail and 2,800 tonnes of ballast.

    “We know communities in the North West rely on the Mount Isa line for passenger services and to transport freight, and so constructing this deviation and resuming trains as quickly and safely as possible has been one of our highest priorities,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Queensland Rail also appointed Golder Associates last week to undertake environmental monitoring and to deliver expert advice and ensure these works were undertaken safely and without further environmental impact at the site.”

    Regional General Manager North Queensland Michael Mitchell said the site originally proved challenging due to wet weather conditions, however as of last Thursday (7 January) crews were able to gain access to the rail corridor after building temporary access roads between the highway and the track using rock and road base.

    “Local suppliers have been extremely supportive throughout the deviation works, with materials being sourced locally wherever possible, including safety fencing and plant equipment, lighting, ballast from Julia Creek and Barabon and rocks and road base from a local quarry,” Mr Mitchell said.

    “The first freight train travelled over the rail deviation at approximately 6.20pm last night, and the first Inlander passenger service is expected to depart Townsville station as scheduled on Thursday, 14 January at 12.40pm.”

    Mr Mitchell said with the deviation now open, Queensland Rail would continue to work closely with freight companies to accommodate additional freight movements on the Mount Isa line where possible.

    “We recognise the importance of the Mount Isa line to the local economy, particularly in shipping freight to the Port of Townsville, and remain confident we can complete any additional freight movements before the end of the financial year,” Mr Mitchell said.

    With the deviation now complete, Aurizon and Incitec Pivot Ltd (IPL) will continue their work to safely recover the train and product.

    Queensland Rail will continue to coordinate the efforts of all parties to seek to ensure this recovery work happens safely and without further environmental impact.

    Queensland Rail is also continuing to work closely with Aurizon and IPL to keep the local community informed of the recovery process and environmental impacts through regular updates to local councils and nearby landholders.


    Media Contact:  0475 950 772 (Hinchliffe) | 07 3072 2180 (Queensland Rail)