Apr 03, 2017

Key coal links may be cut five weeks

Key coal links may be cut five weeks Damage on the Goonyella system.

The Goonyella rail system connecting Bowen Basin mines to coal export facilities in the Mackay area is expected to be offline for about five weeks, Aurizon says.

The system – which runs to Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and BMA’s Hay Point complex – has been closed since Tuesday last week.

Access is limited, especially around the Black Mountain area west of Sarina, where initial assessments indicate significant landslips have occurred on the rail corridor.

In a statement today, Aurizon said it planned further geotechnical assessment of the site, however initial engineering assessment indicated recovery of the rail infrastructure would take about five weeks.

“Aurizon will examine alternative routing opportunities for impacted customers and above-rail operators as other systems become available in the coming weeks, from the western sections of the Goonyella system, north up the Newlands system to Abbot Point Coal Terminal, and south through the Blackwater system to the Port of Gladstone,” the statement said.

The Newlands system, connecting into Abbot Point coal terminal, was closed to rail traffic on Tuesday and is expected to re-open in the next two-three weeks.

The Blackwater system, connecting to the Port of Gladstone, was closed to rail traffic on Wednesday due to localised flooding and re-opened on Friday before going offline again due to further flooding in the Rockhampton region.

The Moura system was closed to rail traffic from 9am on Wednesday and is expected to re-open in two weeks.

Meanwhile the Bureau of Meteorology has downgraded the expected flood peak of Rockhampton’s Fitzroy River from 9.4m to 9m, below the 2011 peak (9.2m).

Visit the Capricorn Enterprise site here to view the flood history of the Fitzroy River – which has the second largest catchment in the country, taking in waters from the Mackenzie, Dawson, Nagoa, Comet and Connors Rivers.

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