The first train left Townsville last night to travel the Mount Isa Line after a fortnight-long closure due to flood damage.
Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said crews certified the track fit for service at midday yesterday (February 10).
“Approximately 60 Queensland Rail employees were involved in recovering flood-damaged sections of the line as quickly as possible, including at Prairie and Little Emu Creek,” he said.
“At Prairie Creek, crews completed repairs on the western approach to the bridge, in addition to track and ballast replacement, and repairs to a bridge and associated earthworks at Little Emu Creek rail bridge due to the strong current of flood waters experienced in this area.
“We know how important this supply chain is for our freight customers and the local community, I’d like to thank our recovery teams for their efforts to ensure the line was restored as quickly as possible. “
It comes after severe damage to the line early last year cut the key freight route between the North-West Queensland Minerals Province and Port of Townsville for about three months.
Fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivit took a $100 million hit to its bottom lime due to the disruption to its Phosphate Hill business.
The line’s prolonged closure in 2019 sparked an increase of heavy vehicles using the Flinders Highway as companies pushed to keep mineral exports flowing, with the Department of Transport and Main Roads noting a peak of more than 180 heavy vehicles a day.