Crews and contractors are focused on repairing a final 55km section of damaged track on the Mount Isa Line, Queensland Rail says.
It expects to reopen the line by the middle of next month.
Queensland Rail chief executive officer Nick Easy said most of the repairs, between Richmond and Nonda in the east and Quarrels and Tibarri in the west, had been completed in the past week, reopening those sections to maintenance and ballast trains.
Recovery efforts were now honing in on the line between Nonda and Quarrels, including the construction of a rail deviation at Nelia.
“Our crews have now recovered approximately 245 of the 300km of damaged track and are focused on the final closure zone, the 55km section between Nonda and Quarrels,” Mr Easy said.
“Only minor resurfacing work is required on neighbouring sections from Richmond and Nonda in the east and Quarrels and Tibarri in the west.
“Work is progressing steadily on the remaining 55km of damaged track, which will be the most challenging repair location, given it was the most flood affected.”
It includes the site at Nelia, where a stowed Pacific National train was inundated by floodwaters and overturned.
Two cranes lifted the 120-tonne locomotive (pictured above) during this week to be transported to Brisbane for repairs.
“The loco was successfully lifted and removed, in a safe operation involving 21 crew, two cranes and using special metal matting as a pad to support the cranes in the soft black soil,” a Pacific National spokesman said.
A deviation at the site will allow freight and passenger trains to resume through Nelia between late April and mid-May, allowing environmental remediation works to continue at the site.