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TasRail has completed its flood track maintenance and repair backlog, with trains returning to the Western Line and the bridge at Kimberley returning to service.
The last of the repairs at the worst hit area at Kimberley have been completed and the first train rolled across the bridge around 8.30am Thursday morning.
“This will facilitate a return to normal services and schedules right across the rail network,” TasRail CEO Damien White said.
Return of service: The first freight train to cross the Kimberley rail bridge rattled its way across the Mersey River just before 8.30am on Thursday. Picture: TasRail
Services were suspended on all North-West lines following the June 6 floods, which washed away ballast and tracks, damaged bridges and cause landslides across the region.
That damage included the break at Kimberley, a landslip on the Melba Line and a flood debris crush at Emu River rail bridge.
Repairs at Kimberly have seen a new abutment installed, the length of the span increased to allow more water flow under the bridge and river bank reinforcement.
Mr White attributed the relatively quick return of services to preventative maintenance.
“What has been achieved is remarkable,” he said.
“It’s also very clear that the damage to rail infrastructure that resulted from what is widely considered one of Tasmania’s worst flood events, was far less than would have been the case had the recent investment in upgrading rail infrastructure not occurred over the past six years.”
According to TasRail, the line between Burnie and Brighton is the busiest in the state, carrying 68 percent of freight along that corridor.
With the return of trains TasRail said that means 120 less daily tucks movements on the Bass and Midland highways.
Trains have been running between Boyer and Brighton for a while, but with the return of services all the way to Burnie, authorities are warning people to be on the lookout of locos in areas where they haven’t been for over two months.
Motorists are reminded to follow all level crossing signals and signage, and not to enter railway tracks without the approval of TasRail train control.
This article first appeared on www.theadvocate.com.au
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