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Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
Cattle are grazing again on Garomna Station a year after a train derailment and subsequent acid spill made the water on a station dam undrinkable.
The 26-carriage train carrying 800,000 litres of [color=#e0310e]sulphuric acid derailed about 20 kilometres east of Julia Creek[/color] on December 27 last year, spilling about 31,500 litres.
Some of the spillage flowed into the Garomna Station dam about 200 metres from the crash site, making the water too acidic for cattle to drink.
Garomna Station manager Nigel Simmons said after a year of working with Incitec Pivot, they had been able to make the dam water drinkable again.
"Our biggest concern was not knowing what long-term effects were going to be on our country and whether it would be detrimental to the dam," Mr Simmons said.
"Over time they reassured us they would be able to fix the problem, which they have done and the dam's useable now for cattle water."
Water too acidic to touchMr Simmons said after the initial clean-up, which took about two months, the company had been coming to the station quarterly to monitor the water and soil.
[/color][/b] The train derailment about 20 kilometres east of Julia Creek on December 27 last year. [color=#666666][size=1](Suppiled: QPS)[/size][/color][/color][/size]
"It took a fair while to clean it all up and since then, they've been monitoring it about four times a year," he said.
"We were hoping for a two-year period to [monitor it] every quarter to know that it's staying at a good level to be used by the cattle."
Mr Simmons said the water recorded a pH level of two, which is a long way below the neutral level of seven.
"Anything between six and eight is fine but a pH of two is very bad and they were saying don't even touch the water," he said.
Response provides boostSuch a significant event required an equally significant response from Queensland Rail, Aurizon, and Incitec Pivot.
Julia Creek Motel owner Rita McDonald said she was booked out for about six weeks across January and February, which are usually quiet months.
"Most of the businesses that people that are staying in accommodation are associated with have done well out of this," she said.
"Most of the time we were full. There were three companies involved and we had people from each one."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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