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ABOUT 400 Queensland Rail employees and contractors are undertaking the huge task of restoring the flood-damaged Mount Isa rail line as soon as possible in the searing heat of northwest Queensland.
Queensland Rail has partnered with the State Department of Public Works and Housing to establish workers’ camps at Richmond and Julia Creek.
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the workers were continuing to focus on the remaining damaged section from Tibarri to Richmond, including building a rail deviation around a flood-hit Pacific National train at Nelia.
While workers battle humid conditions and high temperatures, Queensland Rail is saying the entire line could reopen between late April and mid-May.
“Our workers camps at Richmond and Julia Creek are now fully operational and our 400-strong work group is surging ahead from east and west, working toward each other in their recovery efforts,” Mr Easy said.
From the eastern end, crews are undertaking track resurfacing and ballast works between Richmond and Nonda.
Diggers are restoring ballast to a section of the Mount Isa rail line after extensive damage caused by the recent floods.Between Nonda and Nelia, formation repairs and track slews continue, and up to 18,000 tonnes of material is being delivered for the track recovery works.
From the western side, welding and the plating of track panels is being undertaken. Major bridge works, formation and culvert reconstruction has been completed across six sites between Gilliat and Julia Creek.
“Track is being reinstated back on the Julia Creek bridge and preparations are being made for ballast trains to come through this section to facilitate further repairs,” Mr Easy said.
Mr Easy said the recovery of the flood-hit Pacific National train at Nelia was progressing well, along with the deviation around the train.
Work to build a 1.2km deviation around the Pacific National train is in progress.
Richmond Mayor John Wharton said the benefits of rebuilding efforts were flowing through to local communities.
This article first appeared on www.townsvillebulletin.com.au
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