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A fortnight after flash flooding damaged sections of the track near Prairie, the Mount Isa-Townsville rail line has re-opened to traffic.
The damage occurred early on the morning of Australia Day and almost claimed a Pacific National train travelling east.
Thanks to a concerted effort by around 60 Queensland Rail employees, flood-damaged sections of the line at Prairie and Little Emu Creeks were recovered.
At Prairie Creek this involved repairs on the western approach to the bridge in addition to track and ballast replacement, while there were repairs to a bridge and associated earthworks at Little Emu Creek rail bridge, damaged by the strong current.
The track was certified as fit for service at midday on Monday and Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the first train west departed Townsville at approximately 6.30pm that day.
"We know how important this supply chain is for our freight customers and the local community," he said. "I'd like to thank our recovery teams for their efforts to ensure the line was restored as quickly as possible."
This article first appeared on www.northqueenslandregister.com.au
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