Five different parties are working together in response to a Pacific National freight train which continues to be impacted by unprecedented flood waters in North West Queensland.
Queensland Rail said they were working with Pacific National, Glencore, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Environment and Science at the Nelia site, 50km east of Julia Creek.
The train, comprised of one locomotive and 80 wagons containing zinc concentrate, lead concentrate and copper anodes, was found inundated by flood waters by an aerial inspection of the line on Thursday February 7.
QR CEO Nick Easy said the train had been stowed at the site since 31 January, as a precaution, due to heavy rainfall on the line preventing its full journey from Mount Isa to Townsville.
“Nelia is a high point in the area and had previously provided safe stowing for trains in flood events,” Mr Easy said.
“The site remains significantly impacted by flood waters meaning it is not possible to access the site except via aerial inspections.”
Mr Easy said further aerial inspections of the site would better understand local conditions, and appropriate controls will be implemented to ensure safe access of the site once waters recede.
“Both Pacific National and Queensland Rail have also appointed independent environmental specialists to help guide preliminary assessments of the site and inform next steps,” he said.
“Once site access is available, the recovery of the Pacific National train will commence which will include a detailed inspection of the train and wagons, implementing any feasible containment measures, removal of product in wagons, righting the wagons and removing the train from site.
“This work will involve the use of machinery, including cranes, and cannot be undertaken until flood waters recede and ground conditions allow.”
Mr Easy said they would implement an environmental action plan to include sampling and remediation works where required.
The Mount Isa line remains closed between Cloncurry and Hughenden.
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