Freight trains have resumed operation on the full Mount Isa line for the first time in three months since the line was engulfed in the major February flood event.
The first train departed Cloncurry carrying freight and zinc at 1.10am on Monday and made its way into Townsville Port that evening.
A further two trains departed Townsville in the early hours of this morning, travelling to Cloncurry and Mount Isa respectively, carrying a mix of products including containerised freight and minerals.
Queensland Rail's CEO Nick Easy said it was fantastic to see such an important supply chain back up and running, connecting industry and communities between Townsville and Mount Isa once again.
"It's been a long 12-weeks leading up to this day, with our dedicated 400-person strong taskforce working tirelessly to restore the line as quickly as possible, racking up more than 160,000 hours of work in the process," Mr Easy said.
"In addition to repair works to recover the line between Cloncurry and Hughenden, the line's closure enabled extensive maintenance and remediation across the entire corridor, reducing the duration of freight run times between Mount Isa and Townsville by 50 minutes."
Mr Easy said they were thankful for the hard work involved in the line's recovery and remediation
"This is a fantastic result for the North West region of our state, which is not only reconnected by rail from today, but will also benefit from the improved efficiencies along the line," he said.
With the resumption of trains along the full length of the line Queensland Rail is urging local motorists to remain vigilant at level crossings, and to always obey the safety signs and signals.
The Inlander passenger service, which runs between Townsville and Mount Isa twice a week, is expected to resume from May 11.