Aurizon is continuing to work with its customers on recovering areas of its Central Queensland Coal Network affected by flooding as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald.
Executive Vice President Aurizon Network Mike Carter said with floodwaters having now started to recede in the majority of areas, a proper assessment of the damage to the network could be made.
“While the extent of the damage is not as bad as 2011 and the majority of our network is unaffected, a number of parts of the network have been impacted,” Mr Carter said.
“Fortunately the Newlands and Goonyella systems are operating normally.
“However further south both the Moura and Blackwater Systems remain closed and have been since the 25th and 26th of January respectively.
“On the bigger Blackwater system the network west of Duaringa is open but to the east track has been damaged in a number of locations most significantly between Edungalba and Duaringa. Approximately two kilometres of track was submerged between these two locations.
“Repairs have commenced and at this stage we expect the Blackwater system to re-open by the end of the week.
“On the Moura system we have experienced track damage in a variety of locations with approximately three kilometres of full earthworks formation washout between Stirrat-Clarke and Earlsfield. Recovery will require the full replacement of all track and earthworks in these locations.
“Given the extent of the damage in these areas we are expecting to open the Moura system progressively west from Boundary Hill from February 18th with the last section impacting mines at Baralaba and Moura not to open until February 25th.”
Mr Carter said he was confident once the track repair was undertaken there would be an opportunity for above rail operators to recover lost railings.
“The majority of mines have not been as severely impacted as 2011 and have been able to continue operations and stockpile tonnes,” he said.
Mr Carter thanked Aurizon employees for their efforts in the flood recovery work.
“The majority of our employees live in regional and rural communities and a number have been affected by the floods,” he said.
“Despite this they are working very hard to get the networks up and running as soon as possible for our customers.”
Aurizon is Australia's largest rail freight company with services operating across five states. In 2011/12, Aurizon transported more than 250 million tonnes of freight, including coal, iron ore, other minerals, agricultural products and general freight. The company also operates and manages the 2,670 kilometre Central Queensland Coal Network that links mines to coal ports at Bowen, Mackay and Gladstone. Previously known as QR National, Aurizon has more than 147 years of rail freight industry experience.