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Freight and long distance passenger rail items of interest

Started by ozbob, October 17, 2009, 19:33:24 PM

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ozbob

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ozbob

Couriermail --> Spirit of the Outback train the first in QLD to return to full capacity

Quote... Queensland Rail's long-distance trains will progressively return to regular seated capacity from Saturday, April 17, following approval from Queensland Health.

Queensland Rail's Head of Regional, Jim Benstead, said the move would eventually see more than 4500 extra seats available each week, supporting regional communities and tourism providers who had been doing it tough during COVID-19.

"At Queensland Rail, we have always prioritised the safety of our customers, staff and the communities in which we operate," Mr Benstead said.

"Since December 2020, we've been running our long-distance services at 50 per cent seated capacity.

"While face masks will continue to be strongly encouraged on-board any Queensland Rail train, we have received approval from the chief health officer that long distance services can progressively return to 100 per cent seated capacity from this month."

To kick things off, from April 17, the sleeper carriages on the Spirit of the Outback will be the first to operate at 100 per cent capacity, just in time for Queenslanders to head west and attend Barcaldine's annual Tree of Knowledge festival from April 30.

All remaining long distance travel services including the Spirit of Queensland, Tilt Trains, Westlander and Inlander will follow suit until June 1, when all travel services are expected to be back at full capacity. ...
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achiruel

Ridiculous that face masks are enforced on planes, but not on long-distance trains where travellers are typically spending much more time in proximity to one another.

ozbob

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https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/93139

Meat the new cattle rail service provider
07 September, 2021

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Watco East West has been selected to operate cattle rail transport services in South West and Central West Queensland from 2022 to 2028 following a competitive procurement process.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said that the contract with the Department of Transport and Main Roads would support cattle transport by rail from central-west and south-west parts of the state.

"Supporting cattle producers and Queensland's beef industry is an integral part of our COVID-19 economic recovery plan," Mr Bailey said.

"Transporting cattle on rail reduces wear and tear on our roads and reduces traffic congestion, so a key aim of this contract is to increase the amount of cattle transported by rail services," Mr Bailey said.

"Queensland has the largest and some of the best beef herds in Australia, and the beef industry is a significant contributor to the state's economy.

"It's why the Palaszczuk Government invested $5 million to repair the disused Yeppoon branch line, so cattle trains could travel directly into Rockhampton's JBS Abattoir.

"More than 10,000 Queenslanders work in the beef industry, and cattle transport is a critical part of its successful operation in a state as large as ours.

"By supporting businesses like Watco to help manage the freight task, we're sharing the load between road and rail."

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said the new contract would help to ensure efficient logistical arrangements to support the cattle supply chain.

"Agriculture is an essential industry in Queensland and a vital part of Queensland's COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan," Mr Furner said.

"Partnerships like this one are a key strategic strength of the agricultural industry in Queensland, supporting thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in exports."

Watco East West Director Chris Hood said "We're excited to be part of reinvigorating the transport of cattle on rail in the South West and Central West regions through delivering regular, reliable and responsive rail freight services.

"Focussing on our Customer First Foundation Principles, we look forward to working with the industry supply chain and meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved and actively growing the number of cattle trains in the region" Mr Potts said.

The Palaszczuk Government supports the delivery of cattle rail services through Transport Service Contracts. Rail services transport herds of cattle from regional hubs across the State to processing facilities on Queensland's eastern coast. Procurement for cattle rail services in North West Queensland is ongoing.

ENDS
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ozbob

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ozbob

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Media Release

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

1st October 2021

Making more progress for Qld rail jobs

The Palaszczuk Government is supporting more local rail jobs, with the awarding of a new maintenance contract for Queensland Rail's Spirit of the Outback and Westlander tourist trains.

Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said Redbank based Progress Rail had won the multi-million-dollar contract which will see five locomotives overhauled, supporting 48 jobs.

"These locomotives are what you see hauling services like the Spirit of the Outback to Longreach and the Westlander to Charleville," Mr McCallum said.

"They have a historic connection to Queensland's rail history, and we want to preserve that while bringing them up to a more modern standard.

"This upgrade will improve engine reliability and performance, and reduce fuel use by up to 20 percent, plus it will decrease exhaust emissions and oil consumption.

"It means a more reliable journey for passengers, and better outcomes for the environment.

"Better yet this will support 48 local jobs in Ipswich, forming part of the Palaszczuk Government's plan for Queensland's economic recovery."

"Among the 48 workers are four apprentices who have recently transitioned to qualified tradespeople, further bolstering the future of the industry."

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the contract was part of a broader Palaszczuk Government strategy to create local train manufacturing and maintenance jobs.

"Creating skilled manufacturing and maintenance jobs was a key commitment we took to the last election, and awarding this contract helps us deliver that commitment," Mr Bailey said.

"It also builds on the 283 jobs saved by the Palaszczuk Government in 2017.

"All up we've created a $1 billion guaranteed pipeline of train building work in Queensland.

"This $1 billion pipeline is critical to Queensland's Economic Recovery Plan and will ensure there are efficient and reliable services for our growing train network for Cross River Rail, the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and beyond."

Progress Rail Australia Senior Vice President Patrick O'Donnell said he was grateful for the contract, which provides more support for the Redbank rail workshops.

"The locomotive overhaul project provides further stability for our workforce and retains the high-level skill base developed over the introduction of a new class of locomotive," Mr O'Donnell said.

"Great efficiencies are realised when we upgrade an aging fleet with the latest technologies, which is akin to building new locomotives in Queensland.

"Further strengthening our relationship with Queensland Rail, we are proud to be part of this exciting project."

Work on the overhaul is underway now, with each locomotive requiring approximately 12 months at the Redbank facility before work is completed.

All five locomotives will be brought into service successively between mid-2022 and late-2023.

ENDS
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ozbob

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ozbob

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ozbob

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ozbob

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ozbob

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Queensland Parliament

Question on Notice
No. 1216

Asked on 13 October 2021

MR J LISTER ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

Will the Minister provide the annual patronage and government subsidy per passenger trip for
direct operating costs for each of the following Queensland Rail services (reported separately for
each of the past three financial years (actuals) and the next three financial years (forecasts))
(a) Spirit of Queensland, (b) Spirit of the Outback, (c) Tilt Train, (d) Westlander and (e) Inlander?

ANSWER > https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2021/1216-2021.pdf
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ozbob

Rail Express --> North Coast rail line reopens

QuoteQueensland Rail crews and contractors have worked around the clock to reopen the North Coast rail line, following heavy rainfall that caused severe track washouts between Glen Geddes and Kunwarara, north of Rockhampton.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said a taskforce of 50 people had worked as safely and quickly as possible to repair the line in less than a week, despite challenging weather conditions.

"I am extremely thankful for the hard work of all involved to get the line back up and running, re-establishing this important freight and passenger connection," he said.

"The North Coast line is the spine of the state's rail network – in addition to the Spirit of Queensland passenger service, it also carries a range of freight products including containerised and industrial freight, minerals, livestock and bulk commodities including sugar and grain. ...
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Queensland Parliament Hansard

https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/events/han/2021/2021_11_17_DAILY.pdf

Ministerial Statements

Rail Infrastructure

Hon. MC BAILEY (Miller—ALP) (Minister for Transport and Main Roads) (10.03 am): More than
70 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In the weeks
ahead, we need vaccination rates to climb even further. Getting vaccinated is the best way to drive
Queensland's economic recovery, and the best way to reunite families for Christmas. As other states
and much of the world have gone in and out of long lockdowns, we have been able to live relatively
normal lives in Queensland thanks to our strong leadership. However, there is no denying that our
tough, necessary and effective health measures to keep Queenslanders safe have presented
challenges for some of our regions.

While parts of the state have recorded a spike in domestic tourism visitors, other areas which
rely on international tourists have done it tough. As our state border reopens and Queenslanders get
away for summer, the Palaszczuk Labor government is doing everything we can to support our regions
through our rail network, including by quickly repairing the North Coast line after it was damaged
recently by torrential rain and flooding, washing out in 18 places along an 11-kilometre stretch.

Queensland Rail led the recovery works with help from local contractors including Rhomberg Rail and
Schwarz excavations from Gracemere, Hopkins Brothers from Rockhampton and JWB Constructions
from Gladstone. Fifty staff and contractors worked day and night to reopen the line in less than a week,
and I thank them for their excellent work.

The North Coast line is now open and we want tourists to head west for less and make the most
of the far north. Right now we have two-for-one tickets on the Inlander, the Westlander and the Spirit
of the Outback tourist trains going to Longreach, Charleville, Mount Isa and everywhere in between,
and people can take a mate for free. The Palaszczuk Labor government also waived the licence fee for
Sky Rail in the far north, which is now offering a 50 per cent local discount. We have applied the same
locals discount to Kuranda Scenic Railway and are giving free travel to our frontline workers.

We even had a colouring-in competition for Kuranda Scenic Railway's 130th birthday.
Mr Speaker, I understand that you yourself crowned the winner, 11-year-old Cooper from Gordonvale
State School.

Mr SPEAKER: He coloured within the lines.

Mr BAILEY: Cooper is now taking his class for a very special excursion on the Kuranda Scenic
Railway. As people hit the road and our railways to regional Queensland for the festive season, they
need to get vaccinated. Vaccination protects everyone around us, not just the individual. Remember
before a jaunt, before a cab, get the jab. Travel to the max but listen to the facts and get the vax.
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https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/93872

New road and rail intermodal terminal backs Darling Downs jobs
23rd November 2021

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

A new road and rail intermodal terminal at InterLinkSQ in Charlton, outside Toowoomba, will vastly improve its productivity and create jobs in the Darling Downs region.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the project, supported by the Palaszczuk Government through $12.6 million in loan funding from the Queensland Jobs Fund will support 36 construction jobs.

"Investing in productivity building infrastructure is a key part of the plan for economic recovery from COVID-19," Mr Miles said.

"This $16.1million terminal will provide better facilities for firms to transfer freight between trucks and trains using highly efficient multi-modal connectivity.

"The first phase of developing the terminal will lead to lower transport costs and flow-on economic benefits to the transport and logistics sectors throughout the region and beyond.

"InterlinkSQ will engage global shipping firm Seaway Intermodal to lease and operate the Terminal.

"Local producers and exporters will be able to reduce transport-related costs, consolidate goods and then transport them in bulk by road or rail."

The proponent Interlink Global Logistics Pty Ltd will contribute the remaining $3.5 million for the $16.1 million project.

Mr Miles said the scope of works to be undertaken includes new rail infrastructure, 1.7ha of hardstand for loading and unloading operations and container storage, entrance roads connecting to council's road network, earthworks, electrical infrastructure, and office blocks.

"Continued development of the 63-hectare terminal over the next 15 years will provide space for cold storage, warehousing, food and manufacturing facilities, container hardstand areas, including development of 39 hectares for multi-purpose industrial use.

"When the project is completed, it is expected to support the development of a further 400 hectares of industrial zoned land beyond the InterlinkSQ development.

"This land is strategically and conveniently located between the InterLinkSQ Intermodal Terminal Project site and the Warrego Highway/Toowoomba Second Range Crossing and will become a key distribution hub," he said.

Interlink Global Logistics Pty Ltd Chairman John Dornbusch said the loan co-investment of the State Government ensures that the strategically located InterLinkSQ intermodal terminal at Charlton will be constructed to benefit producers and logistics operators and create a legacy of jobs well into the future.

"The terminal will provide seamless connectivity to the Port of Brisbane via the existing Queensland Rail owned West Moreton Rail Line and will have in excess of three kilometres of frontage to the proposed Inland Rail alignment," he said.

"Manager of the terminal, Seaway, are excited to offer new efficiencies in domestic and global logistics for our region and our State.

"The Building Acceleration Fund is a visionary initiative by the Queensland Government, and we look forward to working with them on this exciting development."

The proponent expects to commence construction as early as the first quarter of 2022 with construction completion in the last quarter of 2022.

Read more on how the Building Acceleration Fund (BAF) is accelerating economic recovery through investing in infrastructure.

ENDS
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ozbob

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ozbob

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Queensland Parliament

https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2021/1631-2021.pdf

Question on Notice

No. 1631

Asked on 2 December 2021

MR M BOOTHMAN ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

Will the Minister provide Queensland Rail's share of the freight market for the 2016–17 and
2019–20 financial years?

ANSWER:

I thank the Member for Theodore for the question.
Queensland Rail does not operate freight services.
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ozbob

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HappyTrainGuy

Yes about 500m of washouts and various other damage north of Gympie.

ozbob

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https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/94243

Western rail lines restored after floodwaters damaged tracks
11th January 2022

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Queensland's Western and South Western train lines have all been repaired and reopened after heavy rain caused severe flooding which damaged tracks, forcing parts of the rail network to close for weeks.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey thanked crews who worked quickly and safely to repair more than 4,000 metres of track.

"When wild weather lashed the state late last year, there was some significant damage to the train lines including partly damaged or washed away tracks," Mr Bailey said.

"Thanks to the efforts of 75 workers, the Western, West Moreton and South Western lines have now reopened to passenger and freight services.

"More than 1140 tonnes of large rock and 2,500 tonnes of ballast has been laid under the track, to restore vital rail infrastructure and enable services to operate safely.

"The large rock was used to help improve the flood resilience of the line in the event of large weather events."

Queensland Rail's Acting Head of Regional Wayne Prosser said the floods caused trees to fall onto tracks, washouts and scouring which closed sections of track at multiple locations including Rosewood to Toowoomba, Jondaryan to Miles and Wyreema to Warwick.

Goondiwindi to Thallon and Dalby to Meandarra were the final sections to reopen in January as crews had to wait for water to recede to inspect and repair the damage.

"The Goondiwindi region experienced the heaviest downpour with the section to Carrington suffering significant washouts hundreds of metres long and up to one metre deep," Mr Prosser said.

"The Meandarra branch closed mainly due to water overtopping bridges, including at Condamine where the river rose 1500mm above rail height and built-up debris caused alignment issues which have now been fixed."

Queensland Rail teams coordinated heavy machinery such as excavators, tip trucks, loaders, track resurfacing consists and road trains to support ground staff and engaged the assistance of local earth moving companies.

Mr Bailey thanked staff, customers and freight operators for their patience while the recovery worked were undertaken.

"Services on the lines have now resumed on the Western systems, with crews continuing with clean up works in the rail corridors over the next few weeks."

Mr Bailey said flooding in the Wide Bay region over the weekend had seen the North Coast line close temporarily.

"Due to the flooding experienced north of Gympie over the weekend, the North Coast line was temporarily closed between Tamaree and Maryborough West," he said.

"About 300 metres of track was in need of repair following the extreme rainfall and crews worked swiftly to ensure services were back up and running as soon as possible.

"Thankfully, the North Coast line was reopened this morning and scheduled services will resume from this afternoon."

Queensland Rail will continue to monitor the rail systems through 43 weather stations.

ENDS

Video of damage (December) > https://vimeo.com/653979606/11a6bc5b02



Recovery video > https://vimeo.com/662849719/954bc31f5e


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https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/94258

Queensland Rail temporary regional service changes amid COVID-19 impacts
15th January 2022

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland Rail has continued to deliver regional rail services, connecting communities across Queensland, with minimal disruption.

Having closely monitored the impacts of the latest COVID-19 transmission on its employees and following the completion of contingency planning, Queensland Rail will introduce some temporary changes from Monday 17 January to its regional services, to increase certainty for customers.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said to manage an increasing number of employees in isolation while minimising the impact to customers, some regional services will be temporarily reduced.

"Like the rest of Queensland, Queensland Rail is experiencing a rising number of employees who need to isolate for their health, and for the safety of others," Mr Bailey said.

"To manage this and ensure stability and clarity for customers, from Monday 17 January, Queensland Rail will temporarily suspend operation of the Inlander service between Townsville and Mount Isa, and the Westlander service between Brisbane and Charleville.

"From the week commencing 24 January, the Spirit of the Outback service between Brisbane and Longreach will also temporarily reduce to one service per week."

"Queensland Rail is contacting all customers that were booked on the impacted services to offer a refund, rebooking or alternate transport arrangements.

"Queensland Rail appreciates customers' understanding during the temporary change, which aims to give service stability during a rapidly changing situation, providing customers the information they need to plan their travel."

Mr Bailey confirmed there would be no impacts to the regional freight network and at this stage no changes on the Brisbane to Cairns corridor.

"Queensland Rail will continue to review the impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce and its operations and keep customers informed of any developments.

"Queensland has also adjusted isolation rules for essential workers which includes transport staff, easing pressure on the Queensland Rail workforce."

For more information, customers can visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or call 1800 TRAINS (872 467).

ENDS
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Stillwater

All of the above is necessary and sensible. Passengers/customers will adjust their travel patterns accordingly. When they do, QR should not use the reduced patronage as an excuse to make the temporary changes permanent. Hopefully, QR is preparing a marketing campaign for the day when current service levels and frequency are restored -- in order to build up numbers. Many people in towns along these routes depend on their regional rail service. It is good that the Brisbane-Cairns corridor is unaffected at this stage.

HappyTrainGuy


SurfRail

Seriously, who "depends" on the Westlander or the Inlander?  They are anachronisms costing enormous money for very little advantage.  The funding is better spent in the south-east or on the coast where rail is contestable with road.

Most of the stops on these 2 services are better served by bus or air.  At least catching a bus you get a comfort stop and real food.
Ride the G:


ozbob

https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/94270

Rail contract to deliver jobs in the North West
18th January 2022

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Watco East West has been selected to operate cattle rail transport services in North West Queensland from 2022 following a competitive procurement process.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the contract with Watco East West would support local jobs and employment.

"This contract will employ train drivers, maintenance and operational staff based in local communities in regional Queensland, supporting our COVID-19 economic recovery plan," Mr Bailey said.

"Cattle rail services will support increased economic and employment opportunities in the North West region.

"As the only state in Australia that operates cattle trains, the Palaszczuk Government continues to play a key role in supporting our agricultural sector and managing freight transport demands.

"The new contract with Watco East West is another way our government is investing in jobs in our regions, while also making our roads safer and less congested."

Watco East West Director Chris Hood said the contract would bring exciting new opportunities to the North West region, with local recruitment underway.

"We've identified we will need 10 qualified drivers in 2022, and an additional 12 needed from 2023, in addition to maintenance and support staff," Mr Hood said.

"New depots and infrastructure to support loading and unloading on the rail corridor are also being investigated, including a loading and spelling facility near Townsville.

"We look forward to working with the beef industry to grow the number of cattle being transported by rail."

Services in the North West will ramp up in 2022 as cattle herds rebuild and in line with Watco local recruitment.

The Palaszczuk Government supports the delivery of cattle rail services through Transport Service Contracts, managed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Rail services transport herds of cattle from regional hubs across the state to processing facilities on Queensland's eastern coast.

Watco East West has also been selected to operate cattle rail services in the Central West and South West regions.

ENDS
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HappyTrainGuy

#111
Bus services have been cut too remember. IIRC Townsville-Mt Isa for a while only has 3 bus trips per week with the Inlander chucking in another 2 services linking towns along the route. There are services linking Cloncurry to Mt Isa but these are the same buses that departed Brisbane on its 1800km trip the day before and can easily be delayed due to the distance covered.

Now before someone chimes in with subsidised costs etc the Inlander for example isn't operated by QR as it still operates with a hook and pull contract with Aurizon for locomotive power and it's not stabled on the QR network. And there are many things that can be done to speed up times and cut operating costs in the long run but TMR isn't interested in it as they don't see the return on it. Wonder what would happen if they you know.... Invest in rail...

ozbob

https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/sunshine-coast/heavy-rain-forecast-for-sunshine-coast-noosa-regions/news-story/3dc79b110c3951a6925794c742b1d9c4

Quote... Queensland Rail has suspended passenger train services between Caboolture and Gympie North due to flooding over the tracks while a third-party freight train has derailed between Traveston and Cooran stations about 3.20am.

It's understood the train derailed carrying general freight with one driver on board who was believed to have escaped with only minor injuries.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said two crews were called to the scene after the train derailed due to floodwater on the train line.

"When we arrived, crews were 300m away and were unable to contact driver because of the flooding," she said.

"Queensland Rail were able to control some of the power and crews waited for floodwater to subside.

"We were able to liaise with Queensland Rail and they advised us that the train had rolled, driver was in the cab not trapped but (couldn't get out) ue to rising flood."

The swift water rescue tech team were eventually able to reach the driver and he was removed safely from the cab at 6.05am.

Queensland Ambulance crews were assessing the driver by 6.25am after he was walked to safety by two firefighters.

It's understood the train is on its side, overhead live wiring has become exposed and diesel remains.

Queensland Rail Acting CEO Scott Riedel said buses are replacing trains between Caboolture and Gympie North stations this morning following the line disruptions.

"When the derailment occurred, Queensland Rail immediately suspended rail traffic and called emergency services to attend," Mr Riedel said.

"The single occupant and driver of the train is shaken but thankfully has no major injuries."

Queensland Rail will work with the relevant parties to investigate the incident. ...
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ozbob

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ozbob

I do wonder if the driver was alerted to the fact that heavy rain had impacted the area ..

Maybe a track inspection was called for prior to trains proceeding.

https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1496133855119560713
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HappyTrainGuy

#115
The driver was warned and was travelling at quite a slow speed approx 30kph max from what I've heard.

ozbob

Quote from: HappyTrainGuy on February 25, 2022, 10:50:00 AM
The driver was warned and was travelling at quite a slow speed approx 30kph max from what I've heard.

:-t
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HappyTrainGuy

It should also be noted that Linfox has recently been running heavier trains to clear the backlog of freight up north which is why there is an additional locomotive on the front.

ozbob

https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/94665

Vital North Coast rail line reopens through Gympie North
10th March 2022

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey



After a two-week flood recovery effort, the North Coast line has re-opened, reconnecting the vital rail link north of Brisbane.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey said the line had first re-opened to long-distance travel and freight services.

"The severe wet weather system across the South Eastern corner has impacted upon our road and rail supply chains and it's so important to get freight moving again," Mr Bailey said.

"That's why we are prioritising freight and services today, with long-distance passenger services also travelling from Roma Street through to Cairns."

Mr Bailey said commuter trains between Gympie North and Nambour would recommence tomorrow (Friday 11 March).

"For Sunshine Coast commuters, buses will continue to operate between Gympie North and Nambour stations for the remainder of today (Thursday)," he said.

"Queensland Rail is grateful to rail customers, including Aurizon and freight partners, for their patience while work was underway to restore this part of the North Coast line, the spine of the state's rail system."

Mr Bailey praised the efforts of crews both on the ground, and behind the scenes, who battled wild weather to complete the recovery and repair operations.

"I'd also like to thank the dedicated rail crews who worked day and night over the past two weeks through difficult conditions to repair substantial damage to the tracks after the flooding, and clear the derailed locomotive and wagons near Traveston," he said.

"It was also a collaboration between Queensland Rail and Aurizon crews to get the job done quickly and safely.

"The floods hit this region particularly hard, and the recovery effort involved a vast array of track and civil works to get this line open, including repairs to embankments and washouts, restoring overhead line equipment and laying new ballast and track.

"Recovery of the derailment site was also an enormous task to complete with teams up against extreme weather, flooding and challenging ground conditions, which made this job even more difficult.

"The scope and logistics of this task were colossal. A large crane pad had to be constructed to allow safe access for heavy equipment, which then enabled the derailed locomotives and wagons to be safely lifted and removed.

"We want to acknowledge the support provided by the crews of this third-party freight operator, whose efforts and cooperation contributed to the restoration of rail services as soon as possible.

"With freight services prioritised today to get essential goods on the move, I also want to acknowledge the very big effort behind the scenes to plan those important paths with freight partners, and arrange the timetabling."

Mr Bailey said the reopening of the North Coast line meant the full South East Queensland rail network had been restored, with the exception of services west of Ipswich, where repairs were still underway.

"Teams are working hard to return services to the Rosewood line as soon as it is safe to do so. Efforts are focussed on a severe landslip west of Ipswich, amid other washouts and track repairs," he said.

"In the meantime, buses will replace trains between Rosewood and Ipswich.

"Freight services to and from Toowoomba and further west cannot commence until repairs on that landslip, as well as along the Toowoomba Range, are completed.

"All other South East Queensland rail services will continue to run to a Saturday timetable (with 15 minute peak services) until next week.

"I will continue to update customers on changes to the timetable, as information is available.

"We thank customers for their patience while the network recovers from the impacts of this severe weather."

Customers are encouraged to plan their journey in advance by visiting the flood damage service updates page on the TransLink website or by calling 13 12 30.

ENDS
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Media Release

15th March 2022

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Western rail services return to full timetable

Queensland Rail's regional westbound services will progressively return to their full timetable from today (Tuesday, 15 March), following temporary service changes implemented in response to COVID-19.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the temporary changes in place since 17 January had enabled Queensland Rail to continue delivering safe and reliable services for customers amid COVID-19 impacts to its workforce.

"I'm pleased to announce the progressive return of some regional rail services that had temporarily been suspended due to the impact of the Omicron wave earlier in the year," Mr Bailey said.

"With those impacts now eased, these western services will be progressively restored.

"The Spirit of the Outback service between Brisbane and Longreach, which has been operating one weekly service since January, will return to two return services per week from today.

"From Wednesday 16 March, the Inlander service between Townsville and Mount Isa will also resume and will be back to full timetable from 2 April.

"The Westlander service that operates between Brisbane and Charleville will return to its normal timetable from 24 March, in time for families to get back onboard and enjoy a rail adventure on their school holidays.

"The restoration of services after such a short period is testament to Queensland's strong health response and high vaccination rates.

"I want to thank Queensland Rail staff who, like all Queenslanders, have overwhelmingly followed the health advice, protecting their workforce and the community from the worst impacts of the Omicron outbreak.

"We also appreciate the patience and understanding of Queensland communities as Queensland Rail navigated the challenges of the Omicron wave, and are looking forward to returning to normal operations."

Mr Bailey said in addition to the western line services coming back online, Queensland Rail's historic Gulflander tourism service had also returned to the tracks for its 2022 debut following a record-breaking year of patronage.

"Last year marked the 130th anniversary of the Gulflander and despite COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns and weather impacts, Queensland Rail welcomed more than 8,000 customers onboard the far north Queensland icon – the most recorded since at least 1999," he said.

"This was an incredibly strong turnout following a hard-hit 2020 when it was only able to operate for half the year, and we're eager to watch the number of visitors continue to climb as Queensland welcomes back tourists from all over the world.

"Each year, the Gulflander operates seasonally, subject to the wet weather season, and with the recent seasonal rainfall transforming the journey's landscape into a lush oasis, there's no better time to get onboard."

Gulflander services resumed on 9 March.

For more information, customers can visit queenslandrailtravel.com.au or call 1800 TRAINS (872 467).

ENDS

 Queensland Rail Travel services return to full capacity schedule:

    Tuesday, 15 March 2022 – Spirit of the Outback to return to two services per week, Brisbane to Longreach return (full timetable)
    Wednesday, 9 March – Gulflander services returned following wet-season closure
    Wednesday, 16 March 2022 – Inlander to resume one service per week from Townsville to Mount Isa return.
    Thursday, 24 March 2022 – Both Westlander services to resume, Brisbane to Charleville return (full timetable).
    Wednesday, 2 April 2022 – Second Inlander service to resume (full timetable).
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