- As flood waters recede, TasRail is stepping-up its assessment of damage to the state’s rail network and putting in place initiatives designed to work around some of the worst affected areas in order to restore the movement of freight around the state.
- By Friday (June 10), the company expects to have a better understanding of the extent of damage and the anticipated time required to effect repairs.
- TasRail today mobilised repair crews and contractors to start restoring the network where it is safe to do so.
- The worst affected section of track is on the Western Line, which connects the ports of Devonport and Burnie with the rest of the network. A rail bridge over the Mersey River at Kimberley has partially collapsed. It is not known at this stage how long it may take to repair the damaged bridge as no detailed assessment can be made until the floodwaters subside.
- The ballast supporting other sections of track between Deloraine and Railton has been washed away. The extent of the damage, and the time to effect repairs, is currently being assessed.
- In order to restore the flow of freight, particularly between the Brighton Hub and the ports of Devonport and Burnie, TasRail will bypass this major trouble spot by moving freight by road from Conara Junction to the two ports on a rotational basis.
- Thousands of tonnes of logs have been washed against the Emu River Bridge at Burnie although, at this stage, it is considered unlikely the bridge has suffered serious structural damage.
- Work has begun to repair damage to the Brighton to Conara line. TasRail is pursuing a repair strategy aimed at bringing the line back into service next week. This is particularly critical for customers such as Norske Skog, Toll and Nyrstar, Monson and SeaRoad.
Conara to Western Junction
- The extent of damage between Clarendon and Evandale is currently being assessed although the full extent will not be known until flood waters recede. Subject to engineering assessment, TasRail hopes to re-open this section of track late next week, which will restore services between Conara and Western Junction.
Western Junction to East Tamar Junction
- Minor repair works at required at East Tamar Junction and it’s expected these will be completed next week enabling the Bell Bay Line to resume operations.
- A landslip near Rosebery has closed the Melba Line servicing Tasmania’s west coast. An engineering team is today assessing the full extent of the damage and the time expected to restore the track. TasRail is exploring the practicality of providing temporary road freight services to provide immediate freight movement, if required.
- TasRail repair crews restored services between Railton and Devonport on Wednesday (June 7) to ensure Cement Australia are able to transport stockpiled cement to port and maintain production. Services between Railton and Devonport are being provided on a continuous basis.
- There have been “wash-aways” on the Fingal line used to freight coal from Fingal to Cement Australia at Railton. However, because the Railton plant has a stockpile of coal on site, repairs to the Fingal track will be scheduled accordingly to facilitate more urgent repair works.
- There has been serious flooding at TasRail’s East Tamar workshops, however, the plant should again be operational by the weekend.
TasRail CEO, Damien White.
“We understand the importance of TasRail services to industry across the state and we are working with each and every one of our customers to find ways to minimise the impact of the flood on the state’s freight services”.
"Engineering and maintenance crews are endeavouring to determine the exact extent of the damage to the rail network and what it will take to restore rail services. As a result, we should have a better understanding of the situation within the next 24 hours. However, where significant repair time will be involved, TasRail is determined to find alternative solutions, such as combining rail with truck transport to work around the worst hit areas.”