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The TasRail network has been damaged in a number of locations by floodwaters

PublishedJun 08, 2016
The TasRail network has been damaged in a number of locations by floodwaters. The most serious has been in the Deloraine-Kimberley area on the Western Line, severing the link between the ports of Burnie and Devonport and the remainder of the network.

All other rail corridors have also been impacted although to a lesser extent with repairs in several areas already underway.

Initial Damage Report

  • A section of rail bridge over the Mersey River at Kimberley has partially collapsed.
  • To maintain freight services, TasRail intends to bypass this section of track by initially trucking freight between its terminal at Conara and the ports of Burnie and Devonport.
  • 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.
  • Ballast damage is also expected between Clarendon and Evandale, however, the extent of damage will not be known until flood waters recede. Subject to engineering assessment, TasRail hopes to re-open this section of track later next week, which will restore services between Conara, Launceston and Bell Bay.
  • 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 remove the logs.
  • A landslip near Rosebery has temporarily closed the Melba Line servicing Tasmania’s west coast. A TasRail team is onsite inspecting the extent of the damage. The company is hopeful of restoring the service within the next two to three days.
  • TasRail repair crews took urgent action yesterday to restore services between Railton and Devonport to ensure Cement Australia was able to transport stockpiled cement to port and maintain production.
  • Work is underway in restoring damage to the Hobart to Conara line, which TasRail expects to be running again early next week. This is particularly critical for customers such as Norske Skog, Nyrstar and Toll.
  • 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 be operational within the next day or two.

Public Safety

  • Members of the community are urged to stay away from all rail corridors, including rail bridges. There will be rail vehicles and heavy equipment operating on rai lines at a higher frequency than normal.
  • The public should also be aware that rail services between Railton to Devonport are in full operations.

TasRail CEO, Damien White.
Our initial priority following the flood event was the safety and wellbeing of our workforce as well as the safety of our trains. Now we are focused on working with our customers to minimise the impact on their businesses of disruption to freight services.

While these are challenging times for industry and commerce across the state, TasRail is determined to provide reliable freight services even while repairs are being made to the rail network.

For example, TasRail’s rapid response in restoring the Railton to Devonport line enabled production at Cement Australia to be maintained while stockpiled product was transported to port.

We will continue to respond to the urgent needs of our customers while the task of network repair continues.

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