TasRail crews and contractors are continuing to make good progress repairing areas of flood damage to enable the restoration of rail freight services across the network.
The landslip repair on the Melba Line is a particularly challenging worksite due to its steepness and narrow width, and the remoteness of the location. Despite this, TasRail is confident that rail services on this important West Coast rail link will resume by 27 June, if not sooner.
TasRail is hopeful that repairs to a number of sites in the north where the rail corridor was inundated with flood waters will be complete within the next 72 hours, enabling the East Tamar to Western Junction and the Western Junction to Conara Lines to re-open by midnight on Sunday 19 June. The Bell Bay and Fingal Lines are operational.
As a safety precaution, rail services on the South Line were temporarily suspended this afternoon, following evidence of a minor landslip on Youngs Road, above the northern entrance to the Rail Tunnel at Rhyndaston. The slip appears to have caused a diversion of water to percolate the rail tunnel, triggering a small quantity of loose material to fall. Expert engineers are currently assessing the site and TasRail expects to receive a full report tomorrow afternoon (17 June).
Repair of the Kimberley Rail Bridge is progressing with urgency. TasRail is confident this important rail link will re-open for rail traffic by mid to late July, but is doing everything possible to achieve this as soon as possible.
The task to clear the remaining debris washed up at the Emu River Rail Bridge continued again today in parallel with the commencement of repairs to the embankment. TasRail expects to have this section of track open by the middle of next week.
Additional train capacity has been added to the Devonport to Railton service at the request of this major customer.
The public is reminded to be extra vigilant near railway lines and rail bridges and to be aware that there is a higher than normal frequency of rail vehicles and heavy equipment moving across the rail network to complete repairs and carry out track infrastructure inspections.