Queensland Freight Train Derailment Update

Queensland Freight Train Derailment Update

Queensland Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe

Queensland Minister for Environment Steven Miles

Environmental Testing Continues Around Train Derailment Near Julia Creek

Victor P Taffa

Environmental protection officers will continue monitoring the site where a freight train carrying sulfuric acid derailed about 20 kms east of Julia Creek.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Dr. Steven Miles said the officers were testing water up to 8 km downstream of the train derailment.

Dr. Miles said tests yesterday (Wednesday) showed lower pH levels up to 3 km downstream of the rollover. He said officers had recorded pH levels of 3 close to the spill and levels returned to neutral pH levels approximately 3 km downstream.


“This tells us some of the sulfuric acid has made its way into the waterways.” Dr. Miles said.

“Acidic water is a concern because it can kill fish and riparian vegetation.”

“That’s why we recommended the response team use lime to neutralise the water and return it to a more normal pH.”

“Response crews have accessed locally sourced limestone which will be aerially applied to the area. Lime filled sandbags will also be placed across Horse Creek to treat flows already in the creek.”

“Adding limestone to waterways is considered safe and effective, and has been used for many decades to treat waterways with acidic water.”

“We will continue monitoring and providing advice as to how best to address any environmental impacts.” Dr. Miles said.

The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection is assisting Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) in response to the train derailment.

QPS is coordinating a recovery operation plan, and EHP is providing environmental scientific advice to minimise environmental harm.

“I want to personally thank those dedicated EHP and QPS officers, who would otherwise be on holiday at this time of year, for their quick response.” Dr. Miles said.

QLD Minister for Environment Steven Miles

QLD Minister for Environment Steven Miles










Editor and Journalist Victor P Taffa telephoned the office of Queensland Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe for further information regarding the derailment.

Queensland Rail continues to work closely with emergency services to assist in their response to a freight train derailment, which occurred 20 km east of Julia Creek on Sunday (27 December 2015).

A 2 km exclusion zone remains in place under the Public Safety Preservation Act to assist emergency services manage the scene, which Police have advised is expected to be in place for at least another 24 hours.

As the Flinders Highway remains closed in both directions between Julia Creek and Richmond due to both the exclusion zone and flooding in the area, Queensland Rail crews are still unable to access the site or assess the track.

As a result, the extent of damage to the track is yet to be determined, however it is expected the track will remain closed for some time.

Freight trains and the Inlander passenger service on the Mount Isa line will continue to be impacted until further notice.

Queensland Rail continues to assist emergency services in their response wherever possible, and is currently using an on track vehicle to assist with the delivery of resources to the site.