Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson
Central West Train Suspended For Safety
Victor P Taffa
The Queensland Government’s Rail Safety regulator has ordered all trains to suspend operations in Central West Queensland.
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson said the line would remain closed until the safety regulator’s safety concerns are addressed.
“There are more than 70 wooden bridges in the region that need to be reinspected because of concerns that underwater inspections were signed off up to 18 months ago without actually being carried out.” Mr. Emerson said.
“A number of the bridges have pylons that are permanently immersed in water and this will be a significant program of work that could take up to a month.”
“Unfortunately there will be a disruption to cattle and general freight services, along with the Spirit of the Outback passenger services, but this is a necessary step to ensure the safety of passengers and staff.” Mr. Emerson said.
The closure relates to lines operated by Queensland Rail, including Emerald to Winton, via Longreach, the Clermont branch line and the Springsure branch line.
The line between Clermont and Capella, north of Emerald was closed Wednesday, due to the condition of two rail bridges at Capella Creek.
Experienced structures gangs from Charleville, Miles and Warwick have been brought in to help local crews with the work.
Queensland Rail will work with passengers, local communities and graziers to find alternative transport during the closure.