The State Government is conducting a full assessment of the Western train line to Toowoomba and beyond, but there are early indications the line has suffered substantial damage.
Helicopter survey flights have identified at least one bridge has been partially washed away, while landslips have covered rail lines with debris and in some areas washed away the ground underpinning the track.
Transport Minister Rachel Nolan said regional Queensland’s train network would be rebuilt in a safe, methodical way and returned to operation as quickly as possible in support of Western communities and customers.
“Maintenance teams are currently reviewing the line to Toowoomba and further west by air, by foot and using special on track vehicles,” Ms Nolan said.
“The scale of the task ahead of us is immense, but the type of work required is not unusual; our track maintenance teams have high levels of experience fixing and repairing tracks after extreme weather events in regional and remote areas of Queensland.
“We will be mapping out a comprehensive plan of action to tackle this job.”
Member for Toowoomba North Kerry Shine said the Toowoomba line is of vital importance to the region but that a main focus of the rebuild would be safety.
“This track is an important lifeline for communities and businesses in South-West Queensland, as well as people it carries coal, freight, grain and livestock,” he said.
“We want the people of this region to know we understand its importance to them, and will be working with them to get them moving again.”
“The rebuilding and recovery effort will take time and the last thing I want to see is for the loss of property to be compounded by unnecessary injuries.”