The Queensland Government is undertaking major clean-up efforts across road and railway infrastructure in response to statewide flooding, with initial network inspections now complete.
Rail: initial assessments complete, clean-up continues
Clean-up and repair crews from Queensland Rail are working hard to assess critical rail infrastructure, to enable South East Queensland rail services to return as soon as it is safe to do so.
61 of Queensland Rail’s South East Queensland stations were still inaccessible on the evening of March 1.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said now that the initial network inspections had now been completed, detailed programs of work were being developed.
“There is a lot of damage to our rail network as a result of the rain bomb, so our priority remains on the safe repair of that damage,” Mr Bailey said.
“Right across the network, we’re seeing landslips, washouts and sinkholes, parts of track still flooded, damage to overhead power lines and significant debris.
“There’s damage to the signalling, potholes at level crossings and even several vehicles in the rail corridor, swept there by floodwaters.”
Other damage beyond the 61 inaccessible stations reported on Tuesday March 1 included:
- Debris on the track at Rosewood
- Embankment washout and overhead electrical mast down between Ipswich and Thomas Street stations
- Embankment landslide at Riverview
- Sinkhole at Toowong
- Flooded tracks at Tennison
- Water over tracks at Holmview
- Ballast washout at Samford Road level crossing, Ferny Grove
- Embankment washout at Kedron Brooke
- Embankment washout at Wooloowin
- Ballast washout at multiple locations on the Shorncliffe line
- Embankment washout at Wynnum
“We know that at least ten station buildings are damaged, including lifts and subways, with Rocklea and Beenleigh stations some of the worst affected,” Mr Bailey said.
“The derailed freight train also remains at Traveston, where receded floodwaters and improved ground conditions are now allowing recovery works to get underway.
“Some of our train crew depots and stabling yards were also inundated by water, with some still inaccessible and without power.
“The network is also experiencing power outages at critical locations, including at its heart in the Mayne Yard.
“Like many people across South East Queensland, some of our teams are also still isolated due to flood waters.”
Mr Bailey thanked regular rail users for their ongoing patience.
“I want to assure every person that we are doing everything we can to get trains back on track,” he said.
“It’s an enormous task and we will not compromise on safety.”
Road: progressive openings amid clean-up efforts
Praising crews on the ground, Mr Bailey said more roads were opening thanks to Transport and Main Roads, but flagged ongoing clean-up and repair efforts.
“Today, we were able to reopen the Bruce Highway at Gympie, the Warrego Highway, the Centenary Bridge at Jindalee and the D’Aguilar Highway – allowing locals to move around their communities for essential reasons,” Mr Bailey said.
“With the flood disaster creeping south, we still have a number of roads closed in the Logan, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast areas, including M1 Exit 38 at Yatala.
“It’s important that people continue to avoid the roads unless necessary, despite the rain easing, as we assess the damage, clean up debris and complete repairs as quickly as possible.
“My thoughts go out to all those in the Northern Rivers region who are now going through this unprecedented rain event.”
Mr Bailey said public transport services would continue to be disrupted through the first week of March, particularly on the Queensland Rail network.
“As waters continue to recede, we are uncovering extreme damage to the rail line in a number of locations spanning from Ipswich, to Beenleigh, Toombul and Murarrie,” he said.
“Areas like Holmview and Goodna are still underwater so we won’t be able to resume operations until the full extent of damage to the track, signalling system and overhead wiring is known.
“Queensland Rails services will not be operational tomorrow, and we’ll know more about what a return to service looks like once detailed recovery plans have been outlined.
“There has, however, been extensive damage to the network.
“This includes land slippage and damage to at least ten stations with a large number of stations still inaccessible.
“We will not compromise on safety, so I ask our regular rail commuters to be patient while we repair the lines.”
Mr Bailey said many local road closures remain in places, limiting route options, and staff numbers have been impacted.
“We’ve managed to re-open most of the major roads across South East Queensland but there are still hundreds of local road closures in place,” Mr Bailey said.
“Because of this, in many cases buses won’t be able to take their normal route, or may not be able to run in some areas.
“We also know driver numbers have been impacted as some drivers are unable to get to work due to flood waters.
“Because of this, my advice to all parents is to check with their bus service provider, and for commuters to keep up to date via the TransLink app.”
For up-to-date road closure information, click here.