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QR National network continues to open up

All four of QR National�s coal networks through Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura are open.QR NATIONAL recently re-opened parts of the flood-impacted Blackwater coal rail network.

Managing director and CEO Lance Hockridge said the first loaded coal trains began heading to the port of Gladstone soon after 6pm on Wednesday, January 19.

“As soon as our track gangs completed the repairs at Dawson River, we had coal trains rolling through the area,” he said.

“Our crews have done an extraordinary job in recovering track across the coal network in the aftermath of unprecedented floods across Queensland.

“In general, the network has endured well through these incredible floods. The majority of recovery work has been con-fined to stabilising the formation on which the rail sits, realigning the track in some locations and replacing ballast that has been scoured by the floodwaters.

“Our continuing focus will be on working closely with our mining customers and with all players across the supply chain to maximise coal tonnages in com-ing days, weeks and months.”

The Blackwater track is now available for mines from Burn-grove (near Blackwater) east to Gladstone port.

The remaining link on the Blackwater network, the 110km spur to Xstrata’s Rolleston mine, is being assessed in detail following the receding of floodwaters.

The reopening date is yet to be confirmed.

QR National has established a project team with Xstrata to manage this recovery work.

With the reopening of the Blackwater line, this means that all four of QR National’s coal networks (Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater and Moura) are open.

“We’re pleased to have re-started most operations across Queensland for our customers, and look forward to ramping up services and system capacity over coming weeks,” Mr Hock-ridge said.

QR National also operates a smaller number of general freight and coal services across other rail infrastructure owned by government-owned corporation Queensland Rail.

General freight services along the North Coast line to locations beyond Gladstone to Cairns have also recommenced following the repair of track damaged by floodwaters at Rockhampton.

In southern Queensland, QR National is unable to operate coal, grain and general freight services west of Brisbane.

Because of flooding and damage to the rail line on the Toowoomba Range following a landslide on January 10.

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