Queensland Rail (QR) has revealed amazing pictures of train tracks engulfed by rising floodwaters at Corella Creek in the state’s north-west.
The time-lapse vision shows the nature of the historic monsoonal flood event, which has had a devastating impact on graziers in the region who have suffered heavy stock losses.
QR said it also discovered on Thursday afternoon that a freight train carrying metals had been toppled by rising flood waters in Nelia, east of Cloncurry.
In a statement, QR CEO Nick Easy said aerial inspections showed wagons at varying angles that some of the train’s contents — zinc, lead and copper — had spilled into floodwaters.
The train had been stored there since the end of January as a precaution because of heavy rainfall on the Mount Isa line.
Mr Easy said the train was not staffed, but that QR crews were unable to physically access the site.
“Upon identifying the impacted train, Queensland Rail immediately reported the issue to emergency services, Department of Environment and Science and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, and has stood up a local incident coordination team,” he said.
“QR will work closely with the different agencies to understand impacts and respond to the incident, and will continue to keep the local community updated.
“While Queensland Rail understands all other locomotives are safe and accounted for, further aerial inspections will be undertaken as soon as is safe to do so to confirm this.
“This is an unprecedented flooding event and Nelia is a high point in the area, which has previously provided safe flood-free stowing for trains in flood events.”