Rail line carting coal to Gladstone out longer than expected
THE rail line running from the Central Queensland coalfields to Gladstone is likely to be closed for longer than forecast.
Floods associated with Tropical Cyclone Oswald cut two railway lines in Central Queensland which service the coal industry.
Last week, Aurizon - previously QR National - forecast both lines, which have been closed since January 25, should be open by the end of this week.
However, a statement from the company earlier this week said the bigger Blackwater line should be open by the end of the week but the Moura line, bringing coal to Gladstone, would not open for another three weeks.
Executive vice president Aurizon network Mike Carter said on the Moura system, there was track damage in a number of locations with about 3km of full earthworks formation washout between Stirrat-Clarke and Earlsfield.
"Recovery will require the full replacement of all track and earthworks in these locations," Mr Carter said.
"Given the extent of the damage in these areas, we are expecting to open the Moura system progressively west from Boundary Hill from February 18, with the last section impacting mines at Baralaba and Moura not to open until February 25."
Mr Carter was confident once the track repair was undertaken there would be an opportunity for rail operators to recover lost railings.
"The majority of mines have not been as severely impacted as 2011 and have been able to continue operations and stockpile tonnes," he said.