Work camps are being set up in Julia Creek and Richmond to accommodate Queensland Rail workers fixing the flood-damaged Mount Isa Line and recovering the derailed train at Nelia.
Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said with more than 400 Queensland Rail employees and contractors to be mobilised to Julia Creek and Richmond to accelerate the work, they had partnered with the Department of Public Works and Housing to establish a 60-bed camp in Richmond and a 120-bed camp in Julia Creek.
“Local contractors have been engaged to transport mobile, stackable buildings on trailers which will house workers unable to be accommodated in local motels and caravan parks and local suppliers in each town will also be hired to provide food, cleaning and supplies to the camps," he said.
“The camps are expected to be operational within the next two weeks, if not earlier.”
Mr Easy said Pacific National was in the final stages of establishing a crane pad and an appropriate access road to the Pacific National train at Nelia, to enable the upcoming recovery of its train and wagons.
“Queensland Rail plans to build a rail deviation around the Nelia site, so that we can resume train services in the event that the recovery of the Pacific National train takes longer than the remainder of the repair works for the Mount Isa Line. Surveying and early earthworks are now underway for the deviation.
“A site office has also been established to allow for the coordination of this site as works ramp up.
“Simultaneously, the environmental consultant appointed by Queensland Rail, Glencore and Pacific National, is progressing sampling and monitoring activities in order to assess the impacts from the incident.
"Liaison with the community, the Department of Environment and Science and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is ongoing.”
Mr Easy said a number of sites needing repair were still affected by wet ground conditions and 28 semi-trailer loads of plastic mats had been delivered to start constructing temporary access roads at locations including the Gilliat River and Eastern Creek rail bridges.
"The teams will continue to utilise this matting as required to build access roads in areas which remain wet as repairs continue," he said.
The entire line is expected to reopen between late April and mid May.