For the first time in its history, Queensland Rail is closing the Mount Isa line for two 10-day periods, to undertake track upgrades valued at $25m to occur.
According to Queensland Rail Head of Regional Jim Benstead, 24 kilometres of work equivalent to two years' worth of upgrades, is taking place over 20 days.
It will see a taskforce of more than 200 Queensland Rail employees and contractors staying and spending in Mount Isa and Cloncurry, which Mr Benstead said would be a great support to local businesses still bouncing back from the impacts of COVID-19.
The work between Cloncurry and Mount Isa over a 24km stretch of track involves 96,000 tonnes of ballast, 35,000 concrete sleepers and the replacement of 10 kilometres of rail.
Mr Benstead said the work would create a more resilient path on the freight and passenger network, while providing a boost to the economy of north west Queensland communities.
"The track replacement will bolster safety and reliability on the line ahead of the busy dry season," he said.
"The shutdown period from May 17 to 26 is the first of two ten-day closures on the line, with the second to follow from June 6 to 15.
"This is a fantastic example of industry working together.
"Through consultation with freight partners and end-customers, we've aligned rail works with major maintenance and train-free periods at the mine sites, which will deliver the best, most efficient outcome while minimising impacts to supply chains."
Mr Benstead said an influx of Queensland Rail staff and contractors would take place to complete the works with all accommodation and hire cars booked out during the closures.
Staff and contractors have been enlisted from across the state, including QR's infrastructure renewals, track resurfacing, network structures planning, signalling systems and track maintenance planning teams.
Other work groups bolstering the QR workforce include contracted civil plant machinery and operators, contracted ballast undercutting resources and specialised on track vehicles for mechanised sleeper renewals.
The Mount Isa line runs along some of the world's largest deposits of copper, lead, zinc, silver and phosphate rock.
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