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Published on : Monday, February 18, 2013
Trains are crossing the Toowoomba Range for the first time in a month after a land slip damaged a section of the railway line.
Queensland Rail Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Benstead said a combination of hard work and inventive thinking paved the way for the railway line to reopen on Sunday night (17 February), just 21 days after the land slip.
“The real challenge behind repairing the track on the range was to find a way to do the job as quickly as safely possible.
“Engineers said the land slip between Spring Bluff and Ballard was similar in size to damage sustained on the Toowoomba Range during the 2011 floods.
“The land slip washed away about 9000 cubic metres of landfill, the equivalent of about 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“In 2011, there were multiple land slips along the range and the reconstruction of Kings Bridge which took three months to repair. It is testimony to a job well done that these sites remained intact during the recent floods.
“After conducting thorough assessments of the site at Spring Bluff, Queensland Rail engineers – together with Golders and Thiess – decided it would be faster, safer and more economical to move the train line three metres towards the cliff-side.
“This required significantly less landfill and provided greater stability for the track.”
Mr Benstead said there was a further 10km of track along the Western Line which was also damaged in the recent floods, but these affected sites were in isolated locations scattered over hundreds of kilometres.
“We divided our resources between repairing flood-damaged track around Glenmorgan, Thallon, Goondiwindi, Warwick and Laidley, and tackling the land slip damage at Spring Bluff,” he said.
“This included repairing areas where train lines were washed away, testing the track and signals, checking rail bridges have not sustained damage, and removing mud and debris covering the tracks.”