Close call in flood water for Pacific National train at Prairie

The Pacific National train on the track at Prairie Creek on Sunday morning. Picture supplied.

The Pacific National train on the track at Prairie Creek on Sunday morning. Picture supplied.

An eastbound fully-loaded Pacific National freight train has narrowly missed being derailed in flood-hit north Queensland .

The incident occurred about 6.30am Sunday at at the Prairie Creek rail bridge during flash flooding following heavy rain in the region.

It's understood that floodwaters washed out ballast on the track, and that quick action by the train driver prevented a disaster from occurring.

Although the train travelled a small way along the washed out section, it was able to stop before it became unstable, and has since been set back safely.

All freight trains on the line are accounted for and stabled in dry locations.

An aerial view of the track damage at Prairie Creek. Picture - Jane McNamara.

An aerial view of the track damage at Prairie Creek. Picture - Jane McNamara.

According to Queensland Rail's regional head Jim Benstead, flood waters are impacting the Mount Isa line between Charters Towers and Hughenden and the line is currently closed between Townsville and Mount Isa.

"Our crews are monitoring the situation and undertaking track inspections where conditions allow," he said.

"Detailed track inspections in some areas - including at Prairie - cannot take place until flood waters have receded and we have visibility of the track.

"We will work to re-open the line as quickly as possible once if it safe to do so."

The west-bound Inlander passenger train was held at Cloncurry on January 26 due to potential flooding on the network and customers were provided alternative transport to complete their journey to Mount Isa.

The train is now safely stabled at Cloncurry.

Flinders shire mayor Jane McNamara said the section of track washed out at Prairie hadn't been affected or repaired by flooding in February 2019.

This story That was too close for comfort first appeared on North Queensland Register.