Storms hit Goonyella coal network
OREANDA-NEWS. The western part of Australia's Goonyella coal rail network remains closed following heavy rain from storms that have hit central and northern Queensland over the past two days.
Following track inspections today some sections of the Goonyella system, which hauls coking and thermal coal, in the Central Queensland Coal System have been reopened to rail traffic, Australian rail operator Aurizon said. Goonyella connects coal mines in the Bowen basin in central Queensland to the port of Gladstone.
Aurizon network's maintenance crews are continuing to inspect the remaining sections of the system, primarily in the western part of the Goonyella network.
"Further storms and rain are forecast, which may prevent the return of normal operations to some areas," Aurizon said.
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the region around Gladstone for the rest of today. It warned that the heavy rainfall may led to flash flooding, although it did not specify whether this would happen near the region's coal mines or rail infrastructure.
The other three coal rail systems in the Central Queensland Coal Network of Blackwater, Moura and Newlands are open and operating.
The latest disruption came after a 12-hour planned maintenance closure on the Goonyella network between 6am and 6pm local time yesterday. The maintenance went ahead, although some sections of track were unable to be accessed because of the severe storm activity from the previous night and localised flooding, Aurizon said.
The storm activity in Queensland had affected some sections of the Goonyella and Blackwater systems. The weather had particularly affected the Goonyella system west of Coppabella. Coal mines to the west of Coppabella include Caval Ridge, Isaac Plains, Carborough Downs and Millennium.