A significant rain event in central South Australia has damaged the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) network.
The rain event caused flash flooring through the regions, with some areas receiving more than 200 millimetres of rain, a one in 100/200-year event.
Operations were ceased at the time, due to the meteorological forecasts and early weather alerts.
ARTC crews worked through the weekend to inspect and asses track with some locations identified as being damaged.
Crews worked to repair the damaged lines, however access limitations via rail and road prevented some areas from being inspected.
Over the course of late Sunday / Monday further rain events in the South East caused rail infrastructure damage to the ARTC network.
Eight locations were damaged due to the initial rainfall and flooding over the weekend. Those sites were within 100 kilometres east of Tarcoola.
ARTC crews worked to repair the damaged rail infrastructure where possible and where conditions allowed.
While crews worked to fix issues caused by rain late last week, the rainfall on late Sunday and Monday caused additional damage.
The damage is significant in nature and heavy machinery and materials will be required to fix the rain line.
Crews are currently working to finalise the repairs from the initial rain fall and repair the additional sites impacted by the rain event.
These additional sites are extensively damaged and access to site locations is challenging with many still under water.
Major earthworks are required at several locations to restore the track. Additionally, access to these locations is challenging as major highways were closed due to washaways. Other local roads are cut due to flooding.
Up to eight sites are inaccessible at this stage due to flood waters.
An aerial inspection was performed by helicopter on Tuesday due to restricted road and rail access, to further assess areas for any additional damage and to assist in the development of a recovery plan.
ARTC is working with South Australian authorities and the State Emergency Services on exploring options for support from mines and local contractors in the area to aid with recovery.
“With further inclement weather expected and as repairs continue, ARTC expects track will remain closed for at least twelve days,” an ARTC spokesperson said.
“We want to reassure our customers and the community that we will restore these links as quickly as possible.
“ARTC will provide regular updates on operations as information becomes available.”
Further rain is forecast later this week and ARTC continues to monitor weather conditions as repairs take place.