Freight delays expected for WA after flood waters cut off Trans-Australian Railway

Brianna DuganThe West Australian
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Flooding has damaged parts of the freight line across the Nullarbor, which connects WA to the east coast.
Camera IconFlooding has damaged parts of the freight line across the Nullarbor, which connects WA to the east coast. Credit: supplied

Freight services into WA from the eastern states have been halted after flood waters damaged parts of the rail line between Adelaide and Perth.

Large parts of the Trans-Australian Railway which connects the eastern states to Perth have been flooded by heavy rain waters in South Australia.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation said the damage is still being assessed, and an estimated restoration date is not yet known.

“Due to a slow-moving rain event in South Australia, parts of the ARTC network between Adelaide and Tarcoola were flooded and operations have ceased,” a statement read.

“Services between Adelaide and Perth and Adelaide and Darwin have been impacted. An estimated time for return to service is yet to be determined.

“Repair works are underway.”

Flooding has damaged parts of the freight line across the Nullarbor, which connects WA to the east coast.
Camera IconFlooding has damaged parts of the freight line across the Nullarbor, which connects WA to the east coast. Credit: Supplied

Over 400km of the 2688km long railway line have reportedly been damaged by the flood waters.

Several trains have also been reported stranded on the track, unable to pass through the damaged areas.

In photos, parts of the track can be seen washed away as murky flood water surrounds the line.

In another photo, a long stretch of the train track can be seen submerged in water covering the railway sleepers.

WA has already been hit with freight delays sparked by supply chain issues, which has been compounded by panic buying at supermarkets.

Delays can be expected while workers repair the track.

A spokesperson for Woolworths said deliveries to WA stores, which are already struggling due to “COVID-absenteeism” have been delayed following the floods.

“While there is currently reduced availability of some items, we continue to have key essentials available and our teams are working hard to increase stock levels as quickly as possible,” they said.

“We know this is frustrating and thank our customers for their patience. Our thoughts are with all communities who have been affected by flooding in recent days.”

A spokesperson for Coles said some products in WA might be “temporarily unavailable.”

“Due to flooding in parts of regional South Australia, our rail transport deliveries to WA have been interrupted. We are working hard to get products through the network.”

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