Derailed Qld train to undergo more tests
Sulfuric acid may have leaked from a derailed freight train into a waterway in northwest Queensland.
There are concerns about acidity levels in nearby Horse Creek, following scientific testing by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) on Wednesday morning.
The department is currently looking at strategies to neutralise the acid, according to a statement from Queensland Police.
All 26 of the train's carriages overturned near Julia Creek on Sunday, with muddy terrain and floodwaters hampering efforts to assess the site.
Police say the train was carrying 819,000 litres of the highly corrosive acid of which 31,500 litres leaked from one carriage.
A 2km police exclusion zone around the site remained in place on Wednesday night and the Flinders Highway was closed in both directions between Richmond and Julia Creek.
Meanwhile, about 50 Queensland Rail staff could cut their holidays short to build 800m of track around the derailed train.
But spokesman Chris Keye said work could not begin until the exclusion zone was lifted and floodwaters recede to allow staff to inspect the track.
"Weather permitting, we could have services running again by late next week," he said, adding that it would take about four days to construct the track.
About 1000 sleepers will be sourced from Cloncurry and Julia Creek and rail will be shipped in from Brisbane.
Trains haven't been able to run on the Mount Isa line since the accident, impacting freight and passenger services.
Heavy rain has also impacted other parts of the line which will be assessed when floodwaters recede.