At about 10.10am on Friday, the Kuranda Scenic Railway train was affected by a landslide whilst travelling from Cairns to Kuranda.
The landslide is reported to have been brought about by unexpected heavy rains early in the morning.
The train involved in the incident was the second service to use the line, and reports indicate that there was a total of 224 passengers aboard at the time.
Whilst six people were taken to Cairns Base Hospital, their injuries are reported as minor. The Kuranda Scenic Railway Train derailed about 16 kilometres from it’s starting point at the Cairns Railway Station.
Queensland Rail reports that safety checks were conducted earlier in the day before services began to use the line.
Cairns Police Inspector Mark Jackson said that the Kuranda Scenic Railway Train had left Cairns Friday morning, carrying more than 200 passengers. He said, "It was confronted by a small avalanche, which appears to have been caused by the recent wet weather, that brought the train to a fairly sudden halt.”
To assist in the steep climbs throughout the trip to Kuranda, the train uses two locomotives, the first is said to have been derailed but had remained upright.
A QR spokesman said that the second locomotive was used to return the passengers to Cairns because the area where the incident occurred is accessible only by rail vehicle or helicopter.
After being checked for injuries, the passengers have now been taken by coach to their destination. QR Passenger Executive General Manager, Paul Scurrah, said QR staff in Cairns had assisted passengers.
He also said “At this stage it is too early to say when the line will be reopened and services will resume.”
In a statement later in the day, QR said it would work closely with police and independent rail safety investigators.
QR has set up a hotline for the accident. Anyone wishing to make enquiries about passengers and staff can call 07 4036 9333.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a breathtaking journey of spectacular views of dense rainforest, steep ravines and eye-catching waterfalls. This famous railway journey takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Cairns to Kuranda, the village in the rainforest.