Kuranda Scenic train derailed by landslide

Fri 26 Mar 

Kuranda Scenic train derailed by landslide

By Roy Weavers

It has been confirmed by Queensland Rail spokeperson that the Kuranda Scenic Railway derailment was caused by a landslide which in turn was caused by the torrential rain that Cairns has been experiencing over the past few days.

The derailment happened just after 10.00am last Friday 26th March as the the Kuranda train was travelling from Cairns up to Kuranda.  This was the second train of the day on the Kuranda line carrying about 250 passengers.  The incident happened about 16kms from Redlynch Station. 

The Cairns-Kuranda Railway was constructed between 1882 and 1891 and is considered to be an amazing feat of engineering. The track Rises from sea level to 328m, the journey up to Kuranda passes through the World Heritage protected rainforest into Barron Gorge and into Kuranda.

The steam locomotive and the front carriages were derailed but they managed to stay upright in the incident, which would seem to support the early reports we have received that there were no serious injuries but a few passengers have received minor cuts and bruises.  Current reports confirm that three people have been injured including a two-year-old boy. 

In answer to the obvious question, Queensland Rail Exec General Manager Paul Scurrah confirmed that the line was checked this morning as per routine and given the all clear. He also said that he wasn't sure when services would resume.  This would need the advice of the police and independent railway safety investigators who were on there way to the scene.

He said that their second locomotive was being organised to take the train and passengers back in to Cairns where anyone who needs assitance will be given medical care and support. 

An accident hotline has been set up for family wishing to make enquiries about passengers and staff. Ph 07 4036 9333.