Repair work on eight Sunshine Coast stations closed due to copper thefts will continue through the week, after an investigation revealed widespread damage. The affected stations will remain closed while extensive repair work is undertaken and thousands of specialist parts are sourced from interstate.
Customers of the affected stations are advised to drive to Nambour or Landsborough station to avoid delays of up to an hour.
Chief Network Officer John Pistak said repairs would continue this week to allow the re-opening of Mooloolah, Cooran, Eumundi, Eudlo, Palmwoods, Pomona, Traveston and Woombye stations as soon as possible.
“We are sorry for the impact on our customers as a result of this illegal and dangerous act,” he said.
“We are urgently trying to source the thousands of clamps required from suppliers, who are increasing their manufacturing.
“Queensland Rail is planning on re-opening Mooloolah station the weekend, and progressively opening the remaining stations from then as materials become available and the work is completed.
“In the interim, buses are conveying customers from Landsborough to Nambour, and Yandina to Gympie North stations,” he said.
“Throughout the week and weekend, more than 400 copper grading ring connections were replaced in the Caboolture area, with further connections to be replaced.
“Queensland Rail is replacing the copper connections, where possible, with stainless steel products, which are less attractive to thieves, and more difficult to remove.”
Mr Pistak said Queensland Rail discovered last week during routine inspections that thefts had occurred at stations on the NorthCoast line.
“Queensland Rail had little choice but to shut down the affected stations to undertake essential safety checks and repair work,” Mr Pistak said.
“The risk of an electric shock is low, but in the unlikely circumstances of a shock occurring, it is potentially fatal.
“I simply cannot understand why anyone would put their life at risk and the lives of others, just to steal a small amount of metal.”
Mr Pistak thanked customers for their patience during the temporary closures.