NHVR issues emergency notices after flooding closes rail network

The NHVR has worked with Main Roads Western Australia and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport South Australia to publish two emergency notices after heavy flooding forced the closure of a major rail network.  

The notices give consent to increased access for road trains up to 53.5m, between Port Augusta in SA and the WA border, and then internally into WA.  

The regulator’s chief operations officer Paul Salvati said: “Over the past week, we have seen massive amounts of rain fall on the WA outback, inundating roads and damaging key networks, and our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected. 

“The flooding in the Eyre Highway area has caused damage to the rail network, forcing it closed.  

“In light of this, the NHVR has partnered with WA and SA state transport authorities to deliver this urgent emergency notice.” 

Salvati said the notice would provide heavy vehicle drivers and operators with increased flexibility and expedited access to critical routes, facilitating the efficient transport of essential supplies and emergency relief for communities cut off by flooding. 

“Truckies have had to take huge detours to reach their destination due to this flooding, and the NHVR recognises the importance of delivering essential items to the affected communities,” he continued. 

“However, we are also urging drivers to exercise caution when travelling through these conditions, prioritising safety above all else. 

“Due to the heightened risk and uncertainty, the NHVR will be proactively patrolling the region to ensure all heavy vehicle drivers are travelling safely. ” 

He added that compliance is paramount during this time, with more trucks on the road and unpredictable road conditions.

“The last thing we want to see is overloaded or unsafe truck operations,” he said. 

“For any driver navigating these challenging conditions, be prepared by taking any necessary precautions, equip yourself and your vehicle appropriately, and always prioritise safe driving practices to ensure a safe and secure journey. 

“Operators should carefully brief any drivers who are new to the route, including on the location of rest areas and fuel stops.” 

The NHVR has reminded drivers to make sure they are across the details in these emergency notices before travel. 

“Drivers should continue to practise safety and drive to the conditions and follow any advice or instruction from local authorities,” a spokesperson said. 


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