An Xstrata Zinc train derailed over the weekend, spilling 21 carriages worth of zinc concentrate near Townsville.
According to the Courier-Mail the Aurizon train derailed about 8.15am Sunday, 70km west of Townsville.
No-one was injured in the accident but the clean-up is expected to take several days.
According to The Weekley Times each carriage was carrying between seven and eight tonnes of zinc concentrate, meaning at least 147 tonnes of powder was spilt on the tracks.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union northern organiser Les Moffitt said the accident caused freight delays that could cost millions of dollars, and the accident was a “wake-up call” for the State Government.
“One third of the corridor is still built on light rail from the 1960s and another third is sitting on steel sleepers. The whole line needs to be upgraded to heavy rail and concrete sleepers,” he said.