A South Australian ghost town is today at the centre of a national emergency.
Tarcoola received about half its meagre annual rainfall in just one day over the weekend.
From a strategic sense, it is hard to imagine a worse place for flash floods to have happened.
It has basically cut the nation in two - severing rail links between east and west coasts, plus also the Northern Territory.
Many outback roads are still out of action, KFC has run out of chicken at its Alice Springs' franchise.
Tarcoola is a very remote place in the SA outback where the rail line from Adelaide splits to head west across the Nullarbor, and north for Darwin.
Most of the rail damage is just to the east of the town.
Passengers on the weekly Ghan (Darwin) and Indian Pacific (Perth) may have their iconic journeys delayed for a few weeks but daily freight transport is the big issue here.
Tarcoola is so remote and uninhabited the Australian Rail Track Corporation was forced to send a helicopter out to survey the damage this week.
The pictures which came back were shocking.
Weather experts are saying the dumping of rain in this desert country was a one in a 100/200 year event.
MORE READING: See the amazing rail damage pictures.
The first estimate is that it will take at least two weeks to fix all the damage to the rail line and bridge wash outs.
Because heavy machinery will need to be somehow brought into this new inland swamp, that estimate may prove to be optimistic.
"Major earthworks are required at several locations to restore the track," a spokesman for ARTC said.
"Additionally, access to these locations is challenging as major highways were closed due to washaways. Other local roads are cut due to flooding.
"Up to eight sites are inaccessible at this stage due to flood waters."
Tarcoola, named after the winner of the 1893 Melbourne Cup, has unexpectedly found itself thrust onto the national stage. So where and what is it?
Coober Pedy is over three hours travel time to the north, Port Augusta is about five hours to the south-east.
The most recent census information lists Tarcoola's population as zero.
Its hey day came in a short lived gold rush around 1900.
It had a post office, the famous Wilgena pub, school, hospital, church, police station and community hall.
Tarcoola had another growth spurt when the Trans-Australian railway came through in 1915 on its way to WA.
The earlier steam trains used to take on precious water there.
It only became a junction station in 1980 when the Adelaide to Alice Springs rail choofed off to the north.
Since about 2014 the fast disappearing town is home only to occasional rail maintenance crews, mineral seekers or adventurous tourists.
This week's flash flooding is a sign the vital rail line needs urgent work, according to one of the track's users, Pacific National.
"The Omicron outbreak has yet again highlighted the unique benefits of hauling large volumes of goods and commodities safely over large distances by rail," Pacific National chief operating officer Pat O'Donnell said.
"The outbreak has also shone a spotlight on the finely tuned nature of Australia's national supply chain.
"A typical 1800-metre-long double-stacked interstate freight train travelling between Adelaide and Perth (a 2700km journey which takes between 42 to 46 hours) can haul up to 330 containers. Such a service is equivalent to 140 interstate B-double truck trips (or 280 return trucks trips).
"For added context, a single container can hold up to 50,000 cans of food, 25,000 rolls of toilet paper, 1500 cases of beer, 900 boxes of bananas, or 100 fridges," Mr O'Donnell said.
"The Trans-Australian Railway is the umbilical cord connecting our continent's eastern and western seaboards - it's a vital link in Australia's supply chain. Road and sea freight alone can't provide all the volumes of goods needed in Western Australia."
He said Pacific National alone scheduled about 50 return services each week between Adelaide and Perth.
"That's equivalent to 90km of freight train length each week. Currently, these critical rail freight services are suspended due to the track closure," Mr O'Donnell said.
"It's now time for the Australian government to commit funds to upgrade this vital piece of national infrastructure.
"More resilience needs to be built into the existing rail line. I can't imagine commuters or truckies accepting major regional highways being closed for up to or over a week."
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