On 5 September 2004, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) commenced a 60 year lease of the NSW interstate and Hunter Valley rail lines. ARTC previously controlled the interstate rail network within the area bounded by Albury on the NSW / Victoria border, Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Broken Hill in western NSW. The commencement of the NSW lease consolidated control of the majority of the interstate rail network under ARTC.
In 2002, ARTC developed a detailed infrastructure investment program for the NSW network in the context of the lease proposal to NSW. This investment program was worth $872 million including complementary investment on the Melbourne – Albury corridor.
It is now 3 years since ARTC’s NSW investment program was developed and it needed to be reviewed and revised in light of subsequent developments, in particular the rapid growth in coal demand in the last 2 years.
This report sets out the position in regard to planning enhancement of capacity on the Hunter Valley coal network.