Australian Rail Track Corporation’s push to stay ahead of future demand for Hunter Valley coal reached another milestone today with the opening of a new standing loop at Wollar NSW.
The standing loop at Wollar is approximately 2km long and will enable empty trains to enter the loop and wait for a short period while coal laden trains pass at regular speed.
Construction of the loop required the installation of new signalling and approximately 2km of new track incorporating around 3000 heavy duty concrete sleepers.
ARTC CEO, David Marchant, explained that this new loop will reduce overall travel time and increase the capacity of the network.
“The construction of the standing loop at Wollar is another stepping stone in enabling significant growth from the Gunnedah region through an increase in train length from 42 wagons to up to 72.”
Mr Marchant explained that the project is part of the 2007-2012 Hunter Valley Coal Network Capacity Improvement Strategy.
“Demand on Hunter Valley coal is set to increase dramatically by 2012. The construction of the new loop at Wollar is part of the investment by ARTC to get more coal to port more efficiently and stay ahead of future demand,” Mr Marchant said.
Further loops are planned for completion in coming months.
Sinclair Knight Merz provided the design and assisted with project management. The track and civil construction works were delivered by TEJV and signalling works by the North Coast and Hunter Valley Signalling Alliance.