Another milestone has been reached in meeting future demand for Hunter Valley coal with the completion of the crossing loop at Mangoola on the rail line between Muswellbrook and Ulan by Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC).
The Mangoola loop represents a $11 million investment by ARTC and is another step in delivering increases in capacity along the Ulan line. This new loop will increase the available daily coal train paths from 11 to 26 return paths along the Mangoola section.
ARTC CEO, David Marchant, said the construction of the Mangoola crossing loop 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. Crossing loops such as the loop at Mangoola are an essential part of the investment by ARTC to stay ahead of future demand,” Mr Marchant said.
“In the context of unstable economic conditions across the globe, it is also very important that rail infrastructure in the Hunter Valley continues to support the Australian economy by delivering more coal to port more efficiently.”
“This sort of infrastructure investment is also a boost not only to the immediate coal industry, but to the local economy of the Hunter Valley and to the nation as a whole.”
Construction commenced in March 2008 with completion on 7th of November 2008. The works involved the installation of new signalling and 2 kilometre of new track incorporation 1800 heavy duty concrete sleepers and 60kg/m head hardened rail.
As part of the project the level crossing at Mangoola Road will also be upgraded with new boom gates and flashing lights. Work will commence this week however the crossing will remain open with traffic management in place.
Sinclair Knight Merz provided the design and project management and the contract management was carried out by ARTC. The track and civil construction works were delivered by TEJV and signalling works by the North Coast and Hunter Valley Signalling Alliance.