Upgrade works underway on Hunter Valley coal lines

Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) commitment to upgrading Hunter Valley Coal rail network is on display this week with a major track ‘possession’ to undertake work on close to a hundred separate sites.

The 48 hr possession commenced Tuesday and will extend into Thursday to accommodate some of the capital enhancement works.  The total scope of work includes 92 individual projects to be undertaken at various locations during this possession period.

As a key link in the coal logistics chain, ARTC coordinates its major maintenance possessions to align with maintenance carrying on at the Newcastle ports so that there is no overall capacity loss on the network.

Specifically work undertaken includes:

  • NCIG Junction Commissioning
    • Replace 5 signals
    • Tamp turnouts
    • Set turnout to work
  • Maitland to Minimbah 3rd Road
    • Geotechnical investigations
    • Service Relocations
    • Bridge Installation works
    • Bulk Earthworks
    • Installation of one turnout
  • Newdell Junction Upgrade
    • Replacement and commissioning of 4 turnouts
  • Muswellbrook Yard Signalling Rationalisation
  • Woroondi Loop (Ulan Line)
    • Installation of turnouts plus civil works
  • Plain Track Resurfacing
    • 23,400m in total
  • Turnout Resurfacing
    • 23 turnouts in total
  • Turnout Grinding
    • 40 half-turnouts and 2 level crossings
  • Turnout (Gopher) Undercutting – Ballast Cleaning
    • 3 turnouts plus 250m plain track
  • Rerailing
    • 2,267m track
  • Level Crossing Upgrades
    • 3 locations (including reconditioning and foundation works).

The work will also include various repairs and reconditioning of other sections of the rail corridor.

ARTC CEO, David Marchant, explained that large possessions are very useful in allowing ARTC to implement strategic improvements on the rail line.

“These large possessions that occur over a number of days allow ARTC to implement valuable upgrades and make preparations for major capital works that are planned for the future as part of the ongoing development of the Hunter Valley Rail Corridor,” he said.

“We know that demand for Hunter Valley coal is set to increase dramatically by 2012.  The ongoing upgrade of the corridor with new signals, more passing loops and bridge replacements is part of ARTC’s strategy to stay ahead of future export capacity for coal,” Mr Marchant said.

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