New passing loop at Braefield a boost for Hunter Valley coal network

Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) continues to roll out infrastructure upgrades on the Hunter Valley rail corridor with the opening of a brand new passing loop at Braefield NSW between Tamworth and Muswellbrook.

The $11.1 million passing loop will cater for 1350m trains passing through.

The loop will enable trains to pass each other efficiently as one train enters the loop and waits for a short period while the other train passes at regular speed.

Specifically the construction included the laying of new track with 2,800 sleepers, two new turnouts with entry speeds of 50kph, an underbridge and new signalling infrastructure.

ARTC CEO David Marchant explained that the new passing loop at Braefield is a good example of the ongoing upgrade of the Hunter Valley rail corridor which essential if the network is to keep pace with increasing demand for coal from the region.

“Demand for coal from the Hunter Valley is set to grow exponentially by 2012.  The construction of the new passing loop at Braefield will increase capacity on the rail network and forms part of ARTC’s strategy to keep capacity ahead of future market demands,” Mr Marchant said.

“There is more to be done.  ARTC will push forward with our development of the Hunter Valley rail corridor with new passing loops and other infrastructure upgrades.”

“Against the backdrop of volatile world markets, it is essential for the Australian economy that the Hunter Valley rail network is able to meet future demand and deliver coal to port efficiently and on time,” he said.

The work was undertaken in conjunction with ARTC’s alliance partners Leighton Construction, GHD and Ansaldo STS.

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