Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has reached another milestone in its drive to increase capacity on the Hunter Valley rail corridor with the opening of a new passing loop at Worondi between Muswellbrook and Gulgong.
The $14 million project involved the construction of a new two kilometre passing loop, including new turnouts, rail and around 3,100 new sleepers.
The new 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.
The new loop will allow for more train paths and thus increased capacity on the Ulan coal line.
ARTC CEO, David Marchant, explained that this new passing loops is part of ARTC’s strategy to further develop capacity on the Hunter Valley Coal lines.
“This new passing loop is a good example of ARTC’s commitment to fostering increased capacity on the Hunter Valley coal network. Further to that is the fact that the loop was opened a full 10 days ahead of schedule,” Mr Marchant said.
“There is more to be done.”
“ARTC is currently running the Hunter rail network well ahead of market demand; however, 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 ongoing strategy to stay ahead of future export capacity for coal,” Mr Marchant said.