Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) today commenced work on major rail upgrade project between Singleton and Muswellbrook on the Hunter Valley rail network which will foster increased capacity and reliability.
The $59 million Nundah Bank Third Track project will see the construction of an additional 4.26 km section of single track works on the upside of the existing ‘Up main’ line.
Put simply, the project involves the triplication of the line on a section of track where trains have been slowed due to the gradient of the climb up the Nundah Bank. By triplicating the track ARTC are able to open more train paths and get more coal through this small bottleneck.
ARTC CEO John Fullerton explained that the Nundah Bank project was a key part of the ARTC’s ongoing plan to keep rail capacity ahead of market demand for Hunter Valley coal.
“At present, the capacity of the Hunter Valley rail network averages around 146 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). However industry forecasts indicate that demand on the network will increase to over 200 MTPA by 2014,” said Mr Fullerton.
“The ARTC is therefore implementing a strategy of line improvements endeavouring to keep system capacity ahead of industry demands. The design and construction of the Nundah Bank project is central to meeting the strategy’s objectives.”
“Importantly, ARTC has worked closely with the Hunter Valley Coal Chain and the individual coal producers to ensure that there is a coordinated effort in increasing the through-put of coal to the Newcastle port,” he said.
Specifically the work will involve:
- Construction of an additional 4.26 km section of single track works between 245.203 km and 249.468 km;
- Installation of two new 1:18.5 SNX turnouts;
- Installation of two new 1:12 SNX crossovers, one new 1:12 SNX turnout and one new 1:12 FNX turnout at the Camberwell Junction;
- Widening under the Rix’s Creek mine haul road over bridge to allow for the third track;
- Replacement of an existing public road bridge to facilitate construction and maintenance traffic access to the Up side.
ARTC has formed two alliances to deliver a program of works within the Upper Hunter Valley including the Nundah Bank Third Track Project.
UHVA will perform the design and construction of the track and civil component of the Project. The UHVA Alliance comprises of ARTC, Leighton Contractors, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Coffey and KMH Environmental.
AANCSA will perform the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of the signalling component of the Project. The AANCSA alliance comprises ARTC and Ansaldo-STS.
The project will take approximately 18 months to complete.