Australia’s busiest freight rail network, the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Hunter Valley network, will be the focus of a major package of upgrade works during a five day closure starting Tuesday 15 May.
ARTC’s Executive General Manager Alec McKenzie said the upgrade would be spread across the 1,500 kilometre network, which stretches from the Port of Newcastle out to Ulan and Parkes and to North Star, well beyond Moree in the State’s north.
"ARTC plans for the work well in advance and we’ve mobilised crews, plant and equipment for the 117 projects to take place across the network," he said. The multi million dollar works range from routine maintenance to major renewal works and capacity enhancement, including:
- Ballast renewal
- Re-timbering turnouts and bridge works
- Installing new turnouts
- Widening track cuttings
The program will also include continuing major works on key projects such as the installation of the third track from Minimbah to Maitland, the track crossovers at Camberwell and the Bylong Loop on the Ulan Line.
The five day closure will affect coal and grain freight as well as CountryLink and CityRail services.
"We plan for these closures well in advance and our teams on the track work hard to make sure we get a huge amount of work completed safely and on time.
"This work is critical to the growth, safety and reliability of the Hunter Valley rail network – for the local industry as well as passenger services.
"We schedule four closures of this size each year – to balance the need to maintain and grow the network while minimising disruption to our customers who rely on it."