The final coal wagons have been removed from the Boggabri derailment site and attention now turns to structural assessment and track repairs to Cox’s Creek Bridge, an ARTC spokesperson said today.
Over the course of the weekend, work crews on behalf of the train operator extracted coal from the loaded coal wagons before undertaking the complex task of removing the wagons from the bridge by crane.
The final and most difficult wagon to remove was lifted off the 150m long bridge at around 5.30pm today (Monday).
“With the final wagons removed, ARTC engineers now have the opportunity to safely undertake a full and detailed assessment of the damage to the bridge and track as well as the scale of the repairs required,” the spokesperson said.
“ARTC will be assessing what temporary and permanent solutions are required to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge with an aim to return services as soon as safe and practical, but this is still likely to be some time.
“This assessment will also help to establish an estimated time for repairs but given the scale of the damage, and the preliminary works still to take place, there currently remains no forecast for returning the track to service.”
ARTC would also like to take the opportunity to advise local residents that there is likely to be a greater number of heavy vehicles on local roads near the site than usual, so to take care while driving in the area.