4-Day Hunter Valley Shutdown for Track Upgrades

Australia’s busiest rail network outside of the Sydney and Melbourne suburban passenger networks will shut down for four days next week to commission new track infrastructure, finalise major upgrade works and carry out important maintenance.

ARTC’s Executive General Manager for the Hunter Valley Network, Alec Mackenzie, said trains would not operate on the Hunter Valley network for 96 hours from 6 am Tuesday 14 May through to 6 am Saturday 18 May.

“Over the four days we have approximately 150 individual jobs being completed across the 800 kilometre Hunter Valley rail network from Kooragang in Newcastle out to Narrabri in the Upper Hunter and along the Ulan line,” Mr Mackenzie said.

“We will be undertaking final commissioning works on major projects which are designed to increase the capacity, operational flexibility and reliability of the Hunter Valley rail network, as well as taking the opportunity to upgrade a significant portion of track.”

Some of the major works taking place during the four days includes:

  • Commissioning of Watermark crossing loop;
  • Planned renewal works to Drayton Junction; and,
  • Around 10,000 concrete sleepers installed between Gunnedah and Turrawan.

“These planned shutdowns not only allow ARTC to work network-wide but gives the entire coal chain, from pit to port, a clear window to schedule important maintenance.”

“In addition to work on these capacity building projects, we will be carrying out general track maintenance activities to maintain the safety and reliability of the track for both passenger and freight train services,” Mr Mackenzie said.

Some of the maintenance works include:

  • Over 11km of re-railing
  • Over 1.6km of track to be reconditioned
  • 4 turnouts to be renewed
  • 2 underbridges replaced
  • 2 culverts replaced

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