New rail hardware to provide critical maintenance

The efficiency and reliability of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) Hunter ValleyCoal Network will soon be further enhanced with yesterday’s arrival of a ballast cleaningmachine and material handling wagons imported directly from the world leader in highperformance on track technology, Swietelsky.

This state-of-the-art equipment is the latest addition to the Leighton Swietelsky Rail JointVenture (LS Rail) fleet and will commence operations in September to ballast clean sectionsof the Hunter Valley Coal Rail Network as part of a two-year maintenance contract with theARTC.

A scope of approximately 100km of ballast cleaning will be delivered during the contract, withwork locations on the Ulan line and the rail corridor between Sandgate and Maitland.Maintenance will be undertaken during major rail possessions and scheduled annualmaintenance possessions.

The Plasser & Theurer RM80-UHR ballast cleaner (built in 2006) and eight SwietelskyMFC45 single line spoil and material handling wagons (built between 2009 and 2011) havebeen extensively refurbished, modified and cleaned in Austria.

Valued at over $18 million, they departed from the Port of Bremerhaven in Germany in May2014 and arrived at Newcastle Port on July 15. The plant is currently being transferred to thenew LS Rail stabling and maintenance facility in South Maitland.

Alec Mackenzie, Executive General Manager – Hunter Valley, ARTC, said: “Ballast cleaningforms a fundamental part of the rail maintenance task for ARTC and this contract helpsensure we keep the network operating reliably and safely for our customers as well asdemonstrates our ongoing commitment to them in ensuring we operate the most efficientcoal chain possible .”

LS Rail Director Julian Sharp said the maintenance agreement with the ARTC was asignificant and important project both for LS Rail and the Hunter Valley Coal Network.“This contract will benefit the local coal transport network by improving infrastructurereliability without putting in place track speed restrictions. This enables increased volumes ofcoal to be delivered to port,” Mr Sharp said.

“The LS Rail plant and operating team will set new standards for ballast cleaning in Australiain regards to plant reliability, speed and the quality of the cleaned track.”The ballast cleaner and wagons will provide a substantial addition to the LS Rail plant fleetthat currently includes a 09-3X dynamic tamper, SSP303 regulator, 08-275 switch tamper,PK1-20, /250 track laying system and the newly delivered Holland Flash Butt Welder.

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