Efficiency and productivity will be improved along the coal industry supply chain with the completion of the Hexham Relief Roads Project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said that five new relief railway tracks had been completed on time and under budget.
“The new tracks will reduce congestion of coal trains travelling into the world’s largest coal export port,” Mr Truss said.
“Coal mining is an important part of the economy of the Hunter Valley, and the worldwide demand for coal has resulted in the expansion of mining in this region.
“This project will be vital to moving coal to port far more efficiently than previously possible.
“Operations staff will now have more options to re-sequence trains and manage train movements in the event of coal chain breakdowns or delays which will significantly increase network reliability.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation John Fullerton said each track would be just over two kilometres in length and holds trains with two or three locomotives, up to 92 wagons.
“More than 370,000 hours have been invested into the project throughout its 15 month construction period,” Mr Fullerton said.
“The resulting benefits of this project will flow across the entire coal supply chain and we look forward to customers benefiting as a result.”
The $163 million Hexham Relief Roads Project was fully funded by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Construction started in October 2013 and commissioning will be completed in December 2014.